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Language school moves to the cloud

Harrogate-based has won a new contract to provide cloud computing services for Harrogate Language Academy, which has centres both in the town and in Leeds.

Established in 1976, the academy is a British Council-accredited language school, which teaches around 200 young adults a year and employs 40 staff. The academy is also an accredited IELTS test centre and runs the official English language test that is used to assess overseas entrants to British universities as well as foreign nationals who want to practise as doctors or dentists in the UK. Last year the academy tested almost 4,500 students.

Academy director, Kirsten Henry, said:

We hadn’t really considered moving our IT over to the cloud but with two centres and large numbers of students we quickly realised that it made sense, and the benefits have been impressive. Not only can teachers instantly access and print learning materials from laptops in the classroom, but the hugely increased flexibility of staff being able to work at home or while travelling has benefited the whole organisation and enabled us to be more responsive.

The concept was launched last year after managing director Jonathan Edwards found it impossible to source reputable and cost-effective cloud computing solutions for clients. With an in-house team of technical specialists, Edwards designed and built a bespoke cloud solution for small organisations, with data hosted on dedicated secure servers located in Leeds and Wakefield.

Jonathan Edwards said:

More and more small organisations are realising that migration to the cloud offers cost savings and greater flexibility but the recent scandals surrounding data security on a global scale have caused concerns about privacy and data protection. The truth is that if you opt to move your IT and all your vital data to the cloud, it makes sense to know where in the world that data is stored and opting for a local provider like us, with servers based right here in Yorkshire, is certainly the most secure option.

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