The David Ross Education Trust (DRET) is a Multi Academy Trust which consisted of 34 academies and supported circa17,000 students and other users. A state-of-the-art ICT solution was sought when further funding was awarded to open two more schools along with a number of Academy conversions. The solution needed to support technology and shared services across the entire Trust, removing any duplication of services. European Electronique was able to meet these requirements by using a blend of public and private cloud technologies, incorporating European Electronique’s own Freedom Cloud solution, providing greater operational efficiency and enabling the Trust’s continued growth.

The Requirement 

The Trust was seeking to appoint a provider to become their strategic ICT partner to supply and support technology and shared services across the entire Trust. The Trust recognised that as it grew, they were in effect duplicating certain services in every school and that there were significant operational efficiencies to be made. The Trust recognised that by using a blend of public and private cloud technologies they could provide services for the academies that provided greater educational impact and greater operational efficiency as the Trust continued its rapid growth.

Following their appointment EE worked with the staff from DRET to define a roadmap to migrate academies to take advantage of the Freedom solution. A particular requirement of the Trust was to allow Google Apps and Docs to sit alongside Office 365. This poses significant challenges for many solutions in the market when dealing with single sign and security. The EE Cloud however was designed from the outset to harmonise disparate single sign on environments into an easy to use interface for the end user.

The Solution 

Since the award of the contract, EE as the preferred supplier has worked with DRET to provide a wide range of services to the schools in the Trust, from Google App’s and Office 365 migration to Chromebooks and central telephony. 

The central provision is connected to each DRET site via dedicated Layer 2 or across IPSEC VPN links using existing internet provision. Whilst other cloud-based services such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon S3 offer what looks like a similar service, the Freedom education cloud centre has several major advantages. Firstly, and most importantly, the cost. Owing to EE’s in-depth understanding of the educational market, the Freedom solution was engineered to meet educational needs at a price point that education budgets can sustain. In addition, the EE Cloud solution is 100% UK hosted for all data.

As EE owns the cloud environment the company can tailor the environment to meet each and every customer’s needs. These are key attributes that make the Freedom Education Cloud not just another cloud offering but one specifically designed for the needs of DRET. 

European Electronique continues to work with David Ross Education Trust to migrate all their sites to the Freedom model, whilst adding new schools quickly and cost effectively. The cloud model even allows term time migrations to be carried out to accelerate the return on investment for the Trust.