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Telephone:-      01981 540006
Mobile:-           0797 417 2745
email:-    sales@di-graf.co.uk

Client roles and projects

AdSum4 Ltd

At the end of July 2015, we ceased our Directorship responsibilites at AdSum4. This business start-up was commenced in October 2006, by creating a company to provide schools office money management solutions software for Dinners, Trips, Break, Wrap (around care), Extra (curricular activities) and AdSum4-iPay enabling the opportunity for schools to receive online payments. The business was developed from the simple concept of interactively utilising schools attendance data to improve the administration of income into the schools office (initially for Serco Facility CMIS, but now for all schools MIS's including Capita SIMs, Pearson Phoenix, RM Integris, Wauton Samuel, Scholarpack etc.). Clients for the software suite included Birmingham, Manchester, Sandwell, Thurrock, Bradford and Yorkshire, with interest continually growing throughout the UK via recommendations from hundreds of delighted users........after almost 9 years of dedicated effort and sound business practices, we handed over a completely viable and succesful business, with a legacy and reputation for delivering outstanding service levels. At a personal level, this now gives me the opportunity to spend more time with my wife and family, and our 7 delightful grandchildren.

Birmingham City Council

As an Approved Supplier to Birmingham City Council, we have been pleased to deliver significantly sized projects to the largest UK Local Authority since 1997. Many repeat orders and recommendations have been received from these projects. We believe that this partnership with the City Council acknowledges our high standards and our continuous commitment to delivery of quality services; the following areas have benefitted from our services:-

Consultancy - Review of Business Transformation needs; Education Service; Schools Effectiveness Division (SED);
This project's scope concentrated on reviewing the existing facilities available to the SED (formerly BASS; Birmingham Advisory and Support Services) for Administrative and ICT support, and investigated and recommended opportunities for improving the effectiveness of service delivery through the better use of ICT to ensure improved communication and turnaround of assistance and recommendations between the schools advisors and the schools and authorities to which they offer support. Additional training linked to salary increments, phased investment, standardisation, office locations and “drop-in” centres, offering secure but flexible network access were all considered in developing planned improvement over the next 3 years, and into the 21st century.

Project Management - Support to the Curriculum eDevelopment Team; Education IT (EdIT)
The role concentrated on offering consultation, training and support to the eDevelopment team in interpreting their responsibilities into meaningful project plans, and to document the plans and processes required towards timely delivery. Additionally, project management reporting facilities for the team to the eDevelopment Manager, for subsequent utilisation as a justification and change control procedure to EdIT SMT were required towards obtaining funding and approval, and offering subsequent improved managerial and financial control of projects.

BGfLpluseComms - Project Reclamation Management; Education IT (EdIT) and BGfLplus
This was a project reclamation process to address considerable slippage in delivery with an associated redefinition of roles and responsibilities in the implementation of effective eCommunications within the Education Department, Schools and Services for Birmingham City Council. The project was required to achieve the Chief Education Officers targets for the removal of paper communication to reduce the bureaucratic burden on both schools & the LEA to meet corporate and legislative requirements for eCommunications by September 2003. The identified benefits included for effective eCommunications with LEA customers to ensure that all targeted communication of information between the LEA & schools be sent electronically, in a timely fashion, providing version control of documentation and an accessible and searchable database of historical and current published documents. Protocols and procedures were also to be introduced to ensure standardisation of quality communications with service users, resulting in the freeing up of disk and network capacity by removing the need for several individuals to store the same copy of a document. As an integral part of this process, it was decided to enhance the current Birmingham Grid for Learning (BGfL) intranet with an enhanced product (BGfLplus, with the further requirement that all enhancements seamlessly integrated with the current corporate and LEA use of Lotus Notes and the Birmingham Intranet (InLine). Our involvement was commenced in October 2002 when it was found that the project was running some 10 weeks behind target with considerable confusion around priorities and action requirements for the individuals involved. Our specified brief was met in April 2003, with the project being back on course to meet the legislative requirement of delivery before September 2003, with prospects looking very much more likely to meet the Departments optimal installation targets.

Electronic Monitoring of Domiciliary Care - Feasibility Study; Social Services Department (ISS)
This investigation and report was commissioned to identify the key issues with regard to collecting Point of Service data from the 2100 Home Care Assistants (HCA’s) delivering services to over 9000 of Birmingham’s citizens. The options available to Social Services were identified, indicating the most appropriate and preferred method(s) of collecting data and included for the provision of internal and external suppliers purchased by the Department. The study identified the electronic methods available, the scale of the data collection process; the implications and influences for all areas of the Department, and included the potential savings and quality improvements achievable as a direct consequence of introducing an electronic monitoring (EM) system. Throughout the study account was taken for the analyses and reports required to be generated from the data; and links to other Departmental systems and City wide applications; Human Resources, Payroll, General Ledger, and Purchase Ordering and Payments, together with the consideration required for interfacing to the principal Social Services system; CareFirst ®. The study identified the actions, strategies and methods required by the Department in order to ensure Best Value in the monitoring and enforcement of any contracts for Home Support, whether provided internally or externally, either purchased outright or bought-in as a managed service. The resulting data provided cost & budgetary control performance indicators to effect improvement in the delivery of the HomeCare service, and would assist in the collection of data for statutory performance indicators to better inform the Best Value review process.

Pre Network Liaison Survey - Project Management; Social Services Department (ISS)
An essential project to the strategy of the Social Services Department across 11 area offices involving over 1000 professional and administrative staff who were being introduced to the replacement of a mainframe core records system by a Windows/NT client server application. The work included taking on the role of project co-ordinator to interactively enable solutions of the problems to be overcome in the replacement, upgrade and cascade of equipment at the desktop. Detailed worksheets were provided to enable effective actions of follow-on network installation squads to roll-out the replacement and movement of equipment with their minimum attendance. Issues taken on board included for provision of additional power and network outlets, office layout improvements and in particular to attendance at meetings with Social Workers professional groups to field and respond to their concerns and queries in the strategic implementation of both the OLM “CareFirst” application system, and Lotus Notes for this major department of the City of Birmingham, and to determine the training requirements of each of the staff affected. Over 200 hardware items of equipment were affected by the project, the initial delivery of which proved so successful that a revised target 7 weeks ahead of earlier planning was adopted, and the completed project was delivered to this revised tighter timescale ahead of original plans but within the original budget.

Project Management for Y2K compliance programme; Education IT (EdIT)
The determination, development and continuous tracking of a project plan to establish the process of ensuring that all desktop, laptop, server and active network equipment met the standards required for Y2K compliance across the Authority. Over 5000 PCs and servers were tested for hardware, O/S and application compliance. Additionally, the project plan included for establishment of an asset management procedure and regular network data capture process to enable enhanced service levels to the LEA through more effective control of IT support and resource.

Implementation Management for EdIT "SuperProject"
This project was critical to the Education Department in providing the client workstations, servers, and skills to facilitate access to the improved network infrastructure being applied across the Authority to utilise Microsoft Office 97 and Lotus Notes, Mail and Calendar, and to assist with officer access to the Birmingham Grid for Learning (BGfL) as a part of national initiatives. Responsible for the development of the project plan, and continually tracking, co-ordinating & "stage managing" the efforts, skills and resources from the existing Education IT (EdIT) personnel and all involved parties into building an effective partnership between suppliers, customers and users to establish an enhanced ICT common platform across the Department. On completion, on time and within budget, EdIT had the largest departmental Notes integrated network in the City Council (1000+ users) and continue to pioneer the benefits to be gained from a revitalised ICT Strategy. 

Implementation Management for the University of the First Age (UFA)
The UFA required upgrades and LAN integration to the corporate WAN. The UFA offices had recently undergone relocation and they were concerned that they would be isolated from their colleagues and corporate systems. At short notice, Di-Graf ICT Services Ltd offered on site surveys, financial advice and upgrade recommendations and support, to ensure that the unit kept pace with the current standards of ICT facilities on offer. The UFA was a unique experiment in learning and focused at Key Stage 3 students. The underlying principles behind the initial setting up of this venture, and a link to the UFA's own presence can be seen by clicking here.

Becta (& the DfE which was then the DCSF)

LA Implementation Consultant - Infrastructure Services
The earlier role with Becta highlighted the need for a consultative process to be made available to support Local Authorities (LA's) wishing to implement infrastructure solutions to their educational establishments. This 15 month contract utilised an initial team of 3 consultants to cover the whole of the UK, concentrating in particular on the London Boroughs and the London Grid for Learning (LGfL) as a pilot area. These pioneering roles provided advice and support to LA's by raising the awareness of the Strategic Technologies Programme, promoting use of supporting tools such as the Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS) and the Self Review Framework, and generally building and maintaining strong links with contacts in LA's and the procurement framework suppliers who had been successful in the earlier procurement project. Simultaneously the role involved support for the personnel within Becta and the DfES (now the Department for Education) in ensuring that programmes of work were aligned to deliver strategic direction, requiring a broad understanding of related issues in schools for LA ICT related issues, with an awareness of the local impact of the introduction of change towards improvement. In summary, the role primarily involved encouraging the adoption of the previously established Becta/OJEU approved frameworks for procurement and assisting LA's and schools through the process. The original 3 individuals trained and mentored an eventual team of over 25 individuals who became the Stakeholder Engagement and Implementations team.

Project Manager - Infrastructure Services - Becta (British Educational Communications and Technology Agency)
Becta is the Government's lead partner in the strategic development and delivery of its e-strategy for the schools and the learning and skills sectors and provides strategic leadership in the innovative and effective use of ICT to enable the transformation of learning, teaching and educational organisations for the benefit of every learner and is funded directly by the Department for Education & Skills - DfES. This full time 3 month contract provided Project Management to Prince2 standards towards an EU-compliant (OJEU with Gateway Reviews) procurement of the Infrastructure strand of a Managed Service framework to provide Local Authorities and other educational institutions with the opportunity to purchase high quality ICT support to best suit local needs and circumstances. Becta is leading the work to ensure that institutions have access to a reliable, coherent, affordable and sustainable ICT infrastructure providing a wide range of choice and access connectivity. Purchasing through Becta's framework will ensure that the UK's 23,000 plus institutions can buy in confidence knowing they are purchasing services which conform to Becta's Technical and Functional standards, delivering quality services which are constantly monitored. Additionally they aim to provide best value through the aggregation of regional demands from approved suppliers who are regularly evaluated and signed up to Becta's advantageous terms and conditions for ICT service management, and conform to Becta's Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS). The overall programme addressed the additional strands of Connectivity, Data Services, and Learning Services with a London pilot being run in 2006 to over 2200 schools to pioneer the way forward with the National Digital Infrastructure programme planned for completion by 2010.

Warwickshire County Council  *

Consultant Project Manager - Education Department - Strategic Information Management Unit
The project was to assist WCC LEA - SIMU to develop a business case, gain approval, procure and implement a replacement e-Admissions facility software application by no later than 31st March 2006 to meet the requirements of the e-Government programme. Due to the increasing complexity of the Admissions process, together with the burden of supporting ever-more sophisticated software, Warwickshire will re-evaluate the purchase of a software package to replace the current solution in a timescale which meets the demands of the e-Government programme and provide for the core and co-ordinated admissions requirements for school place applications received from Summer 2006 onwards.

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council *

Consultant Project Manager for Schools Network Integration Project;
Sefton Council had implemented an authority wide Metropolitan Area Network (MAN). Due to communication problems encountered and the inability of the current infrastructure to meet the required needs of its users, a network infrastructure review was undertaken. This initial research identified potential weaknesses in the design with a need to facilitate further integration to enable the requirements of the new Children, Schools and Families (CSF) service, centred around the creation of a single child record. The project roll-out over a 15 month period provided for integration of the Curriculum and Administrative networks for the provision of email and Internet access for the 124 high, primary and special schools within the area under the control of Sefton MBC. The project management required adherence to existing Corporate IS standards of security application and support and involved the bringing together of in-house skills and facilities with externally provided support contracts, such that relationships were strengthened between the parties involved to provide a sounder basis to build on for the future.

Wiltshire County Council   *

Consultant Project Manager for Schools email Project;
The project required for the establishment and confirmation of funding through the National Grid for Learning (NGfL) to provide a network infrastructure for the provision of email and Internet access for the 261 secondary, middle, primary and special schools within the area under the control of Wiltshire County Council. The work entailed adherence to corporate standards of security and application and support and was spread over two financial years. A number of solutions were trialed in co-operation with selected establishments to prove/disprove the technology of “Internet Server Appliances” and subsequently, an ITT through OJEC procedure was issued for the supply, installation and subsequent support of a suitable solution, together with the corporate provision of Internet Service Provision, and for general ICT support to schools in the County. The chosen solution was implemented over an 18 month roll-out split over 2 financial years. Close links were maintained with all similarly affected initiatives taking place across the authority, including the South West Grid for Learning, the roll-out of a corporate email system, the replacement of the County Council’s contract for the overall Facilities Management of ICT services, alongside a phased introduction of Broadband internet access to selected schools. Further co-operation and involvement was constantly sought from new and incumbent suppliers of ICT systems to the Education Department including RM (Research Machines) for their EasyMailPlus and Smartcache solutions, and with Capita for their SIMs applications which were required to work in harmony at all implemented schools. The project was completed within budget and delivered in time to meet the government’s target for 80% electronic communications by Sept 2002.

Chiltern Leisure Trust  *

Consultant for the Development of ICT Strategy & Implementation Programme;
The project required for facilitation of group sessions and detailed interviews to determine the way forward with the District Councils decision to externalise its leisure centres and associated facilities into a non profit making organisation; Chiltern Leisure Trust. The proposal included for provision of the hardware, software and network infrastructure to deliver local and wide area networks for voice and data, with client server applications for Leisure Management systems across multiple sites, with additional integrated proposals for accounting, personnel, DTP, asset management, email and “Office” systems. Additional phases of the project proposed the preparation of specifications, invitations to tender and subsequent analysis towards recommendations and installation of proposals with the appropriate associated maintenance and support required for acceptable levels of systems resilience. The Trust commenced trading in its own right at new central premises in January 2001.

Working relationships with Business Partners

Partnerships and "Bringing IT all together"
Projects for major customers which, in particular, involve equipment replacement and roll-out to the desktop require special co-ordination skills to make things happen. The efforts of all major players in these roles is acknowledged in bringing practical solutions together in a timely, cost conscious and professional manner. Di-Graf ICT Services have worked closely with Computacenter, SCC, Research Machines, Capita and GV Technologies to ensure that the delivery of the above projects exceeded customer expectations.

It's not just about playing with the big folks!

2 Hour Brake Service (in Birmingham)
Due to changes in management structure, improved data access to company systems was required to ensure data access across different locations. Di-Graf ICT Services provided the skills and expertise to ensure that data integrity was maintained during transfers. Disaster recovery procedures were implemented during the process through common back up procedures to provide for restoration of data in the event of system failure.

Central Methodist Church (in Birmingham)
The special significance of the 2nd Millennium to the Church was not overshadowed by any computer system failures. The CMC Management and administration staff were sufficiently concerned over their Y2K compliance to request our help to undertake hardware and software tests for them in the period up to the new millennium. Hardware upgrades were recommended and software fixes were applied to ensure a smooth, trouble free beginning to the Year 2000. Detailed reports were left with the customer to provide reference and to cover for any further problems that may have been encountered on 29th February 2000, at financial year end, or at any time over the next 12 months. No such problems were reported.....

 

Client summary

Listed are some of the contracts, customers and clients we have had the pleasure of working with over the last few years.  Our wide spread involvement confirms the diversification and adaptability on which we pride ourselves, and we look forward to continuing to build on these firm relationships in the future.

 

We are very pleased that we have managed to continue to build on our strengths of quality, timely and cost effective delivery, and we gratefully acknowledge our colleagues support in the past.  We hope that we can continue to deliver our services to them, and to many more clients in the years to come.

 

Our clients, associates, business partners and suppliers include:-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* These projects were delivered via 

 

 

....and smaller(but equally important) projects....

 

 

 

 

In the interests of our busy customers, we have respected their confidentiality by not publishing any contact names or telephone numbers on these web pages.

 

If you have specific needs for the management services provided by Di-Graf ICT Services Ltd.,but wish to take up references from any of our clients, we will be very pleased to provide you with these details if you could contact us via the details on our  Contact  page.

 

We feel that this is the most appropriate professional stance to adopt.