Atomwide has altered the way in which USO-OTP tags are sold to reduce administration costs for schools and LAs. The old method of purchasing tags outright and support separately on an annual basis has now been replaced by a fixed price per tag that includes one year’s warranty and lifetime support. The majority of tags last over 3 years and if any tags outside the year’s warranty develop a fault they will need to be replaced at the current list price.
The new pricing for USO-OTP tags is as follows:
With the majority of tags lasting over 3 years, the new pricing structure not only represents a saving in administration time with schools and LAs not having to deal with a support renewal each year but also, over a 3 year period, a cost saving of between £14.50 and £2.50 per tag depending on the quantity purchased.
Existing tags will remain renewable until such a time as they either naturally expire, or Atomwide offers a “support buy-out” option at the next support renewal date.
As a reminder, USO-OTP tags can currently be used to provide second factor authentication to a number of services such as the RAv3 Remote Access Service, Nominated Contact access to the Support Site, Head Teacher usage for Nominated Contact online sign-up and school USO-AutoUpdate activations, etc.
For further information regarding USO-OTP please see the Atomwide USO-OTP Service Flyer or the LGfL USO-OTP Service Flyer.
In response to the need for external contractors to provide ICT support to some schools in the capacity of a Nominated Contact, a new process to facilitate the provisioning of such USO accounts has been established. It is now possible for a Head teacher to sign off a form requesting that the manager of the external support company be given the ability to grant other employees of that company the status of Nominated Contact for that school.
To obtain the form required to initiate this process, an existing Nominated Contact in the school will need to log in to the USO support site and download the form found under Resources > Forms. The form signed by the Head and the manager of the ICT support company will then need to be scanned and attached to a support case raised by an existing Nominated Contact at the school.
Once the manager of the external support company obtains the Head’s permission and the forms are processed, they will be able to request that the company’s employees be granted Nominated Contact status by raising a support case via the USO Support Site. No further intervention from the Head teacher will be required.
A maximum of 15 Nominated Contacts per school may be created in this way. Each employee of the support company applying for Nominated Contact status will also be required to obtain an OTP tag and register it to their personal USO account. These tags may be purchased from Atomwide.
When employees of the support companies leave their current employment, it is expected that their USO account and Nominated Contact status be terminated by the company within 24 hours. When a Head teacher who signed the initial release form leaves their post at that school, the school must notify Atomwide of the change, either by providing the name of the new Head or explaining the circumstances if no new Head is in place. The usage of any account to access LGfL USO Support Services and/or to access school or user-related data, and the conduct of each individual account holder in their usage of those accounts, remains the sole responsibility of the contracting company’s manager that has accepted this administrative role. This responsibility is discharged for the individual account once the account has been disabled.
In order to ensure that general user account data is maintained up-to-date, schools must adhere to the LGfL mandatory requirement of operating nightly exports from any supported MIS using LGfL USO-AutoUpdate. This service is currently available for schools using Capita SIMS, Pearson e1, RM G2/S2, Wauton Samuel, and Serco CMIS platforms.
This process is intended to allow external support companies to employ different individuals to assist a given school, as circumstances require, while continuing to safeguard that school’s data and allow for accurate auditing of activity taking place within the USO support site.
External support companies that are new to working with USO are welcome to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
A new bit of long-awaited functionality is now available! Head Teachers who have registered OTP tags now have the ability to create new Nominated Contacts within their schools via the support site.
There will no longer be any need to collect signatures and fax forms to the service desk, thus eliminating delays and excess paperwork. A Head will need to use the Nominated Contact management page found under User Accounts to grant Contact status to a staff member (with or without a request being made by that staff member). The Head will need to enter their OTP code each time an action needs to be performed even after having logged in to the support site to ensure security is always strictly maintained.
Staff members will also be able to access this page in the support site but only to submit a request to become a Nominated Contact and to see who the other Contacts are.
A maximum quota of Nominated Contacts allowed per school will be enforced under this system. The quota will be determined by the LAs who will need to let Atomwide know of their requirements. It is possible to have different quotas for primary, secondary schools, etc.
As already stated, although the page will be visible to all, the functionality will ONLY be available to those schools whose Heads have a registered OTP tag.
For full details on using the Nominated Contacts management page please see the relevant page of our user guide.
An increasing number of LAs are buying OTP tags for Head Teachers and Nominated Contacts and recommending making second-factor authentication a requirement for users who can access sensitive data. As a result, we are now offering a choice of two new OTP tags in addition to the existing ones.
One option is a new look tag which is similar to the current ones but offers a better-defined button and a plastic-protected serial number on the back that can’t be rubbed off. These come in the standard synchronous and a time-based version. The synchronous tag works in the same way as the existing tags. Time-based ones produce a new code every 60 seconds and have the advantage of not being able to get out of sync.
The other version of the tag also provides a time-based authentication code and also has a much larger and clearer display which should help anyone who has trouble reading the numbers on the tags currently in use. This one is also unable to become out of sync.
Both time-based authentication tags cost £2 more than the current (synchronous) OTP per unit with no change in the price of support. Availability is generally 6-8 weeks from the time an order is placed. For more information contact email@example.com