George Watson’s College

Gaining tech visibility to streamline operations and optimise IT budgets

Client context

Founded in the 1700s, George Watson’s College (GWC) is an independent school based in Edinburgh – with over 2,400 pupils – and is one of the top rated in the UK. Its campus is located in the Morningside area of the Scottish capital, and offers education for children between the ages of 3-18.

In 2019, the institution decided to invest in our Tiger Prism workplace data analytics software, after our trusted partner recommended it as a tool for its voice analytics and call reporting needs.

Regarding the backstory, the school’s IT Services team set out replacing the site’s legacy systems 10 years ago, and have since refreshed the entire campus LAN, implemented Cisco and a full Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) suite, plus replaced its legacy fibre provision and old CAT5 cabling.

As part of this large-scale overhaul, the schoolhas also employed Tiger Prism to provide a ‘single pane of glass’ through which to observe and evaluate the adoption and usage success of its tech investments.

Sector Education

Employees 500

Pupils 2,400+

Location Scotland, UK

Workplace analytics

  • UC&C reporting
  • Call logging
  • Call volume/duration
  • Call reporting

Client goals

GWC is a very historied and prestigious education provider, whose objective is to provide high-quality teaching for its students, alongside wider support for their families.

To be able to deliver a first-class learning experience, the site needs both the most intuitive IT systems – from end-user hardware to telephony and wider infrastructure – and expert staff in place.

However, alongside the technology, the campus also requires visibility over how it’s being used, to be able to make informed decisions that drive and positively impact operations and budgets.

As part of the upgrading of the tech estate, GWC’s IT team needed to change the phone system – to Cisco UC&C handsets – and they wanted greater insight into which phones were being used, which were most expensive to run, and which staff members were making the costliest calls.

To maintain the high standard of teaching and overall learning experience, the tech champions at GWC knew that the latest collaboration technology had to be in place – and used school-wide – so they invested in UC&C solutions way before the pandemic.

Tiger response

Collaborating closely with GWC’s IT Services department, we’ve worked with the team to give them greater visibility over their new UC&C infrastructure roll-out.

Thanks to the intuitive Prism software, the on-site IT Services department is able to know how many and which of the site’s deskphones are in use, enabling them to make informed decisions on which staff require newer hardware and those who perhaps don’t need a physical device at all.

During the numerous lockdowns, GWC also witnessed a shift in the way staff were interacting with their tech – use of softphones, via Cisco Jabber, increased dramatically, whereas when personnel were on site, they relied more on their physical units.

The IT Services team has also been able to set up monthly reporting that helps them to view call volumes, most-dialled numbers, and UC&C adoption – giving them a clear, complete picture of how successful the technology is, and where improvements can be made.

Tiger has not only helped GWC’s team to embrace change – using the data to see who’s more or less on board with the new tech systems – but we’ve also supported the site to further enhance its learning provision, especially remotely. Teachers are able to easily communicate with one another – via video or instant messaging – to collaborate and share knowledge, which, in turn, has a positive impact on the wider student experience.

Business impact

Tiger’s analytics software has not only provided the intelligence the school needs to make evidence-based tech procurement decisions, but it’s also enabled GWC’s IT department to drive change and digital adoption across the organisation.

Staff are now more likely to utilise the UC&C tools available to them in place of their physical desk phone, and the institution is able to clearly see areas where IT budgets can be optimised. But without this level of detailed intelligence, the IT team couldn’t deliver such evidence-based findings to the board on how the technology is being used.

Other operations have resulted in:

  • Supporting the site’s cloud-migration strategy. As part of its cloud-first approach, GWC is switching to a SIP Trunk provider, Highland Networks. Tiger will be able to provide greater visibility over this – obtaining statistics from GWC’s legacy PBX. As a result, Tiger will provide a report – containing guidance re: call volumes with BT – and the package GWC decides to take with the SIP provider will be based on these stats. The Tiger Prism software will therefore better inform the IT Services team and help to streamline and save costs.
  • Tiger is able to further support this strategy with its own cloud-based subscription offering, which GWC will be transitioning to in 2022.

…Our job in IT at George Watson’s College is to listen to the teachers about how they can use technology to improve their teaching, and we’re the enablers – making this a reality through the UC&C solutions we implement. Tiger plays a key role in helping us to ensure our tech infrastructure is not only successfully adopted but utilised to its full potential. It allows us to see the impact our tech investments have had – removing any guesswork or assumptions.

Chris McMorris, Senior Technical Architect, George Watson’s College