St Mary’s College and Capita working together

The background

St Mary’s College is a Catholic sixth form college serving the wider community in east Lancashire and has Beacon College status. It has a total enrolment of over 2,000 students, including full-time 16-18 year olds, adults, those studying Skills for Life and a number studying for degrees. The College’s pass rates are well above the national averages and it has a consistently good record in Ofsted inspections.

The problem

The College was using Oracle 9i as its relational database management system but was aware that many other colleges were now using Microsoft SQL Server.

How Capita became involved

In order to get an assessment of their options the College contacted Capita FHE for advice. This contact proved very helpful and Paul feels that Capita were highly professional in their assessment and responsive to the College’s requirements. According to Paul, the input was very useful in the College’s decision making process.

The solution

It was agreed that a test migration should be carried out. The College sent its data to Capita and a new server was installed which the College configured with Microsoft Windows and SQL Server 2008. Capita also carried out a comprehensive technical audit and the College had a new server for its UNIT-e requirements.

The results

It is clear that SQL Server suits the College’s purposes much better than the Oracle management system. 

Paul agrees, “SQL Server blends in very well with what we do as a Microsoft College and I am confident that this has been a very positive development. ”

He believes that SQL Server is much more straightforward to grasp than Oracle and the College’s IT team are already developing a strong in-house learning ethos.

The future

With guidance from Capita, the College is looking forward to developing SharePoint‘s extensive document management and assessing potential additional capabilities. This development will allow it to improve communications with its various stakeholders. This will deliver real benefits, particularly when the system is fully implemented over the summer leading up to College enrolment.

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