Trustpower Limited New Zealand

Aruba Wi-Fi facilitates activity-based working for 750 staff at Trustpower Limited New Zealand

Trustpower Limited (NZX:TPW) is a New Zealand electricity generation and retailing company, that owns and operates 34 power stations and also has remote call centres located across New Zealand. Assisting 250,000 customers across New Zealand and Australia, smart work practices are absolutely critical for Ross Mahon.

“We are the fifth largest energy generator in New Zealand and also have energy generation facilities in Australia,” explains Mahon, Infrastructure Architect at Trustpower Limited.

“We have embraced activity-based working as the way to get the most out of our staff, and wireless networking is absolutely critical in making that happen.”

Seeking a company-wide wireless networking solution

As a business, we are now more collaborative and mobile. We have seen an increase in productivity, efficiency and staff attendance due to the introduction of our activity-based working environment that is heavily underpinned by Aruba Ross Mahon, Infrastructure Architect, Trustpower Limited

As a large power generator, energy retailer and Internet service provider, Trustpower’s move into its new headquarters meant that its existing wireless solution was deemed inadequate for the new facility.

“Activity-based working practices were a major focus for us in our new premises. The new way of working meant no one, not even senior management, would have a permanent desk,” Mahon says. “Instead, people choose the desk or room that is most suitable to their work on any given day”.

“To facilitate this, we needed a robust wireless solution that could deal with hundreds of connections simultaneously, as well as provide services for guests and those staff who wanted to bring their own devices into the office,” explains Mahon.

Choosing a Wi-Fi solution partner

With technology partner Finao, a New Zealand-based reseller and implementer, Trustpower went to market and considered Wi-Fi providers that could deliver a tailored and reliable solution that matched the requirements dictated by the work style Trustpower was looking to create.

“A reliable wireless network is a core component of activity-based working, so it was imperative we identified the right solution,” says Mahon.

Pervasive enterprise 802.11ac Wi-Fi system deployed

In order to meet its wireless networking needs and facilitate activity-based working for over 750 staff across numerous facilities in New Zealand and Australia, Trustpower chose to deploy Aruba’s pervasive enterprise-wide wireless network, which comprised of over 80 Wi-Fi access points.

“Aruba was selected as our chosen Wi-Fi provider as the solution matched very closely to our business requirements. It was also the capability of Aruba AirWave to monitor, proactively troubleshoot application issues, and plan for capacity that impressed the IT team,” says Mahon.

Ready on day one

The Trustpower IT team worked closely with Aruba over a three-month period to ensure the system was ready to go the first day staff entered the new building.

“When we moved into our new headquarters we required our Wi-Fi access to be up and running from day one,” explains Mahon.

Smooth implementation and traffic controlled

To ensure a smooth implementation, Aruba conducted an IRS survey, to guarantee the new neighbourhood wouldn’t have any network interference. The radio survey identified a nearby university with 7,000 students.

For this reason, a robust wireless solution that could withstand a congested radio environment was absolutely critical for Trustpower. Aruba’s wireless technology remained strong within the busy radio environment, providing connection for over 250 devices at any given time.

AirWave provides productivity and ease

Implementing AirWave allows the IT team at Trustpower to proactively monitor the health and performance of all devices connected at HQ and offsite; accessing the insights needed to support the digital workplace. Particularly as staff at Trustpower engage in activity-based working, AirWave allows IT to easily manage and identify devices no matter where staff or their devices are located.

“We also manage three Australian power stations from our New Zealand HQ. AirWave allows us to ensure the network is performing well, so from a productivity point of view, the ability to quickly and easily manage any issues has been immeasurable.”

Increased satisfaction from employees

As part of the move to the new head quarters, Trustpower provided staff with business laptops and iPads. The company’s network includes a provision for employees to bring their own devices, which include smartphones and tablets.

“The initial feedback from staff has been excellent,” says Mahon. Employees can connect seamlessly and easily and work in a manner that suits them, their environment and the company. It’s been a huge success.”

“Overall, high-speed wireless is absolutely critical for our environment and the way we work,” he added. “As a business, we are now more collaborative and mobile. We have seen an increase in productivity, efficiency and staff attendance due to the introduction of our activity-based working environment that is heavily underpinned by Aruba,” says Mahon.

Prepared for the future

In the future, Trustpower aims to continue the activity-based working journey with staff members and encourages digital collaboration amongst the growing mobile workforce. The next step in its technology extension is the implementation of Aruba ClearPass.

Aruba’s ClearPass technology will allow Trustpower to automate and simplify the provisioning of network access for guests, and also provides expansive security features that will keep enterprise traffic separate from guest traffic.

“Our Aruba network is future-proofed for our growing mobility needs. It is comforting to know that as our business grows and our IT and technology requirements change, our Aruba network will adapt in a flexible and seamless way,” concludes Mahon.