ConnectWise partners saving the world: Nick Orme, ITEC

| By: Craig Fulton

Here at ConnectWise, we love to hear about our partners going above and beyond to make the world a better place. That’s why in our latest installment to our Partners Saving the World series, we’d like to highlight Nick Orme of ITEC for bringing technology to a community in need.

About ITEC and Nick Orme

ITEC is one of the UK’s leading technology managed service providers. They are on a mission to drive companies to success through powerful technology strategies and partnerships. They work with thousands of businesses, schools, and organizations across the UK to push the boundaries of what’s possible—consulting, building, and supporting a technology ecosystem that galvanizes business growth, employee happiness, and customer satisfaction. As CEO of ITEC, Nick Orme looks after the whole company and works with ITEC’s technical minds to choose the right technology for the community.

How Nick is contributing to a better world

Nick spearheaded the idea of launching community improvement and fundraising efforts for OASIS, resulting in a new IT classroom in Mbale, Uganda. OASIS in Uganda started in 2001 to prevent vulnerable girls from slums ending up on the streets and being exploited. Their focus has expanded to include the creation of thriving communities through health, education, and IT training.

OASIS has worked with ITEC for years with the goal to raise ambition, unlock students’ potential, and work towards achieving excellence. When ITEC mentioned their plans for the Mbale center and the school in the small village of Musoto, Nick recognized that his company had the tools, resources, and expertise to fulfil this project to its full potential. He jumped on the chance to help because this project perfectly captures ITEC’s ethos that technology can help everyone regardless of where they are in the world.

Nick assembled a team of ITEC individuals including Service Desk Managers Kieran Richards and Tony Davey, Technical Field Analyst Jay Frost, and Senior Stores Assistant Shaun Cole to finish and open the new IT classroom in Mbale.

Spreading the power of technology

The journey began with a flight to Entebbe airport and a seven-hour car ride to Mbale. The minute the team arrived at the school, they knew they had their work cut out for them. The climate was exceedingly hot, infested with insects, and the internet connection was spotty, at best. The team knew that they needed the help of the whole community to make their vision a reality.

At one point, the community stepped up and crimped cables, installed computers, and ran a connection between the shipping container room and the server room under the team’s guidance to help create a server room next door. This was a godsend to the project, as the projector screen was too large to fit in the container. A local craftsman helped the team reach the finish line by sawing the projector screen to size and helping with the install.

After setting up all the computers, the team got started with the cabling. Members of the community, as well as children that were curious about what they were doing, were invited in and were given the opportunity to learn how to help with the wiring.

However, the deadline was approaching fast, and the County Director for OASIS in Uganda announced that local dignitaries would be arriving for the grand opening of the IT classroom. This was a bit nerve-wracking for the team—although the computers were hooked up and working, they weren’t fully functional in terms of their software yet. This is typical, but it still was not ideal. However, a local electrician was able to upgrade their power and the team was able to source a new router before the dignitaries arrived. It just goes to show you how a community working together can make a big change.

It became exceedingly apparent the massive impact the team’s actions had on the community when they were able to reach out and meet everyone. From community leaders, to parents, teachers, and children, they learned how an internet connection was something not to be taken for granted. Over the next five years, thousands of people will be able to use their facilities, and multiple local schools will be able to utilize the classroom to create a brighter future for all of their students.

Creating a brighter future

To help with fundraising efforts for the trip to Mbale, ITEC employees also rallied together for another important initiative—the Light Up Uganda campaign, aimed to supply Musoto with a clean light source. In this area, only a third of students have access to electricity, and many students have no safe method of doing their homework and often have to use toxic kerosene lamps.

The team was overcome with emotion seeing how excited and grateful the students were opening their lamps and learning how to use them. Providing these seemingly simple things that are often taken for granted makes a world of difference to the next generation of these areas of Uganda.

Nick Orne says ITEC will continue to work with OASIS to make sure the IT classroom remains at a high standard and will continue to raise money for the school with their Light Up Uganda campaign and a fundraising hike up Pan y Fan, a mountain in Wales, in the dark. Nick and his team are truly making a difference to help provide opportunities for those in need.