Staples-Motley Leads IT in Rural Minnesota With Kaseya VSA
John Tkalcich, Director of Technology for Staples-Motley Public Schools, wanted to centralize the IT systems of all six member schools for better management. He accomplished this feat effortlessly by replacing each schools’ independent IT system with Kaseya VSA. Additionally, by integrating VSA with IT Glue and Vorex, he delivered the service level of a 10-to-12 person IT department with only two employees.
Staples-Motley School District serves over a thousand students, birth to grade 12, from four counties. Striking the balance between big-school offerings and small-school feel, Staples-Motley School District offers diverse opportunities typically offered by larger institutions, and small-school climate and culture, there’s something for everyone in our schools, and everyone has the opportunity to be part of the Cardinal community!
Having demoed VSA as one of many RMMs on the market, there was no question for me that VSA was by far the best option for enabling my team of two to scale efficiency John TkalcichTechnology Director, Staples-Motley Public Schools
Leading IT in Rural Minnesota
Staples-Motley Public Schools is situated in a tight-knit farming community in rural Minnesota. The organization’s Director of Technology, John Tkalcich, grew up in the area but left to pursue his love for technology in some of the world’s most innovative tech hubs, including Silicon Valley, Phoenix and the UK, before returning a few years ago to raise his family and take on the role of managing the school district’s IT systems.
All About Priorities
John’s top priority when stepping into the Director of Technology role at Staples-Motley Public Schools was to significantly improve the district’s tech stack. Being one of only two technicians managing IT for over 1,200 students, teachers and related workers in the area, he knew that efficiency and scalability were the most critical requirements for success. “Having demoed VSA as one of many RMMs on the market, there was no question for me that VSA was by far the best option for enabling my team of two to scale efficiently,” says John.
Prior to deploying VSA as the school district’s core technology solution, each of the six schools in the area had its own unique IT setup, making efficient management of all systems virtually impossible. Having worked in numerous high-functioning IT departments previously, John knew firsthand that tool consolidation and workflow integrations were key to maximizing efficiency. He slowly but surely replaced every unique, orphaned IT tool in the area with a centralized Kaseya product that bolted into his overarching stack to increase efficiency, response time and overall service value.
The game-changer for the Staples-Motley school district was when John added Vorex and IT Glue to the core stack. According to John, “The synergy between Vorex, IT Glue and VSA allowed us to scale our service level to that of a 10-12 person IT department with just the two of us. Also, being able to consolidate (and trust) billing has saved us more than 50 hours per month alone.”
COVID-19 + The Power of Community
- “I’m thrilled to be working with such a supportive and forward-thinking partner like Kaseya who is committed to our success and riding shotgun with us along the way.”
Like most businesses around the globe, COVID-19 threw a huge wrench into Staples-Motley Public School’s IT operations. When asked about how his team responded to the situation, John said “Because of the rural nature of the Staples-Motley area, most homes do not have an internet connection, so we had to get creative with schooling.”
He added, “One amazing aspect of living in a close-knit community is that people band together in good times and bad, so instead of delivering kids to school, the bus drivers started delivering school to the kids by dropping off USBs with teaching material and daily breakfast and lunch to every kid in the district.”
While COVID-19 was challenging for John and his team of two, it also served as a catalyst for advancing the Staples-Motley school district’s IT operations by fast-tracking the replacement of things previously done on paper, with devices. At the end of the day, although the area still doesn’t have widespread in-home internet access, with the help of Kaseya’s integrated suites of products, the maturity level of the district’s IT operations has grown exponentially, and they’re only just getting started.
Looking towards the future, John says “I’m thrilled to be working with such a supportive and forward-thinking partner like Kaseya that is committed to our success and riding shotgun with us along the way.”