Ed Brown, Managing Director at Newtownabbey-based Capita, discusses how the IT powerhouse is extending its technology services and experiencing successful growth in the education market across Ireland.
Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, Capita continues to experience growth across the island of Ireland, particularly in education. With an all-Ireland presence and capability, Capita is sharing its experience of success with Northern Ireland schools via the EN (ni) contract to the Republic of Ireland. Kick-started in 2017 by the acquisition of a Wexford-based specialist education IT company. Capita’s growth has excelled throughout 2018 extending their reach in Ireland and extending their capabilities and expertise that complemented their existing position in the education market.
With the Irish Government committed to spending €300 million on the upgrade and implementation of IT in schools, via their initiative – Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020, Capita has been ideally placed to extend its provision of services for schools in the Republic of Ireland.
Capita generates approximately £5 billion per year and is instantly recognised in the UK as a leading Business Process Outsource organisation, but in Ireland it is very different. From its Belfast-based Centre of Excellence, Capita specialises in education technology and the company has worked with education establishments, from primary schools through to universities, for over 30 years. The education sector is at the heart of the organisation’s heritage, especially in Northern Ireland, where Capita provide an IT Managed Service to every school in the country. Our team of IT specialists at Capita continually manage and monitor the core IT infrastructure that enables schools to embed innovative technology throughout the curriculum, including cloud productivity tools, Virtual Reality, robotics, the latest devices and education applications. It is this heritage and strength of our people’s skill-set that has enabled us to extend our services and education presence across the island of Ireland.
Success across Ireland
In the past 12 months, we have successfully established new industry relationships and achieved growth across the school, ETB and higher education markets. We have also grown in size, extending our staff numbers and skillset, with field engineer and office-based staff. We have also extended our locations, with an office in Enniscorthy and an expansion of our Dublin city centre office.
2018 has been a successful year for Capita’s growth in the Irish education market, particularly with the Education and Training Boards (ETBs). We are now working as an IT partner to three ETBs – Galway and Roscommon, Tipperary and Kilkenny and Carlow. Backed by our success and expertise delivering area-wide IT services to the education sector in Northern Ireland and the UK, we can now offer ETBs IT solutions to support consolidation of their IT infrastructure, flexible IT support and expertise in education technology, helping them to achieve their digital transformation strategy and enable their IT teams to focus on education delivery.
For Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board we are providing 50 sites with IT managed services, including everything from support and maintenance for their core ICT infrastructure from servers, to switches and network and hardware devices. We are also working with Tipperary and Kilkenny and Carlow ETBs, delivering a flexible IT support service, including field engineers and remote resolution as and when required, helping them to focus on the education needs of their schools, colleges and learning centres.
Innovation in further and higher education
Along with our success in the ETB market, we continue to work with Further Education colleges and Universities throughout Ireland, delivering enterprise level IT solutions to overcome the challenges they face. As student demands for access to the latest technology increases, this impacts on the back-end IT infrastructure. This is where we are seeing success in this market, delivering solutions to ensure the IT infrastructure is robust to manage rising student numbers and devices.
Strength in partnerships
Capita works strategically with the globe’s leading education technology partners. For us, it’s crucial to deliver the most innovative education technology solutions to support our customers in achieving their ICT objectives. It is these strategic technology partnerships that offer all the educational and enterprise benefits that students have come to expect, and ensures we deliver the most innovative and emerging technologies to the Irish education market. We recently celebrated a long and established partnership with Dell, when we were recognised as Dell Client Solutions Partner of the year for Ireland. This award recognises the success we have achieved over the past 12 months with customers in Ireland. We also continue to work with leading cloud partners Microsoft and Google and have introduced a number of new partners to the Irish education market that brings innovative learning solutions to schools.
An eye on the future
Technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, our education and technical experts consistently have an eye on new and emerging technologies. We see a number of these which will make a difference to the teaching and learning environment and through our partnerships we ensure the Irish education market has access to these technologies. Virtual Reality, Microsoft Surface Go, robotics and immersive technologies are all at the fore-front of our minds.
For education organisations throughout Ireland, partnering with Capita means we are much more than an IT delivery engine. We continually work with our education customers to forecast and design new innovative solutions that adapt with their needs, always making the best use of emerging technology to support the achievement of collaboration among students, the delivery of new learning approaches and secure IT environments. With solutions and services built solely for the education IT sector and absolute dedication to partnering with our customers, Capita’s growth in Ireland’s education arenas is destined to soar.
Capita is a leading IT Services organisation delivering cloud, end-to-end IT Solutions, and IT Managed Services to the Education sector from primary schools to higher education establishments.