Christie Spaces

Aruba Wi-Fi and location-based services provide seamless connectivity at Christie Spaces to create a smarter digital workplace

Delivering flexible workspaces to local and international clients across a variety of buildings and providing a professional environment for its members are top priorities for Lee Allemand.

“The workforce is dynamic and we need to provide the solutions for a new generation of companies and their teams,” explained Allemand, IT Manager for Christie Spaces. “Today, people want a sense of worth. They are coming to work for a mission, and it’s our goal to provide them with the space and the tools for a new style of working.”

Providing a way forward

As one of Australia’s premier co-working spaces with over 52,000 square feet of space across the East Coast, the challenge Christie Spaces faced was retrofitting buildings to comply with its vision of a flexible, always available work environment, as well as adapting newly-built spaces it had leased.

Aruba is our partner for the long-haul, truly helping us to promote a smart digital workplace for our members to flourish.
Lee Allemand, IT Manager, Christie Spaces in Australia

“Workers today are looking for a sense of purpose and belonging,” says Allemand. “By creating a range of co-working, office and project spaces that are as smart and easy to use as they are beautiful, we’re not just providing a location for people to work but also building a sense of community.”

With the goal of delivering a self-supportive and self-sufficient community, Christie Spaces needed to provide its members with high speed internet, the ability to access resources on the fly as well as enabling them to book a room seamlessly. As a result, Christie Spaces selected Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, to help the business roll out a more connected workplace for its members.

802.11ac wireless network supports a diverse range of uses

In order to provide always-on connectivity for its members, as well as to prepare for future expansion, Christie Spaces deployed a pervasive enterprise network consisting of 802.11ac indoor and outdoor access points, 7210 Controllers and Mobility Access Controllers, as well as AirWave for optimising Wi-Fi experiences, and ClearPass for strong network security.

“We needed a solution that would adapt to the varying ways our members would utilise the space. Aruba’s offering allowed us to make our physical spaces – conference facilities, collaborative workspaces, hot desks and private offices – more easily accessible and smarter for our highly mobile community of workers, by using the best technologies,” says Allemand.

Christie Spaces caters to a diverse range of business needs. Whether it is to encourage collaboration, provide a hub for start-ups to grow their operations or a temporary connection for travellers. The network was built with this in mind.

Seamless network insights with AirWave

With various users, devices and apps connected to the network, Christie Spaces required insight into the health and performance of the infrastructure to ensure continuous connectivity.

Allemand says that AirWave has provided network insights through its ability to offer granular visibility into the wired and wireless network, something that would not be possible using any other network analysis product.

“We can have thousands of users accessing the network at any one point in time,” he says. “AirWave provides insights into the network in plain English and allows our network support team to fully understand areas of high-density, what issues may arise, and how resources can be redirected to ensure we have zero downtime. This ultimately allows us to offer an uninterrupted service to our members.”

Secure network access with ClearPass

With members using the offices for a variety of reasons, Aruba’s ClearPass solution has allowed Christie Spaces to create a network that follows the user from desk to desk, and building to building. According to Allemand, the organisation’s members can have their own private networks and log in to access their cloud resources, regardless of which location the member is working at.

ClearPass also ensures secure network access control, with a context-based security model that allows a network access policy to be set and then rolled out across the entire network.

“As we are a 24/7 provider to thousands of members using the spaces for various reasons, it is necessary that we provide a safe network with secure authentication to our community of mobile workers,” says Allemand. “With ClearPass, customers are no longer locked into a single access point. Anywhere they go in the Christie portfolio effectively becomes their office for the day. In effect, the network follows them, not the other way around.”

Meridian provides future opportunities and expansions

A key step in the journey to creating a new digital workplace was ensuring that the space would be able to adapt and grow with the evolving needs of the workforce. As well as seeking to elevate their day-to-day environments and capabilities, Christie Spaces worked towards a future vision that would enable a number of various use cases. In order to achieve this, Christie Spaces is planning to invest in Aruba’s Meridian Mobile App platform with Bluetooth beacons.

“Wayfinding is something we are really excited about,” Allemand says. “We are only just scratching the surface of what could be possible with the app in conjunction with Meridian and the Bluetooth beacons that we have throughout all our office spaces.”

The integration of Aruba’s Meridian mobile app will enable Christie Spaces to expand the services that it is currently offering its customers, including providing a streamlined room booking service to ensure guests can secure the space they require. Further to this, the app will eventually be able to provide turn-by-turn directions using Bluetooth beacons to help guide guests to their meeting locations.

Attracting new members with outdoor APs

At one of its Brisbane locations, Christie Spaces also has outdoor access points providing free, high speed internet to anyone that wants to use it. This free access has coverage that reaches the locations of two competitor co-working spaces in the same vicinity.

Allemand says that opening its offering to the public promotes Christie Spaces’ pervasive Wi-Fi, and the speed of the connection provides an incentive for potential members to come and visit.

“What we are offering for free is probably better than what they are paying for at rival spaces,” he says. “We’re so confident in Aruba’s technology that we are willing to demonstrate to local businesses why they should also depend on us for excellent service.”

A solid relationship

Allemand says that Christie Spaces’ relationship with Aruba is a rock solid and reliable relationship, just like their wired and wireless solutions.

“The team at Aruba have been great at helping us solve the internal riddles and issues that we did not know we had. This partnership is helping us go leaps and bounds, to foster creativity, collaboration and provide digital freedom to our members,” he says. “Aruba is our partner for the long-haul, truly helping us to promote a smart digital workplace for our members to flourish.”

Delivering a flexible and dependable network solution has helped Christie Spaces achieve its position as a dynamic leader in the co-working office community.