For over 37 years Somerville has delivered a broad range of IT services for schools across Australia. From large scale mobile device deployments to multi-cloud service offerings, we bring services to better manage end-user experiences across the education sector.
For this Q&A feature article we sat down with Jack Jayilian, Senior Technical Specialist at Somerville, to learn how the team deliver a program that allows the school’s IT team to focus on their core business of teaching and learning, rather than the operation and management devices.
Q: Hi Jack, could you tell us how long you’ve been working at Somerville and an overview of your role?
A: I have been working in the industry and with schools for over 15 years, I joined the Somerville team a little over three years ago now because I was excited by the opportunity to be part of a great culture and to work with an organisation who has a proven track record with a strong focus on delivering successful customer outcomes. I look after the service technicians as part of the One-to-One notebook program team and am focused on ensuring we deliver on our SLA’s through the elite support program. So, in saying that, our aim is to deliver over 95% service completions by next day and currently achieving over 85% same day service. This means that every day we repair and return over 85% of devices back to students on the same school day, over 95% are returned the next day.
Maintaining that level of support comes with a lot of responsibility, it’s about making sure parts are available and the entire service team is operating at peak performance.
For Somerville our number 1 focus is to ensure students’ devices are functioning optimally and delivering rapid repair to damaged or faulty hardware so downtime is limited, with minimal disruption to their learning.
Q: When responding to service requests, what are some of the common issues that student’s and schools come to you with?
A: A large majority stem from students accidentally dropping devices, broken screens are very common. Other issues tend be around system malfunctions that are covered by warranty.
We aim to repair every device on the same day, regardless of whether they are under warranty or covered through the Somerville Capped Repair Guarantee. Having the right parts in stock, and the service technician available on-site is critical to repair turnaround. The last thing we want to see is a student in class unable to participate in learning so it’s our job to deliver on our promises.
This service level is proven by our SLA turnaround’s times of over 85% on the same school day and over 95% by the next school day.
Q: How do you maintain these service levels when working with so many schools and managing tens of thousands of devices across the country?
A: In most cases a technician can action the job right away. In the unlikely event that we don’t have the part we would provide a replacement device, but in my experience and with the team’s performance, it is a rare occurrence.
Our service model is built to scale and grow. We have the right operational systems in place, and detailed data analysis to deliver accurate stock forecasting of which parts are likely to fail over time. All to ensure we have the right parts in stock for our on-site technicians to deliver unmatched service levels.
Our job logging and ticketing system also helps us stay ahead of the curve and deliver great customer experiences. Once a job is logged by the school, a Somerville technician will receive a notification through the system dashboard and questions will be answered to determine whether it’s a repair covered under warranty or through the Somerville Capped Repair Guarantee which guarantees that a total repair cost due to damage will not exceed $100.
The system is always-on, can generate reports and quotes in real-time and we’re continually working to improve the overall process. We send a repair quote directly out to parents with photos, which allows them to pay the repair fee online. We work closely with schools to ensure the process is as seamless as possible.
Q: A big component of what the team does involves annual large-scale Device fleet deployments, would you mind elaborating on the specifics of a typical school project?
A: Sure. Typically speaking, February through to July is spent managing the tens of thousands of devices we have throughout the schools in Australia. So, I spend a lot of time working with our national team of service technicians, vendors and customers to ensure all the devices we’ve deployed are functioning correctly, are up to date and that students are learning as best they can without any technical disruptions.
October to February is deployment season, during this period we coordinate with schools to identify the specifics of the devices that they require for the following school year, and when they need them deployed to be ready for term 1. Once the specifics have been decided upon, it’s our job to then implement the customisations, asset labelling and software imaging of the devices. Ensuring they are delivered on-time and ready to go with no technical issues.
We work with the school to determine a timeline that assists them to better manage deadlines and ensure customisation and imaging is completed before the new school year commences. The stress is taken out of managing such a large-scale deployment, and the school doesn’t have to deal with vendors or other suppliers, we act as the intermediary which provides great deal of value to the school.
Q: Is each deployment unique to the school?
A: In some ways they’re similar, but the major differences you see from school-to-school comes from how they want the devices configured, and the applications and software they use in the classroom.
Irrespective of this, we strive to provide elite support across every facet of our service delivery, leaving schools to focus on what’s most important to them, delivering a relevant and innovative technology rich curriculum.
Q: What are some of the key benefits to a school in utilising Somerville’s One-to-One program?
A: Our proven experience working with schools over the last 37 years places us in a unique position. We understand the timelines and requirements a school works to and we know what is needed to deliver successfully with a customer first focus. Our customers have peace of mind knowing the devices will be prepared, delivered on time, and pro-actively managed and maintained throughout the lifecycle. We are a trusted organisation, and that trust is only earned through years of delivering high quality service and delivering on our promises.
At the heart of our one-to-one program is the partnership between Somerville and our customers. We work closely with schools to understand their challenges, and support their IT initiatives. We enjoy building strong communities with our customers and to help, them discover new education technology trends, or learn what’s on the horizon, it’s a true partnership with all of our schools.
To find out more about Somerville’s One-to-One program and the comprehensive support Somerville can bring to your school, contact Jack here.