The London Grid for Learning (LGfL), a charity that provides services for schools, selected managed services provider CentraStage's remote systems management tool because the alternative from rival Kaseya was "too complicated", according to Darren King, network manager at London Borough of Sutton.
King was part of the "technical theory group" that helped LGfL select its new remote systems management software. LGfL is owned by all 33 London boroughs and aims to provide services and online learning resources to London schools.
It needed a solution that could allow its IT department to view, manage and control its devices. King told Computing that both CentraStage and Kaseya were interested in providing the required services, while Microsoft's System Center was also initially discussed.
"The Borough of Sutton, which I work for, had CentraStage installed already so I knew its benefits, and another borough's network manager had Kaseya implemented, so we came together to outline the pros and cons of each and then report these back to the LGfL," King said.
He explained that the main difference between the two options was the ease of use of CentraStage.
"It was the simplicity of the CentraStage product [which appealed to us]. It carries out some complicated functions but it has a simple interface that we felt the majority of LGfL staff could benefit from.
"Kaseya is very advanced, and in some ways offered a more configurable and customisable system than CentraStage. However, the flip-side to this is that it was a much more complicated system to use. We would need to provide more training and support to school users trying to make use of the Kasaya product," he said.
King explained that CentraStage was built with more understanding and was simpler to use.
"CentraStage still provided all of the functions and features we were looking for and presented a much simpler user interface, meaning it would more likely be used by schools looking for a simple yet highly functional solution for remote support, audit, software deployment and device management," he said.
Simplicity was key as many smaller schools, particularly primary schools, do not have a dedicated technical member of staff.
"A system that is simpler to use will suit them far better than something highly configurable with hundreds of options but which is also more complicated," King said.
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