Located in South Africa, the Northern Cape Rural FET College has campuses across five locations around the Northern Cape. For over 20 years the college has provided a wide variety of courses, helping students to explore a range of career opportunities. Dedicated to the provision of hands-on training, in order to equip students with real-world skills in the workplace, the college’s philosophy is centred around encouragement, opportunity and individuality.
Since the college is located across five separate sites, the ICT and e-learning Manager was tasked with the management of an unusually large network, including the responsibility of 40 servers and more than 4,500 users. Technical issues were solved by travelling via car between sites when required, but rising fuel costs in South Africa typically resulted in high and unnecessary expenditure. The rural location of the college also resulted in reduced network connectivity; the need for a reliable network management software solution proved, therefore, vital.
After reviewing several competitor products, the college’s ICT and e-learning Manager compared YouTube videos of Education Pro’s performance against the rival solutions and based his decision on Education Pro’s fast bandwidth. Impero Education Pro’s remote control and support functionality would enable the college’s technical team to remotely fix issues on any machine – at any one of its five sites – from a single location. The need to physically travel to site locations would be removed, saving time, facilitating speedier response times and reducing fuel costs. The broad suite of features, such as power management and computer lab management, would enable better efficiency and an enhanced digital learning environment.
The college’s ICT and e-learning Manager possesses several years of network experience, which aided the seamless installation of Impero Education Pro across the network. Teaching staff will be undergoing training in order to make full use of the classroom management functionality, such as the lock screen, broadcasting and the live thumbnail view.
Since implementing Impero Education Pro, the college has realised a variety of benefits, including:
improves network efficiency – the ability to remotely view and fix technical issues on any machine across the network facilitates speedier response times and reduces fuel costs.
saves time – the remote control functionality enables the IT team to address technical issues from afar, saving vital time.
improves productivity – acceptable use policies fused with the ability to apply sanctions in response to violations helps students remain focused on their studies.
Q&A with Ewert Rupping, ICT and e-learning Manager
how has the software helped you to perform your role?
The ability to respond to technical issues at any one of the five sites speeds up response times, meaning unnecessary downtime can be avoided. The software also helps with the general maintenance of the network; due to its large size, this can be a mammoth task! We occasionally use the inventory in order to establish any hardware or software that needs upgrading.
how has learning improved at the college?
First year students don’t fully understand the power of the software. On reaching the later stages of their education at the college, however, the students learn to accept that the equipment is only to be used strictly for educational purposes. Students are prohibited from playing certain online games on college premises, so I use the video recording functionality to prove misuse, which is really useful.
what are the next steps?
We already employ the power management feature to power machines on in the morning, but moving forward we’re looking to implement a more efficient schedule. For example, some classes finish at 3pm and the next class will not begin until 6pm; we plan to automatically power down machines at 3pm in certain rooms, then schedule to power them on when the evening class begins.
how would you sum up Impero?
A worthwhile investment.