Fashion Retail Academy, London has upgraded its college wireless network with help from Networks First to support increasing demand from its 700 students for BYOD. The new wifi network will support around 1000 devices at any one time allowing students to link smartphones, tablets and laptops to the academy’s network.
“The new network provides students with the ability to access it from any of their devices, using their own network credentials to authenticate the connection taking pressure off the IT helpdesk and improving accessibility and user experience” explains Brendan Kearney, Senior Manager of IT systems and e-learning, Fashion Retail Academy.
“It was a huge drain on our resources on the old wireless network to have to provide a single password for students when they brought a device to the helpdesk to be added – the new service means that students are able to access the network using their individual login. It also means that students will have one login for all systems at FRA such as the wifi network and Moodle – the virtual learning environment.”
The network is within a challenging environment. It covers a large area and has an influx of demand at busy times. Networks First undertook a site survey assessing the signal and access points and provided the specifications and design of the optimum network to support the students requirements. It will continue to monitor the network as a managed service around the clock providing 24x7 access.
“We’re a small internal team and so the involvement of Networks First as extra pairs of hands in assessing the network, upgrading the academy and then working alongside us managing this aspect of the network and the security is invaluable to my team,” said Brendan Kearney.
“Going forward we’ll be able to provide a guest network login to our retail partner companies and visitors when they come onsite to support the fashion courses we offer. Access is so much easier for all parties and is less of a burden for IT.”
The new network went live in September. A video case study is available here
Notes to Editors
About Networks First
Networks First is a leading independent provider of converged network services, helping organisations to achieve more from their existing communications infrastructures. A services led organisation, Networks First’s highly experienced team of consultants and engineers guarantee business critical communications through a range of multi-vendor and mixed technology services and solutions.
Headquartered in Redditch, Network First operates throughout the UK, working with a broad range of vendor partners such as Cisco, HP, Aruba and Mitel, to provide guaranteed support to customers. A centralised Network Operations and Technical Assistance Centre is at the heart of the business, backed up by a spares inventory in excess of GBP4.5m. Networks First’s customers include: Marshall Amplification, Staffordshire County Council, Health & Safety Laboratory, Mid Essex Hospital Services, James Hall & Co, Berkhamsted Schools Group and Assa Abloy. For more information, please visit www.networksfirst.com or contact Kasia Murphy KasiaMurphy@NetworksFirst.com 0845 850 5577
About Fashion Retail Academy
Fashion Retail Academy was the first National Skills Academy to be opened in the UK in September 2006 to educate and train people aged 16+ to develop the skills required for a career in the fashion retail industry. The FRA is backed by the retail industry’s big hitters Arcadia Group, Marks & Spencer, Next and Tesco.
For more information, please visit http://www.fashionretailacademy.ac.uk/index.php or contact Helen Balfour Helen.Balfour@fra.ac.uk
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