As you may already know, we have launched two new packages to replace our legacy Moodle services, which we see as taking a step towards providing a better defined service that suits our customers’ needs.
You now have the choice between a standard Moodle environment or a more customisable VLE with better performance commitments.
ULCC have recently redefined and reorganised services so that there should be a service for every request that you as a customer may wish to make of us.
As part of this redefinition we have created a number of Enhanced Availability Services which are listed below.
Enhanced Availability Service
The Bloom Enhanced Availability Service extends the guarantees of availability provided by the Bloom service so that they apply 24 hours a day, 365 (or 366) days a year. The standard Bloom service aims for 99.9%, 24/7/365 availability but only offers service credits when the availability during standard Business Hours (8:30-17:30 Mon-Fri) falls below the target. With the addition of the Enhanced Availability service, the target remains at 99.9% availability but service credits apply to availability measured 24/7/365. Please see the separate service level agreement for more information.
Enhanced Availability+ Service
The Enhanced Availability Plus service further extends the Enhanced Availability service by offering a limited support allowance for use out-of-hours (OOH). Where availability may or may not be directly affected but urgent assistance is required to help with an OOH or emergency event, a communication channel is provided such that issues can be registered and Bloom support staff can assist promptly, regardless of when the assistance is required. Please see the separate service level agreement for more information.
Out of Hours Call Service
The Bloom Out of Hours (OOH) Call Centre service extends the guarantees of availability provided by the Bloom service so that they apply 24 hours a day, 365 (or 366) days a year. The standard Bloom service aims for 99.9%, 24/7/365 availability but only offers service credits when the availability during standard Business Hours (8:30-17:30 Mon-Fri) falls below the target. With the addition of the OOH Call Centre service, the target remains at 99.9% availability but service credits apply to availability measured 24/7/365.
Where availability may or may not be directly affected but urgent assistance is required to help with an OOH or emergency event, a manned telephone call centre is provided such that issues can be registered and Bloom support staff can assist promptly, regardless of when the assistance is required. Please see the separate service level agreement for more information.
For those of you who have taken the time to read and understand the content of our Bloom and Bonsai services, this post introduces a minor update to the two documents which intends to simplify the two main service level commitments that we make – availability and performance.
Let’s start with availability. This is a fairly straightforward concept. If our service is inaccessible then it is unavailable. We can calculate a percentage availability using some simple calculations along the lines of:
The resulting figure is the one we often see quoted in service documentation, usually 99. something…
It has been six months since we first started communicating about changes to our e-Learning services in this post. That post outlined the reasons behind the changes and provided early drafts of the key Service Level Agreements that would underpin the revised service. You may well ask what exactly has happened in the six months since then. Well, quite a lot. We have taken on feedback from a number of User Group discussions and consequently shifted focus towards answering some of the key practical questions, such as:
- When will this change impact my institution?
- Will we have to pay more?
- How much choice will we have?
Over the past eight years ULCC has grown as an e-learning service provider from a handful of institutions, to over 150 across the educational sector. Traditionally we have provided bespoke solutions to each customer, leading to sometimes competing service needs, and a lack of direction from ULCC as a service provider. We are now re-defining our e-learning service under the product and service name of Bloom (working title). This allows a community led platform to be in place, from an in-sector provider, giving you the ability to shape its direction whilst having a reliable and sustainable service.
Our aim is for continuous development of new features to be funded as part of the service, allowing for sustainable new features – that are not provided in core Moodle – to be developed according to the ULCC Moodle community needs without one institution having to take the full funding risk of sustainability.
The Bloom product and service take the best that Moodle has to offer and combine it with the best community, third-party and ULCC-developed plugins to create a beneficial e-learning environment. Bloom is complemented by a range of additional services for those institutions that wish to use a Moodle-based VLE with the added assurances of enterprise-class service levels. The Bloom range of services supports institutions that wish to take Moodle and Bloom in a unique direction that differentiates their institution whilst still retaining the benefits of a service hosted and supported by an experienced service provider.
• Hosted in a UK data centre.
• Implemented by qualified project managers.
• Support facilitated by experienced Moodle administrators.
• Integrates with student record systems.
• Incorporates the best community, supplier and ULCC plugins.
• Contains user configurable themes.
• Facilitates personalised learning through Individual learning plans.
• Includes an administration toolbox to make system tasks easier.
• Advanced reporting included for monitoring use and progress.
• Regular Bloom releases to keep you up to date.
• No Bandwidth Cap.
More information, including the plugins expected to be available as part of the product, can be found in the attached draft Bloom Production Definition.
During our last user group meeting(s) just before Christmas we announced some important changes to how we are planning to define, deliver and support our Hosted Moodle service in the future.
The feedback from customers to the suggested changes was positive and encouraging, reinforcing the view that a review of the service definitions and how we deliver and support our hosted VLEs has been long overdue. In this first of a series of posts we are trying to answer some of the big Ws – Why, What and When.