Qim info revolutionizes back-to-school at Institut Florimont

Institut Florimont: Qim info's expertise helps you get back to school on track

The criteria for a successful back-to-school experience are many and complex. Institut Florimont, a private school near Geneva, called on the services of Qim info to improve the integration of its new students and the transition to the next class for those already there.

With dozens of new pupils to manage every year, the Institut Florimont, which has been welcoming young people aged 3 to 18 for almost 120 years, is faced with sometimes highly complex integration procedures. This is why, 2 years ago, the Institute’s IT department turned to Qim info’s expertise to help it implement an innovative process in line with the structure’s pedagogical needs. These innovations include the automatic creation of Teams and the automatic assignment of team members (students and teachers).

Interview with Jean-Marc Robyr, IT Manager at Institut Florimont.

The foundations of a successful collaboration between Qim info and Institut Florimont

“There are seven of us in the Institut Florimont IT department. Each has his or her own specific tasks to ensure the smooth running of the school, which now has 300 employees and 1,700 students,” explains Jean-Marc Robyr. Three years ago, in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, we decided to implement Microsoft 365 to make it easier for teachers to work remotely and for students to learn. It was an idea we’d had before the epidemic, but everything accelerated because of the containment”.

One of the main advantages of the Microsoft suite is that it enables users to work remotely, via, among other things, the solutions offered by Teams. “ We could have deployed this software in-house, but to ensure the quality of the approach, we preferred to call on the services of recognized experts in the field,” continues the school’s IT manager.

Qim info: choosing experts above all

“Our first two re-entries with a ‘home-made’ deployment of Microsoft 365 were not conclusive. We have to be modest and admit that we didn’t have enough knowledge to achieve our goal at the time. That’s why, in 2021, we’ve called on people capable of meeting our expectations in terms of efficiency”.continues the manager.

Aware of their needs in this field, Institut Florimont put its network to work to find a quality digital services company (ESN).

One of the members of the school’s IT team, who had previously worked for a company that regularly called on Qim info, suggested contacting them.

We needed a partner with a solid reputation, so my predecessor’s choice was naturally Qim info. We had two major projects in mind at the time,
we couldn’t go wrong.
This was not the case, as Qim info quickly grasped our way of working and understood why we wanted to make all these changes.

Deploying Microsoft 365 in a school and adapting to its needs

“Managing work over the course of a year is quite special because, as you can imagine, we start in September and finish in August. That’s why, as early as June, we need to know: how many students we’ll have in the classes the following year; the ratio between newcomers and those who stay within our walls and, above all, which students need a computer – a computer is loaned to every learner from Seconde to Terminale.”

This loan of equipment is not without consequences for the IT department, which from one school year to the next has to create new accounts, configure and set access rights according to student level and class…

“Until we started working with Qim info, all these tasks were carried out by hand. It took a lot of time, and we had to work together to get everything ready for September. What’s more, we mustn’t forget that the time we have available at this time of year is restricted by the summer vacations. Since we had already called on Qim info to set up Microsoft 365, we had no hesitation in asking them again to automate these scripts.”continues Jean-Marc Robyr.

"Deploying Microsoft 365 and programming an entire automated system for a school is a unique project. There are specifics that we don't deal with every day. For my team and me, these were stimulating projects that allowed us to step outside the usual frameworks. For example, when we set up the user governance system, we had to respect a nomenclature based on the organization chart of work groups and classes. From a security point of view, we also had to be vigilant about the geolocation of data in Switzerland,

Erduan Hoxha
Team Leader at Qim info

Automate the back-to-school process to save time and improve efficiency

So, for this back-to-school script automation project, Qim info’s intervention focused on two major stages in the school calendar.

  • As early as July, the IT department has to archive all the files from the previous year.The team of experts from Qim info’ s Modern Workplace and Workstation department stepped in, creating a script to clean up and archive Teams corresponding to classes that will no longer be used , with all their educational content, for example.
  • “Qim info also enabled us to automate, for the second phase in August, the extraction from the PRONOTE software of the profiles of students who will be present at the start of the new school year. Imagine, we used to have to create 1,000 Teams by hand. Now, even if the groups sometimes have to be readapted after the start of the school year, this only takes a few hours for one person who can perform other tasks at the same time. ”

The work carried out by Erduan Hoxha’s team has also included automating the allocation of each Teams profile to the right groups according to the student’s level and the timetables provided by PRONOTE.

“This has not only facilitated the work of the IT department, but also the entire teaching staff, who can rest assured that when they return to work in September, all the teams are ready and available. Deadlines have been met, and that’s no mean feat when you consider all the things we have to deal with when the students come back”.

is the number of profiles automatically processed before the start of each school year, thanks to updated scripts.

Qim info and Institut Florimont: a long-term collaboration

Although the scripts have made it possible to automate a number of time-consuming tasks over the long term, the collaboration between Qim info and Institut Florimont is not yet over.  

We’ve opted for a long-term collaboration, because as pedagogy evolves, we sometimes need to adapt our scripts. What’s more, we always have a link with Erduan Hoxha for support and maintenance. When necessary, we exchange information via Teams, and the Qim info teams are extremely responsive . 

This joint effort is highly beneficial for members of the Institute’s IT team, who are freed from these missions and can therefore carry out some heavy summer operations. This is the case, for example, for updating the school’s servers. 

These excellent relations with Qim info enabled us to entrust them with a second, more pedagogically-oriented project. Erduan’s teams have created a SharePoint portal, accessible by both teachers and students, on which all the teaching materials they need are stored. 

What’s certain is that, in view of the results obtained on these two projects, and if we had needs of this type again in the future, we’d call on the services of Qim info as they helped us to move forward. What’s more, since the relocation of their expertise center, we’re practically neighbors.concludes Jean-Marc Robyr, head of IT at Institut Florimont. 

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