Principals Australia Institute (PAI) provides quality professional learning, leadership development and support to principals and school leaders. PAI’s programs and services help build effective, inspirational and sustainable leadership in Australia’s 10,000 government, Catholic and independent primary and secondary schools.
PAI expressed a desire to improve productivity, manage costs and reduce overall risk to its business. Kloud worked with PAI IT staff to provide a roadmap towards a set of IT reforms that delivered on these goals.
Kloud Solutions assisted PAI with a multi-phase infrastructure transformation project. The first phase of the project delivered Microsoft’s Office365 productivity tools to the organisation, including Exchange, Lync and SharePoint. These productivity tools improved communication and collaboration between staff. Office 365 also enabled PAI to decommission their ageing messaging infrastructure, whilst improving flexibility for staff, allowing them to access company resources from anywhere.
The second phase of the project targeted ageing on-premises infrastructure and device management, to consolidate and modernise existing infrastructure, resulting in both reduced cost and risk. Kloud leveraged Microsoft Azure and Windows Intune to supersede these capabilities. A site-to-site VPN was established between Microsoft Azure and the PAI head office, providing a secure connection between the PAI corporate network and Microsoft’s Azure cloud services. This facilitated the deployment of several Windows Server 2012 instances to replace virtual machines previously hosted on-premises.
The infrastructure reform project has had an immediate impact on our business with the reduction of recurring costs, reduced risk and access to a range of collaboration tools for our remote teams. Kloud were responsive, provided strong technical capability and worked with us in a flexible and co-operative fashion to deliver an excellent outcome. – Grant Cox, IT Manager, Principals Australia Institute.
The deployment of Windows Intune provided centralised device management and replaced software deployment and patch management services. This gave the PAI IT department a feature rich device management platform without the overheads associated with running on-premises infrastructure.
The infrastructure reform project provides an enterprise platform for delivering services and connecting systems.
The Office 365 platform improves collaboration and communication through:
- SharePoint Online providing a powerful foundation for document collaboration and Intranet facilities.
- SharePoint Online acting as a file server replacement, reducing reliance on WAN links and improving accessibility of information.
- Document co-authoring and collaboration, meaning multiple staff can work on the same document at the same time.
- Enhanced video conference capabilities, allowing staff to connect from anywhere, anytime they are in front of a PC.
- Delivery of email services in the cloud, removing any requirement for local staff to manage the environment, improving reliability and availability.
Microsoft Azure reduced cost and risk by:
- Improving redundancy and performance through scalable cloud services.
- Modernising existing infrastructure by moving to current platforms such as Windows Server 2012 R2.
- Decommissioning of the previous managed VPN service and router/switch managed services agreement.
- Simplifying the existing network, requiring less management.
- Removed the requirement to run and maintain servers locally, reducing total cost of ownership.
Windows Intune added value by providing the following functionality:
- Simplifying software deployment
- Mobile device management (PC’s, Tablets and Phones)
- Windows Software Update Services via the internet
- Anti-Virus management
- Remote control capabilities
- Software inventory and license compliance
- Device policy management
As the roll out continues, workflow practices will continue to be streamlined to create greater efficiencies across the company through utilisation of Microsoft’s tools.