Who We Are
Bridge International Academies is the world's largest and fastest-growing chain of primary and pre-primary schools with more than 500 academies and 100,000 pupils in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, India, and Liberia. We democratize the right to succeed by giving families living in poverty access to the high-quality education that will allow their children to live a very different life. We leverage experts, data, and technology in order to standardize and scale every aspect of quality education delivery, from how and where academies are built to how teachers are selected and trained, and how lessons are delivered and monitored for improvement. We are vertically-integrated, tech-enabled, and on our way to profitability. Bridge expects to continue rapid expansion in 2018 across existing and new markets.
The Bridge Offer
Roughly 2.7 billion people live on less than $2/day. In their communities, there is a huge gap between the education offered and the needs of the population. Too often the schools available to them fail to deliver for these families. The quality offered results in the average pupil from our communities in East Africa failing to reach proficiency in primary school and on average fail the primary exit exams that are critical to their development. Teachers are unresponsive and occasionally abusive, and fees are often unaffordable. Even government schools can cost families a significant amount of money after all the additional fees are added up. With 47% of classroom teaching time lost due to teacher absenteeism or neglect, 55% of families in our communities end up choosing private schools instead, but then fear for the stability and sustainability of their choice as many schools close after only a few years of service. Both the government schools and the private schools tend to lack well-conceived scope and sequences, instructional materials, student achievement data, and the capacity to react to that data.
Families are actively searching for a better academic alternative.
Enter Bridge International Academies. As of September 2017, Bridge operates more than 500 academies, serving roughly 100,000 pupils in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, India, and Liberia.
Bridge utilises a scripted-learning education methodology coupled with 'big data' (all teachers have tablets for instruction, assessment, and data-gathering) that allows us to make curriculum a little better every day.
With plans to enrol ten million students ten years from now, Bridge International Academies offers a tremendous opportunity to grow with one of the world's most exciting, ambitious, and socially conscious companies, with leadership roles available across a number of competencies and geographies.
Tech at Bridge
Technology plays a critical role at Bridge in enabling us to provide education at massive scale and low cost - it's one of the key elements that gives us the ability to deliver what no one else can. Tech spans several key functions, from the hardware and software that our academies use to run all aspects of teaching and management, from mobile payments, to the systems that enable our country headquarters to manage massive local operations, to the data backbone that informs all of our strategic and tactical decision making. It's a lot of custom software development and a lot of back office systems. We've got a ridiculously ambitious mission at Bridge, and it's a place where passionate technologists have a chance to directly change the world. No kidding.
As a company where tech permeates almost every aspect of its operations and forms a key part of Bridge's ability to scale with quality, consistency, and low cost, IT at Bridge serves an integral role in ensuring that everyone at Bridge, from academy staff to executives, all have the functioning tech they need to excel at their jobs. IT at Bridge also oversees the technical infrastructure that supports and connects all of Bridge's global offices.
Bridge is currently undergoing massive global expansion and a significant part of this transformation is transitioning to a global shared services team, where highly leveraged IT skills can support all of our regions.
About the Role
As the global IT Operations Manager, you will be a key member of the tech team. You will oversee a hybrid team of in-house and out-sourced staff who provide operational and infrastructure design and support for all of our tech systems.
You will be responsible for providing high-leverage and business critical IT functions to all of our global locations, ranging from data centre administration (both on-premise and cloud), to network and security administration, global telecom, license management, IT governance, business continuity, and asset provisioning, maintaining, and tracking. And more!
In short, you will be responsible for ensuring high-quality, cost-effective, and responsive IT systems for a large, diverse, and rapidly expanding global organisation. You will report to the global Director of IT Ops and will collaborate with regional teams in a global matrix organization to help deliver amazing learning gains to all our families.
What You Will Do
- Oversee global data centre operations, across AWS, Azure, and on-premise, to ensure our systems are scalable, secure, cost-effective, and cleanly organised
- Work with regional teams to establish global telecom and MPLS solutions, to ensure high-quality connectivity within and between offices (and data centres)
- Support regional teams on local network, firewall, and APN issues
- Support global software development teams on DevOps (Puppet, Docker, VPNs)
- Collaborate with procurement teams to define, establish, and maintain appropriate hardware catalogues supporting all our users, from teachers to executives
- Implement global PBX/E1 standards for regional and global call centres
- Manage vendor relationships to establish high levels of service delivery across all IT Operations
- Manage global software licenses ranging from servers to desktops (from OS to apps) to ensure high levels of compliance and cost efficiency
- Establish and define appropriate hardware asset tracking systems, tools, and processes that cover the spectrum of Bridge assets, from teacher computers to support office computers.
- Ensure proper governance and business continuity processes
- Oversee L3 support for IT operational issues
- Establish KPIs and work with teams to produce effective reporting metrics for key stakeholders - ensure that team deliverables are high quality and coherent
- Define and develop standard IT policies, in conjunction with People team
- Recommend and advise on team structure and hiring
What You Should Have
- Bachelor's degree with superior academic performance
- Work experience across servers, storage, security, backup and archive, virtualisation, data centres (public and private clouds), network, windows os, active directory services, antispam deployments, messaging, and virtualisation
- Good exposure and experience in Infrastructure Management Services of a medium or large sized account, and provide single point ownership for the service delivery globally.
- Comfort as both an individual contributor and a leader who can drive the efforts of several teams
- A keen sense of ownership, speedy execution, and scrappiness
- A data-driven perspective, understanding the importance of reliable tracking and measurements in the context of continuous improvement
- Experience as a project manager, capable of creating effective delivery strategies and managing priorities in a fluid and dynamic environment, including a strong ability to multi-task and take ownership of the current IT processes from the get-go.
- Flexibility to work outside normal business hours, as well as the ability to work under broad direction and minimal supervision.
- Knowledge of Active Directory Infrastructure, DNS/WINS/DHCP Servers, and accountable to manage global domain distributed Active Directory deployments;
- Global network integration experience with cloud formations, integration and network design (LAN/WAN/Firewalls), IAM integration AWS services EC2, ELB, S3 etc. and Azure IDaaS, AAD, partition, load balancing and cluster environments. And demonstrated knowledge of standard IP networking technologies, switching, routing, firewalls, load balancing, DNS, DHCP, etc.
- Experience in Service Management using ITIL, ITSM framework, Vendor and SLA Management., handling incidents, crisis management, troubleshoot techniques, root cause analysis and change management.
- Exposure to monitoring and log analytics using tools like NewRelic and Kibana to develop and implant tools for high predictable project monitoring systems, with good experience of background in performance testing, optimization, of all core components of data centre infrastructure.
- Extremely effective communication skills, both written and verbal, and are energised by interacting with people and building relationships.
- A detailed doer - You have a track record of getting things done. You're organized and responsive. You take ownership of every idea you touch and execute it to a fine level of detail, setting targets, engaging others, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. You can multi-task dozens of such projects at once and never lose sight of the details. Likely, you have some experience in a start-up or other rapid-growth company.
- A networking mastermind - You excel at meeting new people and turning them into advocates. You communicate in a clear, conscientious, and effective way in both written and oral speech. You can influence strangers in the course of a single conversation. Allies and colleagues will go to bat for your ideas.
- A creative problem-solver - Growing any business from scratch comes with massive and constant challenges. On top of that, Bridge works in volatile, low-resource communities and runs on fees averaging just $6 a month per pupil. You need to be flexible and ready to get everything done effectively, quickly, and affordably with the materials at hand. Every dollar you spend is a dollar our customers, who live on less than $2 a day, will have to pay for.
- A customer advocate - Our customers - these families living on less than $2 a day per person - never leave your mind. You know them, get them, have shared a meal with them (or would be happy to in the future). You would never shrink back from shaking a parent's hand or picking up a crying child, no matter what the person was wearing or looked like. Every decision you make considers their customer benefit, experience, and value.
- A life-long learner - You believe you can always do better. You welcome constructive criticism and provide it freely to others. You know you only get better tomorrow when others point out where you've missed things or failed today.