The IIE Paves the Way to World Class Education with Aruba and Khipu Networks
As the world becomes increasingly digitised and competition in the job market gets tougher by the day, South African educational institutions must ensure they offer their students not only a globally recognised education, but also the skills and tools to get ahead in the digital world.
The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), SA’s largest and most accredited higher education institution, recently assessed its existing wireless offering and decided to embark on a search for a wireless solution that will simplify and improve students’ user experience. The solution that The IIE required had to meet the following criteria:
- Allow for seamless voice over Wi-Fi
- Allow lecturers to present in class over Wi-Fi
- Accommodate high volume of BYOD
- Create the platform for a flipped classroom
- Increase network back-bone capacity to 10Gbps
Increase the network throughput to the end user device
- Limit the impact of external sources of radio interference
- Render large graphic files over the network
- Reduce the need for physical cabling (both network and power)
- Support Bluetooth beaconing
- Allow for advanced bandwidth management
- Leverage and complement existing technology
- Be supported by a partner that can work across the entire network stack
- Be supported by a partner with experience in the Education Sector
With these business requirements in hand, The IIE went to market and selected Aruba Networks technology as the preferred Wi-Fi mobility platform and Khipu Networks as the preferred partner of choice.
Louis Thom, the IT Manager for the ADvTECH Schools Division, noted that Khipu was able to provide the Schools Division with an end to end solution. “Khipu provides a managed service blending together the Wi-Fi and Fixed network, ClearPass Policy Manager authentication, Quick Connect and Palo Alto, Networks Firewalls. The relationship has matured into a partnership and provides our users with a flexible, secure and manageable network.”
Barry Locker, IT Manager at Varsity College, a leading IIE brand, said that the Aruba solution through Khipu offered a seamless end to end solution.
“They carefully mapped out the distribution of access points across our campuses to ensure that there were no dead spots. The W-iFi solution allows dynamic offload between access points to ensure the best possible experience for our students. The managed services component has proved invaluable for the brand by freeing up technical resources, and enable consistent and reliable uptime.”
Sherwyn Kandylall, IT Manager at another top niche IIE brand, Vega, says they needed a dynamic Wi-Fi solution that would be scalable and adaptable.
“Our previous Wi-Fi and data networking environment had significant problems, including poor coverage, Wi-Fi dropouts and lack of central manageability. We could not afford to continue with the current operating model. In an effort to reduce current and future costs, we also wanted to invest in a flexible Wi-Fi solution that would not require us to add additional cabling in the future.
“Most importantly, we wanted to include support for voice over Wi-Fi (VoWLAN) as part of our solution, and we needed a partner capable of doing this. It is not yet a well-known technology in South Africa.”
By conducting market research, the group identified Aruba Networks to be a market leader within the education space, and Khipu Networks as one of their best deployment and support partners.
Gareth Trollip, Khipu Networks South Africa Technical Manager, explains: “Khipu is one of Aruba’s platinum partners and for the second year running, named a notable vendor within Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Managed Security Services, Worldwide.
He adds that they have been an Aruba partner for 10 years and have completed a number of different types of deployments including voice over Wi-Fi at many schools, universities, hospitals and corporates across Europe.
“But this was the first time we deployed VoWLAN in South Africa. Now the Vega campuses are almost 100% wireless besides the odd printer here or there.”
As well as enabling site to site calls over Wi-Fi and saving a huge amount of money on call costs, Wilfried Vedder, Group Infrastructure Manager of ADvTECH, highlighted the importance of the Wi-Fi solution for the tertiary and school’s students and educators.
“What we have done is a first for the country in terms of the VoWLAN and this solution improves the experience of everyone on campus.”
The IIE and HP partnered in the deployment of a Graphic Rendering Computer venue at the Vega Randburg Campus. The venue required a high capacity Wi-Fi network capable of rendering high-level graphics. The value proposition of the Aruba Networks Wi-Fi solution improved the experience of the students and enabled the lecturers to teach from anywhere in the classroom. This resulted in better collaboration between students and lecturers.
When it comes to the user experience, it is equally important to ensure that any problems with the network are dealt with smoothly and quickly so that the students and lecturers encounter minimal disruption. Kandylall, Locker, Thom and Vedder all agreed that Khipu has delivered on all promises and has exceeded expectations.
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