Harrap ICT was founded by former teacher James Harrap in 2009 with an exclusive focus on delivering IT services to schools. Managing IT, security, and education software services for more than 400 K-12 schools throughout the UK, the Winchester-based company in the county of Hampshire primarily serves schools without dedicated IT staff.
According to Operations Manager Ted Burrows, the Harrap ICT team has a strong background in education, either as instructors or as inhouse network administrators for schools. Explains Ted, “The school IT environment is very unique and can be underserved through traditional service providers. With our deep understanding of education, we can deliver a very specialised level of service with a focus on providing only the products and services we believe in. This approach has driven a lot of growth and customer loyalty.”
Staying ahead of ransomware targeting UK schools and providing reliable cybersecurity protection within school budgets are top challenges, according to Ted.
“Harrap ICT continuously strives to find the best value for the education sector without sacrificing protection,” he says. “We work hard to research and test solutions to ensure we provide comprehensive security at a reasonable price. This can be challenging with threats like cryptoransomware and phishing emails targeting schools. We need the ability to monitor, detect, and stop threats before any damage can be done, but we also require solutions that are priced affordably.”
Harrap ICT became an Avast Business partner six months ago, choosing Avast Business CloudCare and the integrated Antivirus Pro Plus after extensively testing and evaluating the solution.
With Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus in the Harrap ICT product portfolio, the team can displace the legacy McAfee antivirus solution that the majority of Hampshire schools use. “Up until this point, we hadn’t seen a competitive antivirus solution with the protection, alerting, and pricing to sell to schools,” says Ted. “After evaluating Antivirus Pro Plus, it became a viable strategy for us.” The team is also using CloudCare’s Remote IT Control tool, migrating from LogMeIn and DameWare solutions.
“Monitoring is a key aspect of IT service management as well as having visibility into the IT infrastructure and we really needed a comprehensive security solution that included instant notifications, up-to-date virus definitions, and a view into every school network we manage. We found all of that in CloudCare and more,” he adds.
Support Manager Paul Billinghurst agrees. “CloudCare checks off all our boxes. It provides everything we need in a managed security solution for education – monitoring, central management, reliable antivirus, remote control, and tools to help us automate our service delivery.”
The team also appreciates the multiple antivirus features. “The password manager is a great tool and will help schools improve security for users without the headaches of remembering multiple, long-string passwords. We also use the sandbox feature to check suspicious emails,” shares Ted.
For the Harrap ICT team, CloudCare’s active monitoring capabilities, antivirus features, and remote control have enabled the company to improve threat protection by 100%. Says Ted, “We now have maximum visibility across the networks we manage and haven’t had any issues with viruses or new threats. We can also remote into a client’s PC a lot quicker than before. All of this helps us be more proactive, improve response time, and reduce the risk of threats and other security issues.”
CloudCare is proving to be an attractive solution for Harrap ICT’s school clients. “At least 95% of the schools we initially targeted have signed two-year subscriptions with us. With the range of services in one platform, we have also reduced the number of solutions we are using and can pass the cost savings to our school customers.”