Why Entity at my school?
We want to look after you and your school... that may be obvious, but you may be wondering "Why should I choose Entity?"
While it's always better to have this discussion face-to-face, we hope that the following will whet your appetite. At any point, you can give us a call on our tollfree number (0508ENTITY), email us, or connect using our contact page.
Firstly, our ethos doesn't just guide us, it defines us. We believe that we exist to serve schools like yours so that you can focus on preparing the society of tomorrow without technology getting in the way. However, we aren't just another IT service company milking the last few years of supporting dusty old computer equipment. After operating successfully on our own for over 25 years, we came together to build something completely different. We come alongside you to understand your unique goals so that we can partner with you in achieving them.
Secondly, we provide holistic value. Through our partnerships with sister companies and related organisations, we can assist you in becoming overachievers in this digital world:
- Entity Hub has established a community of like-minded (not necessarily geolocated) schools. We facilitate cross-school communications by participating in partnerships with these like-minded schools. If we know that something has worked well (or not) somewhere else, we can talk to it with understanding and introduce you to the playmakers and stakeholders who were directly involved at these other schools.
- The close relationship we have with FIRST New Zealand helps us bring an education-focused robotics curriculum to your school. With two of our directors being trustees of this nonprofit trust, we truly know how the programme works and we can facilitate professional development to ensure its success in your school. The programme offers a singular pathway from preschool to college with a curriculum developed by some of the best minds globally:
- FIRST LEGO League Discover (years 0-2) - delivered by FIRST NZ
- FIRST LEGO League Explore (years 2-4) - delivered by FIRST NZ
- FIRST LEGO League Challenge (years 5-11) - delivered by FIRST NZ
- FIRST Global Challenge (not part of the official pathway, but very tightly integrated)
- FIRST Tech Challenge (ages 12-18) - delivered by FIRST NZ
- FIRST Robotics Challenge (ages 13-18) - currently delivered in partnership with FIRST Australia
Additional season information for the FIRST LEGO League programmes is available here.
- Our communications division was created to provide education-focused solutions that work and bundle them into packages that match the way that you work. We provide:
- mobile calling plans with a preference for BYOD (though we do also sell handsets)
- on-premise, hosted and cloud-based phone services
- and indoor and outdoor paging solutions that work... incredibly well.
- Also part of our communications division, we provide internet-related services including:
- Domain hosting with simple management
- Web hosting
- Web design services
- We sell, service and support any technology products you may need including being authorised resellers of Apple, Ruckus and Aerohive equipment. We're also Google, Microsoft and Jamf partners. We have a number of happy schools with projectors hanging in their classrooms and halls, our pagers on their walls and will be talking to you on phones that we have supplied and installed.
- Our security division focuses on the installation of surveillance systems using the most suitable equipment for the education environment... and you don't need special surveillance stations cluttering your office! The solution we provide works with any equipment (including macOS) and can be easily scaled on-site and off-site so that even if miscreants steal your surveillance equipment you will likely still have the evidence you need. Other services include:
- copper cabling
- fibre installation
Besides these, we offer a number of other education-focused services, but the thing you need to know is that we're a single point of contact for all your technology needs.
Thirdly, we're truly family-focused. No, we don't just mean it as a gimmick because we only hire family members to senior roles. Nor is it because many of us have a crazy number of kids (an average of 4 per person across the company), but also our everyday family. We hire the best and they stay because you're the best.
Then there's the stuff that other providers mention as to why you should go with them:
- New Zealand - like almost every other ICT provider supporting NZ schools, we're based in NZ.
- Travel costs - we don't typically charge travel costs. If we do, there will be a good reason for it and we'll have discussed it with you.
- Phone calls - if you're calling to chat about how things are going we don't charge you. Nor do we charge for a 5-minute support call. On the other hand, if we're actively supporting you for a protracted period over the phone, this does form part of our professional service and the time taken in supporting you will be assigned to your contract with us.
- No exclusions - we have an agile approach to everything we do and as such there's nothing out of scope for us. We don't just support the stuff connecting to your network (VoIP, servers, WiFi, switches etc), we support anything that fits into our areas of expertise. When technology moves on, we don't say "Sorry, that's out of the scope of your contract" and charge you out-of-contract rates for special projects.
- Advice - while you can catch up with us anytime about anything, we will catch up with you as it suits your availability (ideally a minimum of once per term). In these catch-ups, we will discuss trends, pathways and best-practice (though it's your choice to implement it or not). We are quite comfortable not just attending board meetings, but also parent evenings to discuss items such as cyber-safety and awareness. We also have an optional newsletter that you can subscribe to with current information and events across the education landscape.
- Our fees - we charge a flat rate, regardless of the services you consume (unless you opt for a contract that provides unmetered use of a particular service). When you purchase time-based units, you can use those units however you wish, whether we're delivering: ICT support, Professional Learning and Development; or teaching a robotics class with your kids! There are a few services which we subcontract which won't necessarily fall within this arrangement, but we'll be up-front about this with you.
- Permanent support - while our free-to-use helpdesk is available 24x7 throughout the year, approved people (by the Principal) can also phone our senior team 24x7 throughout the year for emergency issues.