Brisbane Grammar School prepares for Lync

UC system will be used to link school with Australian, international classes

Students at Brisbane Grammar School in Queensland will be able to connect with classrooms in Australia and overseas in about six weeks’ time when the School rolls out Microsoft’s unified communications suite Lync.

Brisbane Grammar School director of ICT Michael Lowbridge told Computerworld Australia that it is particularly interested in the instant messenger and video conferencing components of the system.

“All over the world there are classes willing to engage in online learning experiences,” he said.

“Our staff also engage in professional development with other colleagues so video conferencing can be an efficient part of that,” he said.

Lowbridge said that video lag would not be a problem as the school currently has a 1Gbps fibre connection, which will be upgraded to 10 gigabits in the next six weeks.

The school is also trialling Windows 8 tablets with 12 teaching staff. According to Lowbridge, it will be looking for the educational justification behind deploying the tablets.

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Networking

Implementation of new networking projects has been made easier following the rollout of SolarWinds network performance monitor (NPM) at the school two years ago, Lowbridge said. NPM allows IT staff to check all aspects of the network’s physical and application layers.

Prior to the implementation, Lowbridge said it was hard to get visibility of the network which includes over 1900 devices such as tablets, desktops and laptops spread out across 15 different locations.

“Whenever a problem happened in a remote building, one of those technical staff would need to go for a walk and analyse what was wrong,” he said.

“Now we can just look at a screen, see what is wrong and resolve the issue much more quickly.”

According to Lowbridge, the IT department has been able to cut resolution response times by more than 50 per cent.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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