Link High the Go-To IT Provider for New Jersey School

How Link High Technologies Earns an “A” from School’s Technology Director

THE CLIENT

Union County Vocational Technical School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey offers two-year programs in a variety of vocational disciplines to high school students and adults. The setting, reminiscent of a college campus and is home to five different specialty schools and more than 1,500 total students.

THE CHALLENGE

Union County Vocational Technical School needed an IT consultant experienced with educational institutions to serve as a trusted advisor and resource to the school’s Director of IT and help the school select and install upgraded hardware and software.

THE SOLUTION

In the early 1990s, the school put together a Consortium to build on the unique strengths of each area’s discipline. Verizon was brought in to oversee some of the technical aspects of the consortium through a third-party vendor, a new company called Link High Technologies. “Back then, I think Link High was a company with just two guys,” recalls John Downey, Director of IT at Union County Vocational Technical School. “They were the technicians on call for any servicing, upgrades, and changes that were needed.”

When the job was complete, Downey requested Link High’s assistance with other IT work for the school district. “I’m the only tech person in the district, so I rely heavily on them whenever things get beyond my control,” Downey said. “They have been my resource after I troubleshoot new appliances and software to streamline our network. Link High has been on call for every sort of software issue, for routing, and for all situations that were just a little too much for me.”

THE RESULTS

The IT landscape has changed significantly over the last 15 years, and in that time both Link High Technologies and Union County Vocational Technical School have grown together. Today, the school runs 15 servers, 1000 nodes, a gigabyte backbone, and 10/100 Ethernet network. Any time the school considered the acquisition of new or upgraded equipment or software, Link High was there.

“They’ve been involved with many decisions to help our network run better,” Downey said. “I’ve also worked with Link High as part of our advisory board, a community group that assists in making decisions for the district. As one of the members, their guidance has been invaluable.”

An Understanding of the Needs of Educational Institution – The relationship has been successful, Downey believes, because of Link High’s experience in working with educational institutions. “They have an understanding of how we’re structured, how we pay and where we get our money from. I’ve found with other vendors that if you can’t instantly pay them, you don’t get the same service. With Link High, we have a little more flexibility. Plus, their payment schedule and fees are extremely reasonable.”

Building Trust – A trust has built up over the years, and Downey knows that he can always count on straight answers from Link High. When repairs are needed, most can be handled remotely, but when a physical presence is needed, Link High delvers every time. “It’s rare that they need to come here, but when that happens their response is excellent. In fact, they always try to come early in the day before the kids are in school.”

Straight Answers, Quickly – Link High delivers straight answers to critical problems, and they do so quickly. “A Cisco salesperson wanted to convert several of our routers to one, then left to confirm with a technician if that was possible. A month later, I was still waiting for a response. Finally I reached out to Link High and they found out that it wouldn’t be possible, which is probably why I never received a response from Cisco, but at least now I had an answer,” Downey remembers. “As a school we have a very small window in the summer to make upgrades and changes, and when we needed that information, Link High went out of their way to get it.”

Delivering Solutions that Work – “Now I have the comfort level to know I can go back to Link High with just about anything. They do the research and get me an answer, and they come through with a solution that works.” Even in situations where a technology addition was required for which Link High was not the school’s first choice they’ve always wound up back together. “It’s happened rarely, but when we have reached out to another vendor, they generally fail and we go back to Link High. Link High would educate themselves on the new technology and assist me,” Downey said.