Horsford Junior School More Than Doubles Computer Access While Saving Money



Horsford Junior School is a primary school with over 200 pupils based in Norwich, Norfolk. Its teachers and administrators are committed to delivering the essential knowledge and attributes that will enable their students to take full advantage of all opportunities open to them and succeed in a diverse, global world where information technology is becoming a core component in education.

Horsford Junior School

Horsford Junior School: upgraded their obsolete PC’s and laptops with NComputing‘s X550 desktop virtualization solution.

Finding a Cost Effective Solution

Horsford Junior School, faced two challenges. Firstly, the school sought to increase information and communication technology (ICT) access by providing more students direct access to PCs. Secondly, the school desperately needed to improve the reliability of the technology they offered. Classrooms were equipped with obsolete PCs that caused significant problems with battery life, wear and tear and ongoing maintenance. It became crucial for Horsford to re-locate the PCs and find a solution that was cost effective, reliable and would reduce maintenance expenses.

Horsford Junior School turned to Software Dialog Direct Ltd, a UK-based reseller to determine the best approach for the school’s needs.

Neil Toplis, Head Teacher at Horsford Junior School, and his IT administrator chose NComputing for its reliability, ease of use and cost efficiency. For their initial deployment the school replaced their obsolete desktop PCs in the ICT area with the NComputing X550 solution and the difference was immediate and impressive. It allowed an increase in the number of desktops from 34 to 78 and provided them with a reliable solution that is easy to use and maintain. Mr. Toplis explains, “We received fantastic pre- and post-sales support by Software Dialog at every stage, from the advert in Head Teacher Magazine to the product demos, quotes and deliveries through to installation recommendations.”

The NComputing solution works because today’s PCs are so powerful that the vast majority of applications only use a small fraction of the computers capacity. NComputing’s hardware and vSpace™ virtualization software taps into this unused capacity so that it can be simultaneously shared by multiple pupils. Each pupil’s monitor, keyboard and mouse connect to the shared PC through a small and very durable NComputing access device. The access device itself has no CPU, memory or moving parts; so it’s rugged and reliable as well as easy to deploy and maintain.

In addition since the deployment of NComputing virtual desktops, Horsford has observed huge cost savings per desktop compared to the traditional one PC per student solution that was previously deployed. Mr. Toplis explains, “NComputing is a fantastic solution with bulletproof reliability, allowing us to double the number of users while saving money.” All-in-all Mr. Toplis estimates that Horsford has paid half the price for more than twice the number of users.

Carbon Friendly Computing

Not only does the NComputing solution deliver in terms of performance and usability, the devices draw only 3% of the electricity used by traditional PCs, dramatically reducing both the school’s carbon footprint and its energy bills. NComputing’s access devices weigh just 150 grams and last around 10 years compared to a PC, which typically creates about 10kg of e-waste and lasts around three to five years. As illustrated, the deployment of NComputing’s virtual desktops showed Horsford that they could achieve their environmental goals by simultaneously cutting costs and reducing carbon emissions.

It is evident that the partnership between Software Dialog and NComputing has been instrumental in delivering more workstations at reduced costs while simultaneously slashing ongoing energy costs and contributing to an environment supported by green credentials.

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Replace aging PC’s and laptops at an affordable price while also increasing the number of users.


Deploy NComputing’s X550 desktop virtualization solution that would increase the number of workstations by more than double within the same budget and with less additional network cabling required.


Reduced deployment costs by more than half; reduction in PC power savings and carbon footprint; and maximized student learning with new student to computer ratio.

“A fantastic system with bulletproof reliability. Plus we managed to double the number of users whilst saving money.”

Neil Toplis

Head Teacher, Horsford Junior School

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