We are now official suppliers to Crown Commercial Services

We are proud to announce that Virtue Technologies, in partnership with Bramble Hub, are now official suppliers to Crown Commercial Services. In order to be accepted on to the framework, we were subject to rigorous due diligence by Crown Commercial Service, giving assurance to potential customers in the procurement of their education infrastructure from us.

Bramble Hub are specialists in helping ICT companies secure public sector contracts through UK Government frameworks. Its network of best-in-breed SMEs and niche specialists, provide high quality, flexible and cost effective solutions and services to over 250 UK Public Sector bodies.

The new Crown Commercial Services agreement provides public sector customers with the capability to obtain ICT goods and services tailored to the specific needs of a diverse range of educational establishments. The scope covers the full range of ICT goods, services and solutions operated by educational institutions including design, specification, supply, integration, implementation and testing, training, and support and maintenance (either all together as a packaged solution or in any combination required by customers).

The framework provides a range of delivery models including:

  • supply and fit
  • support and maintenance
  • systems configuration and management
  • partial or fully managed ICT service
  • complete integrated service with other technologies/partners
  • supply and integration of solutions into both green field (new build) situations and legacy
  • ICT environments requiring integration and repurposing of existing ICT

Plus, a range of ICT solutions including but not limited to:

  • hardware (servers and user computing devices)
  • software (operating systems, office productivity, network, security etc.)
  • networks (routers, switching, cabling, local area network infrastructures etc.)
  • peripheral equipment (printers, peripherals to support specialist curriculum provision.)
  • AV equipment
  • user devices(desktop computers, tablets, high specification devices)
  • mobile connectivity (as an integrated package within user devices)

For more information about the Crown Commercial Services or the ICT Services for Education Framework, please contact Philip McNair on 01695731233 or via email Philip.McNair@VirtueTechnologies.co.uk

Independent Tests Validate Meru 802.11ac AP832i as Fastest Wi-Fi in the Market

High Performance tests validate Meru’s superiority with video, voice and data

Today’s wireless LANs require higher performance to meet the demands of more users, carrying more devices, and using more applications. Meru was early to market with 802.11ac and has been aggressive in developing solutions with data rates that rival wired networks. The Tolly Group recently conducted a series of rigorous performance tests evaluating the Meru AP832i against the Cisco 3702i and Aruba AP-225 Wi-Fi solutions and the AP832i was consistently found to be superior.

the Meru AP832i was consistently found to be superior

the Meru AP832i was consistently found to be superior

Testing included single and multi-AP setups with video, voice and high-bandwidth data. The Meru AP832i consistently outperformed competitive 802.11ac solutions on both 40 and 80 MHz wide channels.
The Bottom Line:
  • Meru consistently outperformed Aruba and Cisco solutions in all test scenarios
  • Meru delivered 2x the throughput of Aruba when handling video, voice and data
  • Meru exhibited significantly lower latency with video traffic than either Aruba or Cisco

So, why is this important for your school or college? A school’s success in launching digital learning will be directly impacted by the performance of its wireless LAN. A wireless LAN that cannot provide predictable performance and service in dense user environments, deliver high definition video, or provide reliable connectivity for critical on-line testing, will impact class time, create frustrated users, and turn users off from wanting to use the new program.

These issues disrupt classrooms and learning and slow down the adoption of new learning initiatives, which will impact the expected Return on Investment.

Due to the unprecedented amount of enquiries we’ve had concerning 802.11ac and the recent success of Meru’s 802.11ac upgrade campaign, we’ve organised a free seminar to discuss and demonstrate Meru’s 802.11ac. Watch out for an email invitation from us and in the meantime mark the date in your diary, 4th July 2014 9am – 2pm at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

Education and Innovation Conference and Exhibition

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Last week Virtue Technologies attended the Education and Innovation Conference and Exhibition.

EICE

The event was held in the beautiful Manchester central building and enjoyed by more than 2,500 visitors. It went on for two days and consisted of 130 exhibitors and over 60 inspirational speakers.

During our time at the exhibition, we engaged with various representatives from different schools, providing demonstrations and advice surrounding technology in education. Speakers were joined by visitors for talks about issues facing schools in regards to technology and education. There was focus on educational resources quickly becoming more internet-based as the digital revolution gathers pace. Classrooms of the future were fully demonstrated and provided a lot of food for thought.

Phil Lawson, Managing Director of Virtue Technologies, commented;

“As a North West based educational ICT provider, we feel there is a lot of importance in the success of a North West based event. The industry is very London centric with a huge focus on BETT as the “go to” education event.”

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“I felt the speakers were exceptional and there was a varied range of discussions across many technological areas which added real value to any attendee. The exhibition, whilst smaller than BETT, was very focused and specific to the needs of the attendees.”

The EICE was a great opportunity for attendees and businesses to come together and discuss the importance of IT in education.

Achievement through innovation

Whether you are an education expert looking for fresh ideas – or you are looking to pick up some free additional CPD training and advice about how to integrate technology and innovation into learning – Education Innovation will be for you.

We realise that time and resources are incredibly valuable for education professionals and also that when correctly implemented and applied, technology and innovation can help to raise the performance of staff and the achievement of pupils.

We know that the vast majority of national events are held in London and the South East, so this year we’re exhibiting at a national conference and exhibition which is free and accessible to a much broader range of our customers.

The free, two-day, national event takes place at Manchester Central on the 27/28 February and will offer access to inspirational keynote speakers, CPD training, workshops, and a full exhibition of innovative solutions.

The event is designed to help education professionals to raise achievement and performance by effectively integrating innovation and technology into the learning environment.  It includes contributions from Government ministers, the Department for Education, OFSTED, BIS, Naace, NFER, NTAB, IoE, Jisc, BCS and many more.

The theme of the event is “achievement though innovation” with topics covered including:

  • Improving your OFSTED performance
  • Guidance on implementing the new curriculum
  • E-safety and dealing with cyberbullying
  • Mobile learning, tablets and BYOD
  • More effective use of MIS / Cloud Computing / Data management
  • Apprenticeships and innovative ways to encourage entrepreneurism
  • More effective and efficient procurement
  • Change management for introducing computing into the curriculum
  • Technology supporting dyslexia and autism

See the website to view the amazing line up of speakers and supporters, or to put your institution forward for an Education Innovation Award (closing deadline 31st January).

Education Innovation is also co-located with:

Find out more at www.educationinnovation.co.uk

We hope to see you there!

We get it … email’s not for everyone! Welcome to our blog.

It’s often a difficult decision deciding on how best to stay in touch with our customers and partners. As many of you know we do from time to time send out (hopefully relevant) emails with details of deals, technology news and support information, however, if you’re anything like me then I receive literally hundreds of emails every single day and I prefer to get my news from services such as twitter and wordpress.

So, as of right now we’ve launched this blog where we aim to keep you up to date with all the latest news and information on Education ICT. We’ll also be inviting industry experts to submit their thoughts and comments on different topics and how technology can impact and complement the educational outcome within your schools.

We hope you find our blog useful, please do comment and let us know if you think it’s worthwhile or if you’d like to talk to us about becoming a guest blogger.