What is Class Cloud
Class: A cloud-based, comprehensive school administration and booking system capable of managing all of your business needs.
- Students: bookings/enquiries (including Online Bookings)
- Groups Bookings and Invoicing
- Agent and Direct Bookings
- Agent Database
- Homestay/Accommodation database and allocation
- Courses/Classing/Timetabling/Teacher Database and Payroll Hours
- Ledger Accounts
- Multiple Price Lists
- Payments and Receipts
- Detailed Financial and Statistical Reporting
- Comprehensive Notes
- Batch Processing and emailing
- Export Screen Views to Microsoft Excel
- Business Intelligence Reporting
Class is a school administration system designed specifically for language and training schools. It is a modular system that operates on an SQL Server database.
It is designed to cover the entire experience of students from the time they enquire through to their departure. The following top level areas are covered by Class:
- Agents/ETO’s (Educational Training Office)
- Homestay Accommodation and Payments
- Invoicing and Sales Ledger Accounting
- Classing, Courses, Timetabling, Attendance, Progress, Assessments
- Reporting, Statistics and Lists
“Class Cloud” is now available for all new customers. This gives you access to Class through the web on our hosted multi-tenancy solution. The Class product, database and documents are hosted by us on our cloud infrastructure.
Following confirmation that you wish to proceed, we will establish a cloud server database for you to use and give you web access to this with the correct number of users and modules. We will also give you instructions on how to access this from your desktop. Then we will arrange training and get you up and running!
We are currently setting up our Multi-Tenancy environment. This is where Class Web will be hosted in future. You will be moved to this as soon as it is ready.
In the meantime you can be hosted on our Single Server as an interim solution (ask email@example.com for details). Once the Multi-Tenancy environment is in place, we will arrange to move you across.
- Class has been developed over 30 years and includes years of improvements, ideas and enhancements that have been driven by our experience working as partners with our 250 language school customers.
- Cloud hosting of Class by Infospeed.
- Low technical overhead:
- No need to purchase, maintain or update in-house servers for Class.
- No need for separate server software and hardware packages.
- We provide support for your Class set up (including Backups, Antivirus, Software Installation, Security).
- 3-tier back-up of Class.
- You will be Class Web-ready, meaning you will have access to Class Web when iterative releases commence in the near future (an upgrade fee to Class Web will be chargeable).
- Class is available on multiple platforms: Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, iPhone and Android.
- Excellent support package and access to our dedicated support team.
- Third party module integration (for example with Flywire and Guided E-Learning).
Each customer transition will be slightly different in nature. For example, some customers already have cloud-based solutions of their own. The process in general is as follows:
- Free demonstration of Class.
- Further demonstrations over the Internet by our Sales/Support Teams as required to cover specific areas of concern (eg. you may have further invoicing questions, academic discussions, etc).
- Our Engineering team and your IT will agree detailed technical requirements and agree/clarify any technical considerations relating to your current set up.
- You’ll decide on the following:
- Number of Class Users (See ‘What are Concurrent Users’ below)
- Which Modules you require.
- Number of Teacher Portal Users (optional)
- Number of Class Sense Users (optional)
- Our Sales Team will prepare a final quote for you.
- You accept the quote and give written confirmation to proceed.
- We’ll send an Application Service Provider Agreement to be signed including Terms/Conditions and SLA’s.
- We will then invoice you for the first years’ subscription.
- A 30% deposit on the year 1 subscription fee is payable at this time.
- We will both agree on mutual Project Managers and who will be responsible for training.
- We agree on a “Go Live” date.
- Our engineering team will then put in place the necessary database and IT infrastructure (server location, security and licences and document templates).
- Data Imports will be actioned if required (optional).
- Once satisfied that the database (including any imported data) and IT infrastructure is available, we will make contact with your IT team to discuss configuring your PC’s for Class Cloud access.
- “Go Live” – the contract subscription will begin on this date.
- Once you are live, our Customer Support team will begin the first training session with you.
- Training will take place over the next 2-3 months, depending on mutual availability.
- The balance of the first year’s subscription is payable after your 3rd or 4th training session.
- New bookings after an agreed date can then be added from this time on to the new system whilst running down the old system.
- You would then run down the old system on your own agreed time frame.
- Full transition to Class – old system retained for historical data purposes.
Contracts and Sales: firstname.lastname@example.org
Customer Support and Training: email@example.com
Engineering and IT: firstname.lastname@example.org
In order to ensure a smooth transition you should consider the following:
You can have as many staff with usernames and passwords as you like. However only X-number of users will be able to log in at the same time. This is the main number you need to decide ahead of purchasing Class.
Just as an example, a small single site school might need 1 user for the following roles:
Registrar/Booking, Accommodation Officer, Accounts Officer and Director of Studies (4 users).
They might be logged into the system all day. However it’s likely they will be logged out at times and the other staff and assistants to the departments could for example log in to run stats when it’s quieter on the system. So still only 4 Class Users required.
You can always add more very quickly so start small. We are always happy to advise on this.
Teacher Portal licences only give users very limited access to Class to enter attendance, absence and progress, as well as view class information on a computer in the classroom. They are therefore licenced separately. The Teacher Portal is an optional module.
Access to Business Intelligence platforms are typically quite expensive and we have to charge access for each user. In order for you to only pay for the users you really need (typically the management and sales managers) we have a separate user count for Class Sense.
If you have an existing list of students/ETO’s (agents) and host families we can import these into Class ahead of going live. “Static” details such as names, addresses, telephone numbers etc. can be imported using our purpose designed import (CSV) templates. Current and historical bookings and financial transactions cannot be brought automatically into Class. Imports which do not conform to our standard CSV templates can be discussed but such imports will incur additional charges. It is possible to add more students and agents later but host family imports can only be done at the time of installation.
Moving to a new database system is a good time to clear out your existing database. Time should be set aside to remove ETO’s and Homestay Providers that you no longer work with or are duplicated. This should take place ahead of the Data Import if you are using our CSV’s to import data.
If you have an existing integration with a CRM, Accounting system or any other 3rd Party system please discuss this with us. We will happily discuss assisting you to integrate with such platforms. For the future however Class Web is being developed with a new set of API’s that assist integration. In the meantime please send details of any required integrations to email@example.com and we will gladly discuss these with you.
Many companies move to Class from their own bespoke solutions that have served them well over time but take time and effort to maintain and struggle to keep up-to-date with a changing and growing business. Moving to an “off the shelf” package from a bespoke system tailor made for you can be challenging and it is a good idea to discuss the concerns of the users. Often moving to Class is an opportunity to re-look at “Why?” existing processes are in place and to consider how Class approaches the issue. Class has been developed to take into account the many different ways language schools operate. If you have any concerns that you have a process in place that Class cannot replicate or replace effectively please contact us and we will be very happy to discuss how other schools operate and best practice.
From start to going live the process for a standard school should take no more than 6 to 8 weeks and we would expect to complete this sooner subject to receiving all of the necessary access to test and set up the system. This does not take into account internal process reviews that larger organisations will need to consider.
Typically our new customers run down the old system and choose a “Go Live” date after which all new bookings can be placed onto Class. So eg. you might decide to go live from January of the coming year. In which case all bookings for the current year are entered onto the old system but may be curtailed to 31st December. All students staying on past the 31st December will be entered with a booking from 1st January. All new students arriving after 1st January should be entered onto Class and not entered onto your old system. Our customer support team are happy to discuss your thoughts on this transition.
We suggest that you have a lead person in charge of Class. We also recommend using them in a “Train the Trainer” approach. This way you choose someone from your organisation who has been with you for a number of years and understands your organisation and its processes. You might considered sending this person to our Super Users training sessions in the future.
We will be asking all Class Cloud customers to sign an ASP (Application Service Provider) agreement. Due to the responsibilities and regulations around Cloud Hosting and Data Storage this is rather a complex and lengthy document. We are happy to guide customers through this document. It is there to protect both sides so please do take the time to read this through.
Class Subscription is an Annual Subscription which can be paid monthly (see below). It includes:
- Class Subscription (1 year),
- Support (Class and IT Server),
- Server Space & Software,
- Redundancy & Antivirus),
- Regular Updates (but not major releases).
It is now possible to pay for Class via Flywire (www.flywire.com) our payment partners for non-UK payments.
For certain contracts it is now also possible to set up monthly payments. If you wish to discuss this please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should you choose to pay annually and want to amend your renewal date to a better time of year, we can change this for you.
Once you are installed all training is handled by one of our in-house training consultants. This includes discussion on the major items in Class and the most appropriate way of setting/entering data to meet the user’s requirements.
We would emphasise that the changeover of a system is a major task and that a project leader must be appointed to coordinate users and liaise with all sections in your school and with Infospeed.
We recommend that time is allocated for discussion/creation of an implementation plan with one of our consultants.
Users are assumed to have Windows, and Microsoft Word/Excel knowledge. Training on these is not provided.
When purchasing Class you will be given a standard package of hours training. This is typically made up of 10 hours training for the core module and an additional hour for each additional module.
Please note however that this is a basic training package, not detailed Class training in full. Class is a huge system and detailed questions will slow progress and may mean additional hours are required. We will keep you informed if the training schedule is slipping. Where possible however please allow the team to carry out the basics during these starter sessions.
All organisations train at different speeds and these initial training hours paid for are a guide only. After each training session you will be asked to carry out tasks which a) assist you to get used to working with Class and b) allow you to move onto the next section of the training. If this work is not completed it may not be possible to carry out the next section of training or may cause a delay. Where engagement with the Class system is not regular from the start, it should be expected that the training hours’ requirement will be increased due to the need to re-cap on items. In these cases the support team will notify you when you are running out of training time and discuss increasing your training hours (charged per hour or in packs of 10 hours for a 20% discount).
It is the Project Manager’s responsibility to ensure that the appropriate members of the team are available for each training session. Please note that we do have limited training slots available and training slots cancelled with less than an hours’ notice will still be charged. Late arrival on an online session will result in a curtailed session charged at full rates as we often have a further session to attend to in the next slot.
If you would like a training database/sandbox to train staff without impacting the live database please let us know and we will be happy to arrange this.
Class Cloud is designed to sit on our Multi-Tenancy platform. For some larger organisations it may be a requirement to have a separate Cloud based server infrastructure to e.g. to control upgrades due to the need to check compatibility with “back end” integrations. If this is likely to be the case, please contact us to discuss your requirements and we can quote for this.
We have chosen to use OVH as our dedicated hardware provider. OVH have multiple data centres on a global scale. Being the hardware provider, OVH are tasked with the responsibility of physically maintaining the Servers our Infrastructure is hosted on. As such, this means OVH are in control of ensuring our Servers are provided with power as well as an internet connection.
OVH have multiple redundancies in place, which you can read about here:
- Dual Power Supplies per physical Server
- Each Data Centre is supplied by two separate power sources (UPS Units / Diesel Generators)
- Anti DDoS Protection
- Each Data Centre has multiple Internet Line backups
Within our Private Cloud Infrastructure there are multiple points of failover. A very basic scaled down overview of this is as follows:
When first connecting to our Infrastructure, you will be connecting to a Load Balancer. This Load Balancer will monitor current network and processing load of all Remote Desktop Servers within our Server Farm, selecting the most suitable, available & healthy Remote Desktop Server for you to connect to. This ensures that you will never be placed on a server with ‘noisy neighbours’ that may affect your Class experience.
Utilizing a Load Balancer allows us to control which Remote Desktop Servers are available for use. Should a Remote Desktop Server require maintenance or encounter issues, it can be removed from the pool by disallowing future logins. In the event of a Remote Desktop Server facing a Hardware / Software failure, the Load Balancer can again, route logins to that of an available server. Assisting us in keeping Class available to you.
Class Databases are hosted within a High Availability SQL Cluster. This means Databases will be replicated over a number of SQL Servers. Should a SQL Server node encounter an issue, again it can be removed from the Cluster and maintenance completed, with a seamless switch over that you will not notice.
In addition to the redundancy steps taken above, within our High Availability Farm, servers will span across multiple OVH Data Centres. This will cover against the extremely unlikely event of a data centre failure:
Our Engineers will be proactively monitoring the health and performance of our Infrastructure Farm. As a result, the total number of Remote Desktop & SQL Servers available on our Infrastructure will vary, based on current and predicted load. As an example, more servers will be available over summer as this is a particularly busy period.
In addition to the redundancy steps we’ve taken above, we have also introduced a 4-tier backup plan to protect against worst case scenarios, to prevent corruption and/or data loss.
1 – All Servers within our Infrastructure are equipped with a Soft Raid-1. This means all data on each Server is mirrored across two physical disks. This prevents loss of data in the event of a hard disk failure.
2 – Each Customer will have a scheduled daily backup to a local backup disk, which again is included within the Soft Raid-1 above. This gives us instant access to restore a copy of your data from the previous day, should this be required.
3 – Each daily backup that is taken to the local backup disk above, is also copied across to our dedicated backup server housed within our Infrastructure. This will keep an archive of a month’s daily backups.
4 – As a last step approach, for protection of a fatal outage within all of the data centres that our infrastructure is hosted on, each month’s archive that is stored on our Backup Server is additionally uploaded to a service called CrashPlan. This will keep a total cycle of 3-months’ of backups (90 days).
In addition to the 4-tiers above, we are also happy to provide customers with a downloadable copy of their backups if required. Should a bespoke backup solution be required, we are happy to accommodate this.
In order to access the cloud, your users will need the following minimum PC specification:
Access to Remote Desktop 8.0 or above
Internet Explorer 10 or above
Mac OSX / iOS
Access to the AppStore
Ability to install Microsoft Remote Desktop
Access to PlayStore
Ability to install Microsoft Remote Desktop
We look forward to welcoming you on board as a Class Cloud customer.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on email@example.com