Stone Group - Providing digital transformation solutions to organisations across the UK.

Background

Founded in 1963, the University of York provides a high-quality learning experience for around 16,000 students and has established over 30 academic departments. With over 50 years of excellent teaching, they are an elite member of the prestigious Russell Group, and one of the world’s leading universities.

The University distinguishes itself not only in the quality of its research and teaching, but also in the value of the students’ university experience. Since 2000, they have undergone a period of renewal that includes an ongoing £750m campus expansion. The resulting excellence of their Information Directorate, including IT services, is evidenced by their 2014 accreditation with the Customer Services Excellence (CSE) award.

Solution

The University of York needed a hardware provider whose service would be flexible to their needs and be 100% reliable. To ensure that they found the right vendor to meet their specific requirements, the University launched a National Desktop and Notebook Association (NDNA) mini-competition. After careful consideration, they made the decision to partner with Stone under Lot 1 after being impressed by the competitive pricing and flexible service. Commenting on ther choice, Adrian says, “We made the right decision in choosing Stone as our preferred supplier. Our managed service from Stone includes delivery and installation of equipment, with a specification of replacement desktops ready to order through Science Warehouse. They not only delivered a competitive price but also added value to the service by having everything pre-built and ready to go in stock. Our tender had a seven day lead time, but with Stone, replacement desktops are ready in 2 or 3 days.”

With so many different PC requirements within the same institution, Stone consulted with the University of York to account for the diversity of their academic and research needs. Together they decided to invest in a combination of StonePC Micro and StonePC Lite desktops to provide for the range of users with different requirements. As Adrian explains, “The main reason for selecting the StonePC Micro was the size, and the fact that they are a full fat PC rather than a thin client. Crucially, they also match the same specs as the StonePC Lite. We wanted to offer our staff an alternative PC that had a very small footprint and this fitted the bill exactly.

“All you need is to VESA mount one on the back of a display, add a mouse and keyboard, and you have a superefficient, light workstation. For example, we are using the StonePC Micro on our library front desk where we have them attached to the back of the monitor – this has freed up space under the desk where the StonePC Tower used to be in the way. We are so impressed that we will be increasing our stock in the summer, with the next generation of StonePC Micro models.

“One thing that made this project so successful is that we’ve been using the StonePC Lite in combination with Stone’s Premium Stand to connect the PCs to the monitors. It has really saved us a lot of space; so much so, that we’ve been able to get new desks that are much cheaper as well, allowing us to save that little bit extra to help towards the next round of PCs. For the future, providing students with more study space is high on the agenda. Our current classrooms are all built to be dedicated IT suites, but we’re also hoping to expand into new spaces that aren’t purpose-built for PCs. This is where the flexibility of the StonePC Micro and StonePC Lite is ideal – their size allows us to expand the number of PCs within the limited desk space. However, our top priority is to replace our legacy estate of IT hardware with Stone PCs, because they are so much more reliable.”

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