With over 1,000 employees and the growing BYOD movement, TECOM Investments' IT department sees an exponential growth in the number of PCs, tablets and smartphones.
A member of Dubai Holding, (which also includes
Jumeirah Group, Dubai Properties Group and Emirates International Telecommunications) TECOM Investments is a real estate developer, offering clients end-to-end real estate solutions from the initial identification of land and office space through to facility management.
At the heart of their business is a commitment to growing Dubai’s knowledge industries, and today TECOM Investments manages 11 Free Zone and non-Free Zone business parks which include Dubai Internet City (DIC), Dubai Media City, Dubai Knowledge Village, Dubai Biotechnology & Research Park and most recently, Dubai Design District (d3).
The Need to Update Legacy Wireless Infrastructure
TECOM Investments selected Aruba Networks to provide the latest, new generation wireless technology to employees and we have been extremely pleased with their services.
Mohamed Sabah, CIO, TECOM
Prior to the Aruba implementation, the TECOM Investments IT department relied on four decentralized, disparate wireless networks to provide wireless Local Area Network (LAN) service to TECOM employees across the company’s two office locations. With over 1,000 employees and the growing popularity of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), the TECOM Investments’ IT department began to see an exponential growth in number of PCs, tablets and smart phones connecting to its network.
These devices put tremendous strain on the existing wireless infrastructure, resulting in very slow connectivity, which ultimately impacted employee productivity. In addition to hindering the user experience, the lack of mobility and security posed additional challenges for the IT department. Exasperating matters was the growing financial costs due to a number of annual service contracts and additional man-hours required to maintain the network.
Aruba Networks – a Robust, Flexible and Secure Solution
Given the challenges posed by the existing network, it was apparent to Mr. Mohamed Sabah, CIO at TECOM Investments, that a complete overhaul of the wireless infrastructure was necessary. After four months of extensive Proof of Concept (POC) testing of the top WLAN technology vendors in the market, a decision was made to go with Aruba Networks. One of the key reasons for selecting Aruba was for enhanced enterprise mobility. “Aruba’s Secure Enterprise Mesh solution provides a flexible, wire-free design, allowing access points to be placed wherever they are needed whether it be indoors or outdoors,” said Mr. Sabah. In addition to being easily adaptable to the network requirements of the organization, the improved security of the Aruba solution was another factor that set Aruba apart from the competition. According to Mr. Sabah, “Aruba’s system performs authentication, access control and encryption for users and devices, delivering state-of-the-art wireless security.”
Working with EMITAC, Aruba’s Silver level Value-Added Reseller (VAR) in the UAE, TECOM executed the implementation in two phases. Phase 1 involved the deployment of 2 Aruba 3600 Mobility Controllers and 64 Aruba AP-93 wireless access points at the TECOM DSC location. Phase 2 involved the deployment of another 2 Aruba 3600 Mobility Controllers, 60 Aruba AP-93 access points and 6 Aruba AP-105 dual-band, dual-radio access points at TECOM’s DIC4 DC location. The entire implementation, which included structured cabling work, took two months; a credit to the network services team that managed the entire implementation.
To ensure that the TECOM IT team completely understood the Aruba technology, Mr. Sabah took advantage of Aruba’s training services and had the entire network team attend one course on Mobility Controllers (MBC) and two courses on Aruba ClearPass.
Immediate Return on Investment (ROI)
Since the implementation, the Aruba solution has outperformed expectations; highlighted by the fact that the system scored 34 out of a possible 36 points on TECOMs network test protocol. The Aruba solution has helped the TECOM IT department overcome all the challenges posed by the earlier network infrastructure. For one, the higher bandwidth has had a positive impact on user connectivity and productivity. Secondly, having a centralized network infrastructure has significantly reduced maintenance costs while increasing control. The TECOM IT department now has the capability to control wireless user access and monitor and report per application usage of their wireless corporate users. Finally, Aruba network’s Wireless Intrusion Detection capability has greatly improved security.
Partners for the Future
Mr. Sabah couldn’t be happier with how smoothly the implementation has gone and how well the new solution has met TECOMs wireless network needs. “TECOM Investments selected Aruba Networks to provide the latest, new generation wireless technology to employees and we have been extremely pleased with their services. Aruba’s wireless technology is high performance and cost-effective, and has rovided a seamless and efficient wireless experience to all of our corporate users,” concluded Mr. Sabah.
While the implementation is still only a few months old, Mr. Sabah is already planning the next project with Aruba which will include an upgrade to Aruba’s 7200 series of Mobility Controllers – a testament to the quality of Aruba’s products and services.
Zeeshan Hadi, Territory Manager, Dubai & Northern Emirates at Aruba Networks said, “TECOM Investments is the perfect example of a forward thinking organization that is adapting to its increasingly #GenMobile workforce and bringing its wireless network capabilities up to world class standards. The initiative is in line with the UAE government’s ‘smart city’ vision. Wireless technologies will be a key enabler of the ICT transformation within the country. We are happy to have been selected as the vendor of choice and will continue to assist TECOM with future wireless infrastructure modernization projects.”
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