Escambia County

Popular Gulf Coast destination cost-effectively exceeds mobility expectations for millions of constituents with Aruba ESP

  • 고객 프로필

    Founded in 1821, Escambia County is the oldest and western-most county in the U.S. state of Florida. From the county seat in Pensacola, the County’s approximately 1,800 employees serve over 300,000 residents and millions of visitors annually.
    • Vertical: State and Local Government
    • Location: Escambia County, Florida, United States
    • Customer size: 1,800 employees serving 300,000 residents and millions of visitors annually

    Use Case

    Deliver modern technology experiences and address technology access equity by refreshing the wired and wireless network to obtain intelligent, automated, and sustainable infrastructure that supplies taxpayers with exceptional long-term value.

    Requirements

    • Adopt modern wired and wireless networking infrastructure
    • Reduce costs and management burdens
    • Obtain a future-ready infrastructure for taxpayer value

    Outcomes

    • Answered mobility and experience expectations for millions of constituents annually
    • Reduced networking costs by $100K, enabling a 15% more robust Wi-Fi network
    • Addressed technology access equity by providing 40 sites with indoor and outdoor connectivity
    • Reclaimed up to 30% of equipment rack space with intelligent solutions that significantly reduce IT overhead
    • Enabled future additions such as AIOps-enabled, cloud-based management

    Responsible for providing a myriad of public services to its millions of visitors as well as its 300,000 residents, Escambia County, Florida’s ultra-lean IT staff faced multiple challenges with its obsolete networking infrastructure.

    “Whether it was County staff, residents, or guests, all of our constituents increasingly expected mobile experiences and capabilities we just couldn’t supply,” explains Bart Siders, Escambia’s IT Director. “In addition, our wired network was at end-of-life and we faced steep licensing fees for updating it. We decided it was time to take a new approach.”

    Aruba Platform Addresses Digital Transformation

    A popular Gulf Coast destination, Escambia covers a total area of 875 square miles, of which just over 662 square miles is land and approximately 213 square miles is water. Although its resident population is centered around the coastal city of Pensacola, the County stretches inland to include rural, agricultural and forested areas that Escambia’s 1,800 employees also serve.

    To support an ongoing digital transformation at the County, the Escambia IT department began working with trusted local partner, Technology Integration Group, to evaluate networking options. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. “With the pandemic, we learned how many residents lacked internet access,” says Siders. “This changed our thinking about where to deploy Wi-Fi and shaped our review of networking solutions.”

    Although Escambia was most familiar with administering equipment from its legacy vendor, Cisco, a comprehensive market evaluation demonstrated that the best option was Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. “Aruba’s solution not only met all of our requirements, but also provided streamlined management, offered a strong support community and generated taxpayer savings,” Siders says.

    Intelligent Infrastructure Saves $100K on Costs

    Escambia’s new Aruba ESP infrastructure includes numerous intelligence, efficiency and other innovations. Wireless solutions include Aruba’s Wi-Fi 6 access points (APs), with the 530 Series for indoor networking, and outdoor APs. The WLAN also utilizes Aruba mobility controllers.

    For wired networking, the County is standardizing on Aruba’s 2930F Switch Series, 2930M Switch Series and 3810 Switch Series for access and aggregation, along with the Aruba CX Switching handling core networking using the CX 8320 Switch Series.

    To streamline wired and wireless network administration, the County also adopted the security solution ClearPass for network access control (NAC) and policy management. In addition, Aruba AirWave is used for network management.

    More network for the budget

    The County’s decision to change technology suppliers was immediately affirmed in multiple ways, starting with considerably more value for its budget dollars.

    “We saved a total of about $100,000 on licensing and equipment,” Siders says.

    This enabled expanding the network for better service to Escambia, staff, residents and guests. “We put the saving back into the network by purchasing about 15 percent more APs than originally budgeted to ensure we could future-proof our network for device densities, performance, and user experiences.”

    Easy transition to a more robust experience

    From an operation perspective, a smooth implementation was aided by Aruba’s intuitive management tools. “Our team was enthusiastic about the training and guidance we received,” says Scott MacDonald, IT Manager for Escambia. “It allowed us to dive in with confidence at the outset.”

    Even knowledge transfer to new team members was considerably improved. “During our deployment, we hired an individual with very little networking experience,” says Andrew Tutten, Escambia’s Network Coordinator. “By drawing on Aruba’s automation capabilities, we helped that individual become proficient at configuring switches in a few weeks.”

    From an operation perspective, a smooth implementation was aided by Aruba’s intuitive management tools. “Our team was enthusiastic about the training and guidance we received,” says Scott MacDonald, IT Manager for Escambia. “It allowed us to dive in with confidence at the outset.”

    Escambia County beach

    Benefits to Constituencies Abound

    With the new infrastructure, Escambia’s employees are reporting a range of work-from-anywhere (WFA) rewards. “Workers are fundamentally more mobile, which enables them to serve the public more efficiently and effectively,” Siders says.

    “We’re also innovating more with cloud solutions, such as Microsoft M365 and Teams,” he adds. “Like every workplace, the pandemic changed the way we collaborate and now our network supports that.”

    From a public safety and disaster preparedness perspective, Escambia is accommodating a broader range of data utilizations, which presents various advantages. “For example, our Corrections department is relieving stress on its resources, as well as saving significantly on costs,” Siders says. “Because our Wi-Fi enables remote attendance for court dates, it eliminates the considerable inefficiencies around transporting individuals from our incarceration facilities to the courthouse.”

    During hurricane season, residents benefit from improved emergency response as Escambia can now accommodate the influx of officials and devices into its Emergency Operations Center. “Although it’s a relatively small area, it frequently swells to well over hundred people carrying multiple devices,” Siders says. “Our new Wi-Fi can easily handle all of the data traffic without any bottlenecks or delays.”

    Boosting revenues and delivering Wi-Fi for all

    Escambia is also achieving its technology equity goals by leveraging its new network to supply guest Wi-Fi at over 80% of its facilities, which are spread throughout the county. These include community centers, libraries, parks, and beaches along with the courthouse, an equestrian center, and a multi-use arena.

    “We’re giving people 40 different locations where they can access Wi-Fi inside a building, outside a building, in a play area, or from their vehicles a parking lot,” Siders says. “It’s been a big hit.”

    Revenue generation and economic development also getting a boost. “For example, we replaced the insufficient wireless in our County-operated Bay Center Arena with high-performance Wi-Fi throughout the facility,” Siders says. “With the fast, reliable Wi-Fi that high-value entertainers, athletic event schedulers and corporate meeting planners all require, our County is able to attract more headliner events to our Arena.”

    Native Intelligence Helps Reduce Management Overhead

    For Escambia’s IT staff, improvements around streamlining and simplifying the network are also significant.

    This includes the capability to segregate traffic to increase performance, ease management and efficiently address regulatory compliance. “Unlike before, where all types of devices and applications were forced onto the same network, with Aruba we’ve separated our physical security solutions from business applications,” Tutten explains. “This improves user performance and regulatory needs while also enabling us to pinpoint and resolve issues in seconds or minutes rather than days or weeks.”

    Another advantage is gaining a more compact hardware footprint, relieving real estate constraints in the data center and wiring closets. “With Aruba’s switches we’ve reduced many nearly full equipment racks to nearly empty,” MacDonald says. “In some cases, we’ve reclaimed as much as 30 percent of the space.”

    Further, benefits from Escambia’s new network will continue over the long term. For example, the intelligence engineered into CX Switching supplies the 10GbE connectivity the County requires today while ensuring it can adopt 40GbE when faster data rates are needed.

    “Although we’ve no immediate plans to move from 10 to 40GbE, there’s little doubt the time will come,” MacDonald says. “When it does, we’ll be ready.”

    AIOps Offers Further Efficiencies and Adds Taxpayer Value

    Looking ahead, Escambia plans to evaluate capabilities for adding efficiencies, including streamlining administration with cloud-based Aruba Central for proactive AIOps along with unified wired and wireless network management. The County is also considering User Experience Insight (UXI) for AIOps-enabled, real-time detection and remediation of Wi-Fi incidents.

    In the meantime, Escambia intends to leverage its existing ClearPass and CX Switching adoption to utilize Aruba’s Dynamic Segmentation capability. This feature applies consistent policies across its wired and wireless network and then appropriately routes user and device traffic dynamically to keep it secure, based on the guidelines Escambia sets.

    Regardless, Escambia is excited about having a reliable, secure network that significantly enhances service delivery to taxpayers and visitors. “We’ve gained integrated and secure networking infrastructure we can support more easily, train new employees to administer faster, and is more sustainable over the long run,” says Siders. “Overall, Aruba is proving to be an excellent technology partner and provides us solutions with a strong taxpayer value proposition.”

    자세히 보기

    Aruba is proving to be an excellent technology partner and provides us solutions with a strong taxpayer value proposition.
    Bart Siders, IT Director, Escambia County
  • 고객 프로필

    Founded in 1821, Escambia County is the oldest and western-most county in the U.S. state of Florida. From the county seat in Pensacola, the County’s approximately 1,800 employees serve over 300,000 residents and millions of visitors annually.
    • Vertical: State and Local Government
    • Location: Escambia County, Florida, United States
    • Customer size: 1,800 employees serving 300,000 residents and millions of visitors annually

    Use Case

    Deliver modern technology experiences and address technology access equity by refreshing the wired and wireless network to obtain intelligent, automated, and sustainable infrastructure that supplies taxpayers with exceptional long-term value.

    Requirements

    • Adopt modern wired and wireless networking infrastructure
    • Reduce costs and management burdens
    • Obtain a future-ready infrastructure for taxpayer value

    Outcomes

    • Answered mobility and experience expectations for millions of constituents annually
    • Reduced networking costs by $100K, enabling a 15% more robust Wi-Fi network
    • Addressed technology access equity by providing 40 sites with indoor and outdoor connectivity
    • Reclaimed up to 30% of equipment rack space with intelligent solutions that significantly reduce IT overhead
    • Enabled future additions such as AIOps-enabled, cloud-based management

    Responsible for providing a myriad of public services to its millions of visitors as well as its 300,000 residents, Escambia County, Florida’s ultra-lean IT staff faced multiple challenges with its obsolete networking infrastructure.

    “Whether it was County staff, residents, or guests, all of our constituents increasingly expected mobile experiences and capabilities we just couldn’t supply,” explains Bart Siders, Escambia’s IT Director. “In addition, our wired network was at end-of-life and we faced steep licensing fees for updating it. We decided it was time to take a new approach.”

    Aruba Platform Addresses Digital Transformation

    A popular Gulf Coast destination, Escambia covers a total area of 875 square miles, of which just over 662 square miles is land and approximately 213 square miles is water. Although its resident population is centered around the coastal city of Pensacola, the County stretches inland to include rural, agricultural and forested areas that Escambia’s 1,800 employees also serve.

    To support an ongoing digital transformation at the County, the Escambia IT department began working with trusted local partner, Technology Integration Group, to evaluate networking options. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. “With the pandemic, we learned how many residents lacked internet access,” says Siders. “This changed our thinking about where to deploy Wi-Fi and shaped our review of networking solutions.”

    Although Escambia was most familiar with administering equipment from its legacy vendor, Cisco, a comprehensive market evaluation demonstrated that the best option was Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. “Aruba’s solution not only met all of our requirements, but also provided streamlined management, offered a strong support community and generated taxpayer savings,” Siders says.

    Intelligent Infrastructure Saves $100K on Costs

    Escambia’s new Aruba ESP infrastructure includes numerous intelligence, efficiency and other innovations. Wireless solutions include Aruba’s Wi-Fi 6 access points (APs), with the 530 Series for indoor networking, and outdoor APs. The WLAN also utilizes Aruba mobility controllers.

    For wired networking, the County is standardizing on Aruba’s 2930F Switch Series, 2930M Switch Series and 3810 Switch Series for access and aggregation, along with the Aruba CX Switching handling core networking using the CX 8320 Switch Series.

    To streamline wired and wireless network administration, the County also adopted the security solution ClearPass for network access control (NAC) and policy management. In addition, Aruba AirWave is used for network management.

    More network for the budget

    The County’s decision to change technology suppliers was immediately affirmed in multiple ways, starting with considerably more value for its budget dollars.

    “We saved a total of about $100,000 on licensing and equipment,” Siders says.

    This enabled expanding the network for better service to Escambia, staff, residents and guests. “We put the saving back into the network by purchasing about 15 percent more APs than originally budgeted to ensure we could future-proof our network for device densities, performance, and user experiences.”

    Easy transition to a more robust experience

    From an operation perspective, a smooth implementation was aided by Aruba’s intuitive management tools. “Our team was enthusiastic about the training and guidance we received,” says Scott MacDonald, IT Manager for Escambia. “It allowed us to dive in with confidence at the outset.”

    Even knowledge transfer to new team members was considerably improved. “During our deployment, we hired an individual with very little networking experience,” says Andrew Tutten, Escambia’s Network Coordinator. “By drawing on Aruba’s automation capabilities, we helped that individual become proficient at configuring switches in a few weeks.”

    From an operation perspective, a smooth implementation was aided by Aruba’s intuitive management tools. “Our team was enthusiastic about the training and guidance we received,” says Scott MacDonald, IT Manager for Escambia. “It allowed us to dive in with confidence at the outset.”

    Escambia County beach

    Benefits to Constituencies Abound

    With the new infrastructure, Escambia’s employees are reporting a range of work-from-anywhere (WFA) rewards. “Workers are fundamentally more mobile, which enables them to serve the public more efficiently and effectively,” Siders says.

    “We’re also innovating more with cloud solutions, such as Microsoft M365 and Teams,” he adds. “Like every workplace, the pandemic changed the way we collaborate and now our network supports that.”

    From a public safety and disaster preparedness perspective, Escambia is accommodating a broader range of data utilizations, which presents various advantages. “For example, our Corrections department is relieving stress on its resources, as well as saving significantly on costs,” Siders says. “Because our Wi-Fi enables remote attendance for court dates, it eliminates the considerable inefficiencies around transporting individuals from our incarceration facilities to the courthouse.”

    During hurricane season, residents benefit from improved emergency response as Escambia can now accommodate the influx of officials and devices into its Emergency Operations Center. “Although it’s a relatively small area, it frequently swells to well over hundred people carrying multiple devices,” Siders says. “Our new Wi-Fi can easily handle all of the data traffic without any bottlenecks or delays.”

    Boosting revenues and delivering Wi-Fi for all

    Escambia is also achieving its technology equity goals by leveraging its new network to supply guest Wi-Fi at over 80% of its facilities, which are spread throughout the county. These include community centers, libraries, parks, and beaches along with the courthouse, an equestrian center, and a multi-use arena.

    “We’re giving people 40 different locations where they can access Wi-Fi inside a building, outside a building, in a play area, or from their vehicles a parking lot,” Siders says. “It’s been a big hit.”

    Revenue generation and economic development also getting a boost. “For example, we replaced the insufficient wireless in our County-operated Bay Center Arena with high-performance Wi-Fi throughout the facility,” Siders says. “With the fast, reliable Wi-Fi that high-value entertainers, athletic event schedulers and corporate meeting planners all require, our County is able to attract more headliner events to our Arena.”

    Native Intelligence Helps Reduce Management Overhead

    For Escambia’s IT staff, improvements around streamlining and simplifying the network are also significant.

    This includes the capability to segregate traffic to increase performance, ease management and efficiently address regulatory compliance. “Unlike before, where all types of devices and applications were forced onto the same network, with Aruba we’ve separated our physical security solutions from business applications,” Tutten explains. “This improves user performance and regulatory needs while also enabling us to pinpoint and resolve issues in seconds or minutes rather than days or weeks.”

    Another advantage is gaining a more compact hardware footprint, relieving real estate constraints in the data center and wiring closets. “With Aruba’s switches we’ve reduced many nearly full equipment racks to nearly empty,” MacDonald says. “In some cases, we’ve reclaimed as much as 30 percent of the space.”

    Further, benefits from Escambia’s new network will continue over the long term. For example, the intelligence engineered into CX Switching supplies the 10GbE connectivity the County requires today while ensuring it can adopt 40GbE when faster data rates are needed.

    “Although we’ve no immediate plans to move from 10 to 40GbE, there’s little doubt the time will come,” MacDonald says. “When it does, we’ll be ready.”

    AIOps Offers Further Efficiencies and Adds Taxpayer Value

    Looking ahead, Escambia plans to evaluate capabilities for adding efficiencies, including streamlining administration with cloud-based Aruba Central for proactive AIOps along with unified wired and wireless network management. The County is also considering User Experience Insight (UXI) for AIOps-enabled, real-time detection and remediation of Wi-Fi incidents.

    In the meantime, Escambia intends to leverage its existing ClearPass and CX Switching adoption to utilize Aruba’s Dynamic Segmentation capability. This feature applies consistent policies across its wired and wireless network and then appropriately routes user and device traffic dynamically to keep it secure, based on the guidelines Escambia sets.

    Regardless, Escambia is excited about having a reliable, secure network that significantly enhances service delivery to taxpayers and visitors. “We’ve gained integrated and secure networking infrastructure we can support more easily, train new employees to administer faster, and is more sustainable over the long run,” says Siders. “Overall, Aruba is proving to be an excellent technology partner and provides us solutions with a strong taxpayer value proposition.”

    Aruba is proving to be an excellent technology partner and provides us solutions with a strong taxpayer value proposition.
    Bart Siders, IT Director, Escambia County