Foldr reinvigorates staff and student engagement with file access at Barker College
Barker College is an independent Anglican co-educational PreK-12 school located in Hornsby, a North Shore suburb of Sydney, Australia. It was founded in 1890 by the Reverend Henry Plume at Kurrajong Heights.
The School currently caters for approximately 2,350 students. Its senior school (years 10-12) has been co-educational since 1976 and from 2018 Barker College started the transition to full co-education across all year groups which will be completed in 2022.
Barker College operates a multi-platform environment with a combination of Windows, iOS and macOS devices – between students and staff, this is upwards of 3,000 devices at any one time. They were also using multiple, disparate storage systems, including Office 365, Google Apps for Education (GAfE) and on-premise servers. With files stored across multiple platforms, transferring files between Google, Office 365 and local file storage was often problematic for users. Additionally, Barker used Novell’s solution, Filr, to grant remote access to on-premise files. The College found Filr was slow and unintuitive, which resulted in users actively avoiding it within the school community – as a result, some staff were using a VPN to access files at home.
James Stewart, Director of ICT & eLearning, instantly loved the product, but the College had a requirement for SAML Single Sign-On (SSO) which Foldr hadn’t released at the time. Taking this feedback on board, Foldr rescheduled their development pipeline and released the SSO feature just weeks later.
With SSO in place, the Barker IT team installed a Proof of Concept (PoC) to put Foldr through its paces. The software impressed Barker’s IT department by how responsive the Foldr team were to feature and support requests.
After a successful PoC, Barker did a full rollout across the school and the adoption of Foldr was immediate. In terms of web access, they simply removed Filr, replaced it with Foldr and within days their ICT Service Desk was receiving calls on how much better the new online file access service was. Instead of just access to their on-premise files, users could now access Office 365 and GAfE storage in the same place, on any device and easily move files between them.
Another huge plus was the added support of Teams and Canvas.
“The Teams integration has already been rolled out and is widely used across the school and there are plans to implement the Canvas integration soon.”
IT Director James Stewart added, “Because Foldr is backend-agnostic it allows us to provide our staff and students with a consistent user experience as we move away from GAfE and traditional file servers towards majority use of Office 365 for file access/storage.”
“Ongoing support has been excellent. We have no concerns with expected levels of support should we have any issues in the future.
We provided some feedback regarding some minor UX issues, but again, the Foldr team made these changes within weeks and there have been no further issues.”
When asked whether the College would recommend Foldr, James, ICT director stated:
“Absolutely – 100%. I wish there was an SMB version running in the cloud that I could recommend to small to medium non-profits! Actually, is there?”
James, we’re working on it!
A single, easy-to-use interface where you can access all of your storage – Foldr gives organisations an opportunity to increase access to both on-premise and cloud-based storage, from anywhere.