NEW Service Update – ‘Soft One Time Passwords’ (OTP)

The latest service enhancement for LGfL / TRUSTnet schools is the addition of ‘Soft OTP’ functionality for USO users who wish for all the added-security afforded by second factor authentication, but do not wish to have to carry around a physical OTP tag. Soft OTP is now freely available for any member of staff in LGfL / TRUSTnet schools.

Why Second Factor Authentication?

The use of OTP protection for services and resources provides an additional layer of security, and reflects the importance of good data handling and security practices. By enforcing OTP authentication, users gain increased awareness of the sensitivity of certain information they handle, and the responsibility they have for keeping that information safe.

What is Soft OTP?

This new service enhancement allows users to obtain a one-time password via an app on their smartphone, instead of using a small key-sized device. Many authentication apps, including those of Google, Microsoft and Apple are supported and, where free to download from the Apple Store or Google Play Store, mean there is no cost implication for users in LGfL / TRUSTnet schools. The passcode will last for 30 seconds before being updated and replaced with another. A further update, coming in the next release, will see this functionality included in the ParentComms:Mobile app.

What about my OTP Tag?

If you’d prefer to keep using your current OTP device this is, and will continue to be an option. The tags are still available and come with a 12 month warranty, lifetime support and are maintenance free. The physical tags are still available for purchase from the Atomwide Shop.

How to get set up?

If you’d like to get started using Soft OTP please visit the support site, and read the new user guide detailing the set up process. If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Best wishes

The Team at Atomwide

Is Lack of Space a Problem?

OfficePOD can help create the space you need…

OfficePOD specialises in creating space where, at first glance, there seems to be none left. They can create innovative spaces in the nooks and crannies of your school site, providing havens for teaching, meeting, studying and collaborating, or just for relaxation and contemplation.

The PODs are easily installed over a weekend, offering you the freedom to create space at any time of year.

Quick, flexible, attractive and effective, OfficePOD products can provide timely solutions to immediate problems and allow you to function properly again.

The space available within the POD provides an area that feels comfortable and safe and so creates an atmosphere that’s conducive to both learning and self-expression.” Gaynor Sbuttoni, Educational Psychologist.

“We no longer have to endlessly shuffle the time-table around. Our pupils and staff find it a fun, peaceful space in which to learn and work.” Sarah Gillam, Head Teacher.

Your POD is fully customisable, and we can work with you to ensure integrated AV solutions to enhance the usability of the space.

To discuss your requirements in more detail please see our website and get in touch.

Best wishes,

The Team at Atomwide

01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com | www.atomwide.com

LGfL StaffMail is 10 Years Old

Upon creation of its first administrator account in March 2008, LGfL StaffMail was born, and so this month celebrates its 10th birthday. For a decade, StaffMail has provided schools with a secure, resilient, cloud-hosted email service that’s packed full of special, designed-for-schools features and benefits, earning its place as a leading email platform for schools not just in the capital, but across the country.

Developed and supported by Atomwide for London Grid for Learning (LGfL), StaffMail was commissioned to provide LGfL schools with the full functionality of Exchange without the hassle of having to maintain Exchange servers themselves – an early step into a cloud-hosting environment that is all the rage today.

In its 10 years LGfL StaffMail has evolved to include more features – personal and shared calendars and address books, MailProtect email filtering, Report As Spam, increased mailbox allowance of up to 30GB, Mail Archive and more.

LGfL StaffMail currently has about 220,000 mailboxes which contain about 200TB of data with a further 120TB of archive data. On average about 1.5 million emails per day are sent / received. Over the last decade, StaffMail users have sent / received an estimated 3 billion emails.

We are proud that LGfL StaffMail continues to grow, and that after 10 years it continues to offer a personalised, feature-rich and supported email service to fulfil the needs of its users.

If you have any questions about LGfL StaffMail or any of our email services please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Best wishes,

The Team at Atomwide

01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com | www.atomwide.com

 

Atomwide on the KCS Telephony & Associated Systems Framework as part of The AdEPT Group

We are delighted, as part of the AdEPT Group, to have been awarded a position on the KCS Telephony Framework. This framework covers the provision of telephony systems and associated services, both cloud and on-premise options. It includes but is not limited to, IP/VoIP telephone systems, call packages, connectivity & numbering.

The framework is operated on a national basis and is open to schools, academies, and local authorities as well as other public sector organisations. The framework is fully OJEU compliant and free to use.

Our designed-for-schools telephony service is jam-packed with added features and benefits to give schools everything they need from a telephone system tailored for their budget:

  • No line rental
  • FREE call-recording
  • FREE calls across connected schools / MATS
  • Typically low call charges
  • Premium-rate call blocking
  • Per-second billing
  • Included support agreement
  • Online contact directory
  • Click-to-dial
  • Real-time call log tracking and billing info
  • 999 alerts
  • Public announcements system

AdEPT’s award of a place on the framework means that schools are able to bypass lengthy tendering processes saving themselves time and money as KCS have already done all the hard work. We have been assessed on our financial stability, track record and professional ability before being awarded.

For more information on our VoIP service please see our website or to discuss your requirements more or request a quote please get in touch.

http://www.atomwide.com/voip/default.htm

Best wishes,

The Team at Atomwide

Secure Data Transfer in myUSO to Support your Preparation for GDPR

As the deadline for GDPR compliance approaches, we wanted to remind supported schools of a handy tool we’ve developed in partnership with LGfL that provides a secure and traceable way to transfer data between authorised users and is already included as part of your LGfL / TRUSTnet connection.

USO-FX2 offers staff members the ability to share sensitive data with others within the school or LA as well as with relevant third parties or users both within and outside the USO system. Users have the option to distribute to both individuals and/or customisable groups.

Files are uploaded to a secure server and can be accessed by their intended recipients via a valid username and password, along with second factor authentication (via text message or OTP tag) where required. All actions come with a visible audit trail so that recipients get email alerts when files are available and the person sharing the file knows who has downloaded their file and when.

The file store is backed up on a nightly basis to protect against disaster or other incurred loss of current documents.

In terms of data protection compliance, the use of USO-FX2 helps to demonstrate a school’s commitment to the correct handling of personal or sensitive information.

USO-FX2 is just one example of a host of available resources for schools within myUSO including myDrive secure cloud storage, the myHomework online homework platform, the myLinks digital launchpad and more.

If you would like more information on USO-FX2, myUSO or any of its cloud-based school resources please get in touch.

Best wishes,

The Team at Atomwide

01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com | www.atomwide.com

OpenCheck

Let everyone know when school is closed.

Perhaps most helpful in times of poor weather, OpenCheck is a free service for all UK schools that allows them to quickly and easily let parents, pupils and staff know if school has had to close in the event of an emergency or unexpected circumstance.

The morning after a night of heavy snowfall, for example, might result in a flock of calls to the school office (which may not be staffed) or a flurry of hits to the school website, which may not be able to handle the sudden, increased traffic.

With OpenCheck these are not problems.

Via the OpenCheck website, nominated contacts from a school can update the school’s status from a list of templates, or create their own. For example:

‘The school has had to close due to icy weather conditions. Please look out for further updates’

Authorised staff can update this status without having to be in school, at the OpenCheck website or with their smartphone using the free ParentComms: Mobile app.

The school’s OpenCheck status is then published in three ways:

  1. As an automated phone answer message that can be listened to by calling the OpenCheck number – 020 8408 7508, and entering your school’s 7 digit DfE code (available here).
  1. On the OpenCheck website and/or as an update to an RSS feed on your website.
  1. As a free push notification to the smartphones of those who have downloaded the ParentComms: Mobile app and registered for OpenCheck updates from school.

Authorised staff using Unified Sign On (USO) can log in at opencheck.atomwide.com and start using OpenCheck right away. If you are a member of staff at a school not using USO, simply follow the instructions here on how to get set up.

Best wishes,

The Team at Atomwide

7 Hints to Help with Census Day Returns

As Census Day approaches we thought we’d take a moment to highlight some points that we hope will help expedite and ease the process of making your return. Of course the main thing to do is be organised and in the likelihood that you’ve done it all before you won’t need to read this anyway. If filling in your school’s Census Return is new for you, or if you think it could be easier we do offer SIMS Training Courses on a variety of subjects including this – information on each can be found here. We hope you find the below useful.

  1. Census day is Thursday 18th January , the deadline for Academies is Wednesday 14th February, maintained schools will be informed by their local authority of their deadline date
  2. Ensure you have access to guidance for SIMS to remind and walk you through the process. The DfE Census Guidance is also a great resource for details specifications https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-census-2017-to-2018-guide-for-schools-and-las.
  3. Check that your DfE Secure Access Account is active by logging into their site beforehand https://sa.education.gov.uk.
  4. Before Census day carry out a ‘dry run’ in SIMS to give you a heads up on any potential data items that need addressing beforehand.
  5. Ensure you have checked which pupils/students are eligible for Top-Up Funding.
  6. Find out if any of your pupils/students have Post Looked After Arrangements.
  7. Update all Free School Meal eligibility dates.

Good luck! Should you require any support we offer a dedicated, great value and comprehensive SIMS Support package would be happy to discuss your requirements and provide a quote. Just let us know.

01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com | www.atomwide.com/sims

The Bett Show 2018

We will be exhibiting this year at The Bett Show, 2018 at Excel, London from 24th – 17th January. We are sharing Stand D260 with our partners at London Grid for Learning (LGfL) and Netsweeper. Staff from each organisation will be on-hand throughout the show to discuss the the very many services we each provide that help keep children safe online and help schools save money.

Members of the Atomwide Team will be available to demonstrate our industry-leading tech services that are now in use in over 3,000 schools nationwide.

Web filtering – Email – Email filtering – Sophos Antivirus – VoIP Telephony – Managed Wireless – CCTV & ANPR – Audio Visual – Online Cashless Payments – ICT Support – SIMS Support – TRUSTnet Broadband and more…

We will also be demonstrating the latest in Promethean ActivPanels and InVentry Visitor Sign-In solutions.

For the full range of Atomwide products and services please click here.

If you’d like to speak to a member of the team about any of the above please let us know so we can ensure the best time during the show for you to visit and have a chat. Our stand does get very busy!

To book an appointment please email events@atomwide.com and let us know which service you’d like to discuss and we’ll get right back to you with a range of times to choose from.

To register to attend The Bett Show please click here.

New, free training courses are now available

New training courses are now available for nominated contacts from both LGfL / TRUSTnet connected schools to attend. The courses cover a wide range of the services included in the LGfL / TRUSTnet bundle and are available for both technical and non-technical staff alike to help ensure you are getting the best from your service.

Training Courses are now available to book via myUSO, not the support site as has been the case in the past.

If you are not already using myUSO in school why not consider attending the myUSO training course? Free for all staff (not just for Nominated Contacts) the myUSO course will help ensure you are using the myUSO range of cloud-based services and resources such as online storage, file sharing, secure file exchange and online homework apps to the fullest.

The training is hosted at Atomwide’s offices in Orpington, is free to attend, and also includes a complimentary lunch!

Please see below a list of the available dates for the Winter.

6th February 2018 – USO Basics for Nominated Contacts

7th February 2018 – How to use myUSO

21st February 2018 – Web filtering using WebScreen2.0 for Nominated Contacts

For further information on any of the courses or to reserve a place please click the link below.

https://my.uso.im/training/booktrainingnc.aspx

Many thanks,

The Training Team at Atomwide

Christmas

To all our customers, partners, suppliers and everyone who has helped make this such a great year. We wish you a joyous and restful break and look forward to getting back to work with you in the New Year.

Our offices are open throughout the holiday apart from weekends and bank holidays should you require any assistance.

Please note we will be open from 8am to 4pm on Wednesday 27th, Thursday 28th and Friday 29th December.

We will reopen from 8am – 6pm on Tuesday 2nd January.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

from all of us at Atomwide

 

 

NASBM transitions to Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL)

The Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) has been unveiled – with a pledge to provide a voice to all school business professionals. The new Institute will succeed the National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) and has a more formal role as a representative body for the school business profession.

Since NASBM’s plans to become an institute were announced, the sector has been consulted on what should be the priorities of the new organisation and a clear mandate has emerged. School business professionals feel the priority for ISBL is to ensure they have greater professional status and credibility.

Speaking ahead of the official launch of ISBL, its chief executive Stephen Morales commented:

“School business professionals have rightly called for greater professional status, recognition and credibility.  This was clear in the feedback that we received since announcing the transition of NASBM to ISBL and, therefore, ensuring practitioners enjoy the status they deserve will be central to our role as an institute.

“The community of school business professionals is a critical yet diverse part of the education workforce. Some roles are well established, some are emerging, and some will undoubtedly experience significant change as the education system evolves.

“It is important, therefore, that we reach out to, and remain relevant to, all those operating as school business professionals, irrespective of existing or legacy job titles, role iterations, years of experience or indeed the context in which they operate. Inclusivity is central to our strategy and we will seek to provide development pathways both for those new to the profession as well as more senior education executives.”

School standards minister, Nick Gibb, added: “School business professionals have an important role in helping schools deploy their resources efficiently to ensure a maximum focus on delivering high quality education and a rigorous curriculum for their pupils. I welcome the work of the Institute of School Business Leadership to raise the status of business professionals in our schools, helping them deliver ever improving educational outcomes for young people.”

The consultation also found that more than 90% of school business professionals felt their roles were increasingly complex with greater levels of responsibility and accountability. Worryingly, despite this, only half felt that the senior leadership team (SLT) viewed their role as being essential within the school.

Stephen Morales concluded by commenting on the future focus of the institute and all those within it:

“This is perhaps the most significant period in the history of school business management; our move to institute status comes at a time when the role of the school business professional has become critical to the survival and sustainability of all state-funded schools.

“It will be important for us to take responsibility for our own knowledge creation and innovation and we’ll be encouraging practitioners to contribute to and share sector-led research as we build a repository of case studies, practice excellence and thought leadership content.”

ISBL officially launched on Monday November 20, 2017, following the final NASBM Annual Conference (November 16-17).

Atomwide are delighted to remain an Approved Partner of the ISBL supporting them in their efforts to improve educational outcomes for young people whilst providing great value, proven and designed-for-education IT services into UK schools.

For more information about the ISBL please click here.

Exclusive new offer on Hitachi Interactive Flat Panels

All your AV Needs Under One Roof

We’re proud to work with all the leading AV brands so we know that there’s a lot of choice out there. As part of our on-going to commitment to pass on as many savings to schools as we can, and to ensure they are equipped with the best tech, we are very happy to be able to offer this exclusive opportunity on state-of-the-art Hitachi touch screens.

We can now offer brand new 65″ Hitachi touch screens with 6-8 point touch and anti-glare glass along with the following great savings:

  • 5 years warranty
  • Free standard flat wall mount bracket
  • Full installation with 2 meter input plate (HDMI/VGA/USB/Audio)
  • 5 years installation warranty and help-desk support

All this for just £1,515+VAT per screen. Click here to enquire.

To qualify for the offer you must order at least 5 screens, and the order must be placed before Thursday 30th November 2017. Offer subject to site survey.

For all orders placed on this offer before the expiration date, your school will also be entered into a free prize draw to win a Yuneec Breeze Drone worth £350!!

If you’re interested in this opportunity, or would like to speak about your school’s specific AV requirements please get in touch. For all the info see our website or download our brochure.

Best wishes

The Team at Atomwide

We are officially ISO 27001 Certified

Following an audit by UKAS Accredited Auditors, the British Assessment Bureau, Atomwide have been awarded official ISO27001 accreditation.

ISO 27001: Why do we need it?

Cybercrime has become headline news. Stories about data breaches that compromise global names multiply (think most recently with the NHS), and the Government is planning to tackle the issue by investing £1.9bn into cyber security. It may feel as though this is a new issue, but in truth Information Security has always been a risk. The change is that the threat has become ever more real:

– 8m people were victims of online fraud across England and Wales in 2015

– 44% of consumers worry about how their personal data is handled

– 60% of small businesses are victims of a cyber breach

– Cyber crime costs UK businesses £34bn a year

Risks will only intensify as organisations focus more investment in the digital world. More than ever, not only do organisations need to protect themselves, they must also ensure they protect the trust of their customers. With ISO 27001 accreditation we can now demonstrate that we actively do both.

ISO 27001: What is it?

ISO 27001 is the standard created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) which deals with Information Security Management. It’s a way of making sure that you’re managing information security risks effectively. ISO 27001 isn’t new. It can be traced back to the British Standard 7799, published in 1995. Originally written by the DTI, after several revisions ISO turned it into an internationally recognised standard.

The aim of the ISO 27001 standard is to help companies to establish and maintain an effective Information Security Management System (ISMS), using a continual improvement approach. The organisation will systematically examine any risks to information security and put in place policies & procedures to manage those risks. The intention is that an organisation should design, implement, maintain and continually improve a set of controls and measures to manage any threats to its information assets.

ISO 27001 is an ideal approach to deal with Information Security because its requirements cover a crucial element – management buy-in. ISO 27001 expects organisations to demonstrate that they link overall business objectives to security priorities. Moreover, the standard recognises the importance of communication; everyone in the organisation needs to understand their role in preventing Information Security threats and communication needs to be in a common language.

Information Security is not just the IT team’s responsibility, which is why ISO 27001 recognises the approach has to be led by the Board Room in order to develop a security-conscious culture.

In reality, most data breaches are nothing to do with new technology or advanced viruses, and everything to do with a lack of policy and education. Looking at data for UK companies:

– 60% of security events are the result of an inside attack

– 39% of IT staff can get unauthorised access to sensitive information

– 11% could take sensitive information with them if laid off tomorrow

– 42% of confidential data loss is through staff

ISO 27001: What are the benefits?

While news stories about data breaches focus on the world’s biggest companies, all organisations are equally vulnerable. Atomwide customers can remain reassured that when it comes to handling their data Atomwide are officially accredited as being up to the task. ISO 27001 is the gold standard accreditation in data management and demonstrates that we take security threats to our customer’s data seriously.

For more information or to discuss in more detail please get in touch.

Many thanks

The Team at Atomwide

www.atomwide.com | 01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com

 

Excellent news in helping with your school’s purchasing

We are delighted to have been awarded a Technology Services 2 Framework agreement by the Crown Commercial Service, the procurement arm of central government.

The agreement covers a broad range of services and Atomwide were successful in being awarded to supply in all lots including:

Lot 1 – Technology Strategy & Services Design

Lot 2 – Transition and Transformation

Lot 3 – Operational Services

a) End User Services

b) Operational Management Services

c) Technical Management

d) Application and Data Management

Lot 4 a) – Programmes and Large Projects

More information about the new Technology Services 2 Framework can be found here – http://ccs-agreements.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/contracts/rm3804

What does this mean for our customers?

The great news for both existing and potential customers is that they can now choose to ‘direct award’ for Atomwide services without having to go out and get further quotes saving time and procurement costs. The reward also demonstrates and recognises the value for money afforded by Atomwide services to their users.

To find out more about our services, now available on the Crown Commercial Service Technology Services 2 Framework, please visit our website or speak to a member of the team.

Many thanks

The Team at Atomwide

www.atomwide.com | 01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com