United States

School district increases functionality with Microsoft implementation

CASE STUDY

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Overview
The North Kansas City School District serves more than 18,500 K-12 students in 32 educational sites throughout southern Clay County, Mo. The district is known for innovation and excellence, preparing students to be successful in a changing world. The National School Boards Association has named the school district a leader in educational technology on two occasions, and the district has also received the Consortium for School Networking National Technology TEAM Award.

Background
The school district was operating with a Novell platform, and realized that they needed to implement Microsoft solutions that were compatible with new software and applications. They sought a partner that could implement the new framework and continue as an advisor for future technology investments. The RSM team presented an implementation plan to assist with the transformation of their entire computing environment from Novell to Microsoft, developing a comprehensive road map that detailed the technology conversion.

Project
The school district selected RSM to become their partner, unseating a long-term technology provider because of the capability to truly understand the needs of the client, creating a beneficial partnership for both the client and the firm. The team initiated a technology assessment to evaluate the current environment and what improvements could be made. Following the assessment, RSM began transitioning the school district from Novell to the Microsoft framework.

The team migrated over 90 physical servers to a virtual environment. In this process, all of the district’s data was moved from the Novell framework to Microsoft. Microsoft Exchange® was implemented to replace Novell GroupWise®, resulting in a higher level of functionality and collaboration capabilities and greater user satisfaction.

In addition to the implementation of the new framework, RSM trained school district employees to use the new platform effectively and utilize new capabilities. The relationship between RSM and the North Kansas City School District is ongoing, as desktops will be reimaged at the conclusion of the current school year. The team also serves as advisors to the school district, holding monthly meetings to ensure progress and address emerging technology concerns.

The most beneficial facet of the engagement for the school district is the close partnership with RSM. The school district was struggling to develop and implement a technology plan that logically accounted for the multitude of daily challenges. But a plan is now in place with the help of RSM, who keeps projects on track and understands technology issues inherent to education and brings solutions to the forefront. As their advisor, RSM consults with them on potential technology investments to ensure that they fit into the school district’s network and new infrastructure.

In the end, RSM’s ability to listen to the school district and understand their unique needs helped to develop a partnership that has been invaluable to the district and students alike.

Outcomes
The project has helped the North Kansas City School District continue to be one of the most technologically advanced districts in the region. With the help of RSM, they have experienced several benefits to help current and future students excel, such as:

  • Implementing a framework that is compatible with state-of-the-art teaching tools
  • Developing a partnership that helps proactively diagnose and alleviate technology concerns
  • Establishing a technology plan to detail current and future investments

They said it
“It is nice to finally find the right technology partner for our school district. RSM understands our unique needs and the daily challenges that we face and implemented solutions that have directly resulted in a better learning environment for our students.”
—Dr. Todd White, Superintendent, North Kansas City School District