Service and Support

The below measures are in place to ensure that the school is able to focus on delivering first-class education, which includes using up-to-date technology to its best advantage and streamlining processes to keep the costs as low as possible.

It is policy that every boy has one of the recommended machines purchased from one of the recommended suppliers. The school also requires that the machines are warrantied for the full duration of each pupil’s time at Bishops.

The Dell machine(s) includes an international, five year factory warranty and five year accident care.

The Apple machine(s) include a one year international and four year local, Digicape warranty. Boys who choose Apple Macs may only work on their Windows platform during class time.

Not having a fully functional machine impacts severely on a boy’s ability to participate properly in class and jeopardises his education. This puts a real premium on servicing faulty machines.

Help Desk

The HelpDesk support is limited to ‘walk-in’ support only and specifically excludes email and telephonic support.

School technical support is positioned to help the boys and staff with their use of technology in the classroom, but the school is not geared to manage a big repair centre. The decision was to outsource technical repairs via a HelpDesk centre on campus. Outsourcing allows us to have the full weight of an industry respected support organisation prioritising any problems that we might have. In addition, outsourcing protects the Bishops/parent relationship.The overhead cost of the Helpdesk (partly funded by the once-off support cost) is kept low by (a) the machine warranty and  (b) the economies of scale when supporting just a few recommended models. Because of this, we are able to demand an affordable solution and satisfactory turnaround on support from the company that operates the HelpDesk.

The Help Desk assists with Windows software and Windows setup for all machines. The only hardware that is supported on site is the DELL recommended machine. Apple hardware is supported by Digicape, off site at their premises.

The Help Desk is available to the boys at break times and after school. During holidays Help Desk hours are advertised on the Bishops website. We encourage boys to help each other and to use the self-help features on our HelpMeOnline portal on the Intranet. A boy is able to talk to his tutor if he needs additional help. His tutor will point him in the right direction. Boys know that they are responsible for bringing a working laptop to school every day and that it is their responsibility to install the service patches and look after their machine responsibly.

Laptop service and support process at Bishops

All boys are charged a once-off technology levy, billed in the first term of their Grade 8 year and their future laptop support is also covered by this. This levy covers:

  • support for learning and teaching
  • full software support on software required by the school for their school career
  • classroom audio visual and technical support
  • anti-virus support
  • maintaining on-line support
  • network connectivity
  • printing connectivity
  • managed Internet access
  • initial configuration of machines
  • access to loan units, available as back-up machines for boys whose machines are in for repair, for a maximum of three days
  • maintenance of images of machines so that turnaround time is efficient
  • pushing out software updates

Every machine has to be configured via the outsourced Help Desk. The machine is given to boys and staff with their particular software, network, Cloud account and Internet access and printing preferences pre-installed. It is important that we comply with software license regulations and that we ensure that every machine is adequately firewalled, configured for automatic software updates and is protected from viruses. Failing to do the above would jeopardise both the individual and other technology users and could compromise the academic programme and school.

Should you choose to purchase an Apple Mac for your son, please be aware that this does not exclude you from the once-off technology charge or the Annual Software License fee.

Loan Units

The Help Desk has a number of loan units available which are pre-configured with the school software.

If a boy’s machine is taken in or sent away for repairs, he will be offered a loan laptop at no additional cost. There is thus no reason for a boy to be without a working laptop in class. In the event that a parent needs to pay for a non-warranty repair/replacement, we ask that this is done as speedily as possible so that the loan laptop can be returned soonest, and additional laptop hire charges can be avoided.

All boys are allocated network space and more recently Microsoft OneDrive (Cloud) space where they are trained and encouraged to save their work. Therefore, boys are usually able to collect a loan machine and continue working immediately.

Drives are also partitioned and data is saved on a separate partition. Should a boy’s software be corrupted, his data remains intact. Where possible, his drive will be quickly installed into a loan computer to minimize disruption. Please note that this is NOT possible with the Apple machines.

Boys are encouraged to save/backup all their work regularly from their local drives to the network / Cloud folders. Anything that is only saved on his local hard drive is vulnerable should a machine fail.

The loan unit policy is dependent upon the type of machine that has been purchased.

Loan units for DELL recommended machines

Loan units are issued free of charge for the few days in which it takes to repair the machine. This time frame is made possible by Dell’s next business day resolution warranty.

Loan units for existing non-recommended machines bought into the school pre-2017

Loan units are issued at no charge for a period not exceeding three business days and thereafter you will be billed for the use of the loan unit at R250 per day. Admin charges may also be incurred should there be any delays in returning the loan unit.

Loan units for Digicape Apple machines

Broken Apple machines are not left at the Help Desk. These machines must be taken to Digicape for repair.

The Digicape support solution runs parallel with the Bishops HelpMeOffline Dell loan laptop solution. Digicape’s extended warranty includes a loan machine that can be collected from Digicape once you have informed them of the need. Digicape will arrange for a Windows-loaded loan unit, preconfigured with the school software, to be ready for collection when you take your damaged MacBook in for repairs. Please contact Digicape immediately by emailing them at A Bishops loan unit can be used for the short period it should take to arrange the Digicape loan. There is no charge for this provided the Bishops loan unit is returned within a period not exceeding three business days.

Please read the Digicape Support Offering for more information.

Loan units for existing non-Digicape Apple machines bought into the school pre-2017

Loan units are issued from the Help Desk at no charge for a period not exceeding three business days. Thereafter you will be billed for the use of the loan unit at R250 per day. Admin charges may also be incurred should there be any delays in returning the loan unit.

It is your responsibility to take your machine to your supplier for repair. We have an arrangement with Digicape in that they are also able to offer a rental service so that if you choose to take your machine to Digicape for repair, they can issue your son with a pre-configured windows-based loan unit.

Please read the Digicape Support Offering for more information.

Help with Apple Machines purchased through Digicape

Should a boy experience windows software difficulties with his Apple computer he is able to bring his computer to the Help Desk. They will assist with Windows software difficulties and will issue a loan unit at no cost for up to three business days. Should there be a hardware fault it is your son's responsibility to notify Digicape - and his parent/guardian. We have created an email address which automatically forwards to Digicape support. Kindly include all contact details and serial number of the machine in that email. Please note that the onus is on the parent to deliver the faulty machine to Digicape. In special circumstances Digicape can arrange collection and delivery directly with the parent. The Help Desk is unable to facilitate this on the parent's behalf due to the administrative overheads involved.

Should the faulty machine not be fixed within the three business day loan period, Digicape will provide their own pre-configured windows loan unit until your son's machine is repaired. Your son must then return the school’s loan laptop to the HelpDesk to avoid the rental charges (R250 per day for every day exceeding three business days).

Please refer to the Digicape Support Offering for more information.

Help with existing Apple machines purchased overseas

International Apple Care warranties bought overseas are not upheld in South Africa. There is a premium on servicing Apple machines if not accompanied by legitimate paper work and this causes delays which are disruptive to the academic programme. Digicape is able to offer educational pricing and are fully positioned to support the boys at Bishops. Only Apple machines purchased through Digicape are acceptable.