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AdEPT Tech.Group PLC - Transitioning Education to Home Working

RNS Number : 0406J
AdEPT Technology Group PLC
07 April 2020
 

AdEPT Technology Group PLC

("AdEPT" or the "Company")

 

Transitioning Education to Home Working - A Recent Success Story

7th April 2020: for immediate release

 

AdEPT Technology helping over 200,000 teachers and 900,000 pupils nationwide access online services to enable remote learning during this Coronavirus pandemic.

 

Relevance for investors

 

The balance between public & private sector clients has always been an important factor for AdEPT, with our turnover being roughly 45% public sector - across the NHS, education and Government - and 55% commercial, of which there are thousands of customers.

 

This balance allows AdEPT access to multiple types of client and creates a resilience as one sector waxes, whilst the other wanes.  This resilience has never been more important than at this time extreme time for the UK economy.

 

AdEPT mobilising the massed ranks of the education sector

 

Amazing things rarely happen in a comfort zone.  Following Boris Johnson's announcement on the 23th March the world witnessed a startling Daily Telegraph headline 'End of Freedom', to mark the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK.

 

The world changed overnight.

 

As a result, in March 2020, the massed ranks of the entire UK education sector had to be mobilised, with a mission to rapidly change.  Sending thousands home to work remotely, adapting to provide care for the children of key workers, and those children with statements of educational needs - whilst also facilitating home teaching.

 

David Bealing, AdEPT Education's Managing Director commented;

 

"The challenge, facing 0ver 4,000 schools served by AdEPT, placed everyone involved well outside of their comfort zone.  Call volumes doubled, solution developments were accelerated, thousands needed to be informed, hundreds of thousands needed to be supported". 

 

AdEPT and partners deliver in a time of crisis

 

The education sector is ever changing - it's a world that has seen a dramatic rise in the number of federated schools and multi-academy trusts over the last decade - a change that has brought about the demand for infrastructure that supports remote working.

 

Staff in these MAT's and federated schools need more flexible, yet still secure, access to their network and the critical data held on systems, wherever they are working from.

 

Remote working tools have long been part of the AdEPT Education portfolio. 

 

The Coronavirus Challenge

 

Logging in remotely takes more than just remembering your username and password.  Remote working demands; a suitable and performant connection, appropriate hardware and the correct security configuration.  And all of this needs to be scaled properly due to demand.

 

The Change

 

AdEPT provides services to over 4,000 schools, with over 3,000 served in partnership with London Grid for Learning (LGfL).  All of these faced the instantaneous challenge (alongside millions of businesses), to rapidly work from home - whilst serving pupils in an unprecedented change to the norm.

Security is critical in any setting but is even more sensitive in the education landscape.  Security tools and practices must ensure the appropriate safeguarding measures and best practices are in place to protect some of society's most vulnerable from Internet-based threats.

Be it; ransomware-attack, inappropriate content, cyber-bullying, grooming or radicalisation.

Schools rely on their technology partners for their expertise. Any home connection needs to be just as secure as a school one.

For the LGfL community the key technology underpinning this mobilisation, and allowing remote working, is a solution called 'Freedom2Roam'.

This is a Remote Access Service (RAS) that allows staff to access their school's network when not on-site, i.e. from home, or indeed another school within the multi-academy trust.

Freedom2Roam includes all the required security safeguards, and allows for a secure, stable and cost-effective remote connection to a school's network, wherever the user has Internet access.

Since lockdown, AdEPT have seen and managed a 1,047% increase in the number of users in schools using Freedom2Roam to fulfil their duties from home.

 

LGfL and AdEPT

 

AdEPT has a long running successful partnership with LGfL. As part of this AdEPT runs a manged service that is;

 

a)  Supporting one of the biggest single cloud deployments of Office 365, with over 1,000,000 end users (pupils and teachers)

b)  Providing a technology helpdesk for over 3,000 schools with over 200,000 teachers.

c)  Working with Virgin Media Business to upgrade connectivity for thousands of schools (A project called Pledge 2020 with a target of upgrading primary schools to 500 Mbps and secondary schools to 1 Gbps connections).

d)  Keeping schools digitally safe by upgrading the LGfL core network and rolling out new edge firewalls to over 3,000 schools. This is part of a security framework providing up to 12 layers of security.

e)  Deploying WebScreen (v3.0) - a software solution that filters over 1 billion web access requests per day.

f)    Providing MailProtect, an email filtering platform that filters over 2 million emails per day for spam and malicious content.

g)  Running USO, an authentication and identity managed platform that allows appropriate access to digital teaching, learning and safeguarding resources

h)   Delivering eAdmissions, where AdEPT, working in partnership with LGfL, provide an eAdmissions portal - this solution facilitates the placement of over 200,000 children annually with their chosen school.

This shared service is a real success story with the latest round of secondary school admissions on 2/3/20 running without a hitch. This service is instrumental to the process and "is one of the best shared service stories in the public sector." to quote John Jackson, CEO of LGfL.

i)    Our graphics team, in partnership with LGfL have produced content that is now part of official government guidance for "Children and online safety away from school and college" The article is;

www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers/coronavirus-covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers

and the content can be found here;

https://static.lgfl.net/LgflNet/downloads/digisafe/Safe-Lessons-by-Video-and-Livestream.pdf

 

 

How have these substantial changes been delivered?

 

The change programme has required strong collaboration between several critical partners;

 

ü London Grid for Learning

ü Virgin Media Business

ü AdEPT Technology Group

ü Sophos

ü Netsweeper

ü Cisco

 

We've been delighted with the feedback, during this testing time.

 

"Colleagues, this week has been exceptionally demanding but the response from you has been magnificent and exemplary. Indeed, I've been humbled to be part of an amazing response from the tech sector. You should all be very proud of your organisation and what the staff and teams have delivered in recent days.

 

This crisis will be challenging for some time to come. However, with such great partners, delivering digital innovation at this scale and pace there is reason to be inspired and feel confident about the long term.

 

Most important of all, your awesome response, means that children, teachers, schools and parents will benefit immensely from your commitment and innovation.

 

Well done and thanks for the amazing support you've given LGfL."

 

John Jackson - CEO, London Grid for Learning.  John also passed on some feedback from one of the schools we both service:

 

"The release of Freedom2Roam has probably been the biggest single godsend. Since its release, we spent the time getting bookmarks created for all of our schools - it's massively cut down on calls from people struggling to get onto RD gateway (the Remote Desktop gateway) from Macs and Chromebooks etc!"

 

Other news from AdEPT

 

The wider AdEPT Technology Group team, now almost entirely based from home has been doing a host of other things to help their customers through this difficult time including:

ü Managing an increase of 100% in support calls

ü Shipping of hundreds of new laptops

ü Setting up hundreds of new Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections

ü Managing a 70% increase in customer demand for bandwidth and licensing

           

 

Notes for journalists and editors-

 

For a full briefing please contact:

 

AdEPT Technology Group Plc

Phil Race, Chief Executive

Ben Rogers, Head of Marketing

Cantor Fitzgerald Europe

Nominated Adviser & Broker

Phil Davies/Will Goode           

 

 

 

07798 575 338

01689 814 700

 

020 7894 7000



This announcement has been released by Ben Rogers, Head of Marketing, on behalf of the Company.

About AdEPT Technology Group plc:

 

AdEPT Technology Group plc is one of the UK's leading independent providers of managed services for IT, unified communications, connectivity and voice solutions. AdEPT's tailored services are used by thousands of customers across the UK and are brought together through the strategic relationships with tier-1 suppliers such as Openreach, BT Wholesale, Virgin Media, Avaya, Microsoft, Dell and Apple.

 

AdEPT is quoted on AIM, operated by the London Stock Exchange (Ticker: ADT). For further information please visit: www.adept.co.uk

 


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