Qim info revolutionises back-to-school at Institut Florimont

Institut Florimont: Qim info's Expertise for a Smooth Back-to-School

The criteria for a successful back-to-school are numerous and intricate.  Institut Florimont, a private school near Geneva, turned to Qim info to improve the integration of its new students and ease the transition to the next class for current students. 

With a yearly intake of dozens of new pupils, Institut Florimont, which has been nurturing young minds aged 3 to 18 for nearly 120 years, faces complex integration procedures. This led the Institute’s IT department, two years ago, to seek Qim info’s help in implementing an innovative process that aligns with the school’s educational needs.. These innovations include automatic creation of Teams and assignment of team members (students and teachers). 
An interview with Jean-Marc Robyr, IT Manager at Institut Florimont, sheds more light. 

The Foundations of Successful Collaboration between Institut Florimont and Qim info

“The IT department at Institut Florimont consists of seven members, each with specific tasks to ensure the smooth operation of this large school, which currently has 300 staff and 1,700 students,” says Jean-Marc Robyr. Three years ago, amidst the Covid-19 crisis, we decided to implement Microsoft 365 to facilitate remote working for teachers and distance learning for students. This idea, pre-dating the pandemic, was hastened by the lockdown.  

One of the key benefits of the Microsoft suite is the facilitation of remote work, particularly through Teams.” “We could have deployed this software in-house, but to guarantee the quality of the implementation, we preferred to enlist experts in the field,” adds the school’s IT manager. 

Qim info: making expertise a priority

“Our first two attempts at deploying Microsoft 365 in-house for our back-to-school operations weren’t successful. We had to acknowledge our limitations and lack of sufficient knowledge to reach our objectives at the time. That’s why, in 2021, we turned to professionals who could meet our efficiency expectations,” the manager continues.

Institut Florimont leveraged its network to find a reputable digital services company. A member of the school’s IT team, previously at a firm regularly using Qim Info, recommended their services. We needed a partner with a solid reputation, so Qim info was a natural choice. We had two major projects in mind and couldn’t afford any errors. Qim Info quickly understood our operations and the reasons behind these changes.”

Deploy Microsoft 365 in a school and adressing to their specific needs

“Our academic year is unique; starting in September and ending in August. By June, we need clarity on several aspects: the number of students for the following year, the balance between new and returning students, and particularly, which students require a computer, as every learner is loaned one from Seconde to Terminale,” explains the IT manager.

This equipment loan significantly impacts the IT department, which annually needs to create new accounts and configure access rights tailored to each student’s level and class. 

“Before our partnership with Qim info, all these tasks were manually performed. It was time-consuming, requiring two people to prepare for September. Additionally, the summer holidays limit our available time. Having already collaborated with Qim info on setting up Microsoft 365, we didn’t hesitate to ask them to automate these scripts,”continues Jean-Marc Robyr.  

“Implementing Microsoft 365 and programming a complete automated system for a school is a unique project. We're not dealing with everyday specifics. For my team and me, these were exciting projects that pushed us to think outside the box. For instance, when establishing our user governance system, we had to adhere to a nomenclature based on organisation charts for work groups and classes. From a security perspective, we also had to ensure data geolocation within Switzerland.”
Erduan Hoxha
Team Leader at Qim info

Automating the back-to-school process to save time and enhance efficiency

This back-to-school script automation project with Qim info concentrated on two critical points in the school calendar.  

  • Starting in July, the IT department begins archiving files from the previous year.The Modern Workplace and Workstation department’s experts of Qim info intervened, creating a script to clean up and archive unused class Teams, along with their educational content.” 
  • “Qim Info also automated, for the second phase in August, the import from PRONOTE software extracts of student profiles present at the start of the new school year. Thanks to this, Teams accounts are now created Imagine, we previously had to manually create 1,000 Teams. Now, even if we sometimes have to make post-start adjustments, it takes less than a week for one person to manage other tasks simultaneously.”

Erduan Hoxha’s team also automated assigning each Teams profile to the right groups based on the student’s level and PRONOTE-provided timetables.  

“This not only eased the IT department’s workload but also, in a ripple effect, that of the entire teaching staff, who can trust that their teams will be set and ready come September. Meeting these deadlines is remarkable, given everything involved in the students’ return.” 

1700 is the number of profiles automatically processed before each new school year starts, thanks to the updated scripts (200 new additions and 1500 updates). 

Qim info and Institut Florimont: a long-term collaboration

While the scripts have long-term benefits in automating numerous tasks, the collaboration between Qim info and Institut Florimont is ongoing.  

We’ve opted for a long-term collaboration, as pedagogy evolves, and sometimes we need to adjust our scripts.. We also maintain contact with Erduan Hoxha for support and maintenance. In this context, we communicate via Teams when necessary, and we must say, the Qim info team is extremely responsive, which we greatly appreciate.” 

This collaboration is invaluable for the Institute’s IT team members, freeing them from these tasks so they can undertake significant summer operations, such as updating the school’s servers. 

These excellent relations with Qim info led us to entrust them with a second, more pedagogically-focused project.” Erduan’s team created a SharePoint portal, accessible to teachers and students, where all necessary teaching materials are stored. 

Certainly, based on the results of these two projects, if we need similar assistance in the future, we’d without hesitation call on Qim info again, given how much they’ve helped us progress.  Plus, since they relocated their Centre of Expertises, we’re practically neighbours,” concludes Jean-Marc Robyr, head of the IT department at Institut Florimont, with a touch of humour. 

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