Featured case study
Phone system saves college thousands a year

01 May 2018

When Wiltshire College merged with Salisbury College it grew to four campuses in Chippenham, Lackham, Salisbury, and Trowbridge. Now it has around 10,000 students and 1,000 staff.

Each of the four sites had its own telephone system which the college wanted to replace with a single, 1,000-extension platform that would be robust, simple to install, and easy to administer from a central location.

Its requirements included core telephony features, such as call pickup, forwarding, hunt groups, etc., as well as presence, a softphone option, and call logging and reporting.

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We’re gonna need back-up for the back-up

01 May 2018

The University of Winchester caters for around 6,500 students, and over the last decade it has invested heavily in its facilities and infrastructure that included a virtualised IT environment.

In recent years, its existing UPS systems failed without warning, the first sign being fumes coming off the batteries that were used in the devices to protect the Edge IT infrastructure which is there to ensure round-the-clock availability of IT services to students.

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Students and staff see connection speeds soar

01 May 2018

Kimbolton School near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire is an HMC co-educational day and boarding school with 980 pupils aged 4-18.

It is centred on Kimbolton Castle which is set in 120 acres and was bought by the school in 1951.

The school wanted to improve its internet connectivity. Lessons need to be available for download, there is heavy usage of mobile devices, as well as high demand for mixed media streaming.

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Improving IT efficiency at Sheffield Hallam

03 January 2018

With a pedigree dating back to the early 19th century, Sheffield Hallam University has more than 31,000 students and more than 4,500 staff.

It is situated on two campuses comprising 12 major buildings in the city centre, including the Sheffield Institute of Education at Charles Street which was re-developed at a cost of £30m in 2014-15.

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Woldingham School gets data backup sorted

03 January 2018

Set within a 700-acre estate in the Surrey Hills, Woldingham School is a Catholic boarding and day school for girls aged 11 to 18, and was founded in 1842 by the Society of the Sacred Heart.

Its 200-acre main site is comprised of a mix of traditional and modern buildings for teaching, accommodation for more than 350 pupils, and more than 50 houses and flats for teaching and support staff.

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Manchester Metropolitan conquers IP demand

03 January 2018

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) is said to be the fifth largest and second most applied-to in the UK.

It has around 37,000 students and 4,000 staff members including 40 in the IT infrastructure department. 

Like most universities, MMU has been challenged by the number of internet-connected devices students bring to the campus each day, expanding the amount of IP addresses under management.

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Beacons help school track and analyse pupils

15 March 2017

Bryanston School is set in 400 acres of Dorset countryside.

Bryanston School is set in 400 acres of Dorset countryside.

Set in 400 acres of Dorset countryside, Bryanston School has 670-plus pupils, mostly boarders at fees of £11,882 per term.

Alumni inaclude the adventurer Ben Fogle, actors Emilia and Freddie Fox, the painter Lucian Freud, and Rachel Johnson, writer and sister of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

In a 12-month project, 400 wireless access points – managed by two mobility controllers – were fitted throughout the campus, which comprises more than 30 buildings.

The technology is from Aruba (now owned by HP) and was installed by Pervasive Networks, which was bought by Capita for £17.5m in May 2015.

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Off-site backup saves school data from fire

15 March 2017

The Academy, Selsey, has 400 students and is part of The Kemnal Academies Trust.

In August last year, fire destroyed 80 per cent of the school, including the rack-mounted servers (outlined in red in the above picture) and the network.

Founded in 1963 as a comprehensive school and established as an academy in 2011, The Academy, Selsey, has 400 students and is part of The Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT).

It had been using a traditional tape-based method to backup its 1TB of student data.

IT manager Daniel Sapseid says this would frequently take two days: “I would often leave the backup process to complete over the weekend and then would take the tapes home with me. Looking back, I see it wasn’t the most efficient way to store critical student data as a large part of my time was spent ensuring the backups had been completed in the first place.”

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Cannon-proof walls no barrier to Wi-Fi

15 March 2017

Portsmouth Grammar School is based in a former army barracks.

Portsmouth Grammar School is based in a former army barracks.

Founded in 1732 by the city’s mayor, Portsmouth Grammar School (PGS), has just over 1,000 pupils from nursery to sixth form and is based in a former army barracks. It has been fully co-educational since girls were admitted in 1991.

The school encourages pupils to work from their own tablets, smartphones and other devices within the classrooms. However, while its building’s 1.5 metre-thick flint-filled walls were once ideal for withstanding enemy artillery attacks, they also proved good at blocking radio signals, making Wi-Fi access across the campus a major challenge.

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Education charity saves with move to the cloud

16 October 2016

Teach First, a charity working to tackle educational inequality in England and Wales, has 11 offices and 650 staff. 

With the decision to move its London HQ from the South Bank to North Greenwich, it sought to replace the different conventional phone systems at each of its offices with a single UC platform that would support Skype for Business. And it had to integrate with Microsoft products, particularly as the charity is a dedicated user of Office 365.

Teach First discussed its needs with VIA, part of Smart Hosted Solutions, based in Nottingham, which suggested its cloud-based product, VIA Voice. The charity visited Redbridge College to see VIA Voice in use and, after a month-long trial at its Birmingham office, rolled out VIA Voice across all of its offices.

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