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Helpdesk calls drop by 60 percent following move to Ruckus’ SmartZone Controller technology

UK – 11th October 2016 – ANSecurity, a specialist in advanced network and data security, has helped Canterbury College implement a Ruckus Wireless solution designed to meet the growing need for BYOD and high-capacity network demands of an educational environment. 

With the growing use of innovations like interactive smart whiteboards, remote-link video training, and collaborative learning tools to connect students and teachers, Canterbury is constantly looking at ways to enhance its IT to improve the teaching and learning experience. With 95 percent of students also using their smartphone on campus, the expectation of reliable Wi-Fi was not being met and the number one complaint to the IT helpdesk was issues with the quality of the Wi-Fi connection and drop-outs in service. 

As Nicole Cook, infrastructure engineer at the college explains, “Our IT team isn’t very big, and we need the time spent dealing with Wi-Fi issues and improving the network infrastructure to be used in more productive ways, by investing in the future of the college. At the moment, network management isn’t something that is simple enough that we can leave it with junior members of the team.”

The incumbent network couldn’t cope with the significant uplift in user demand, and as a result it wasn’t delivering the performance required. What started off as a 60 access point (AP) deployment, ended up with an additional 30 APs installed over the years, trying to fix coverage blackspots without any strategic planning behind their positioning. The network also lacked a centralised controller, which meant identifying issues on specific APs was a lot more complicated than it should be, and any systems updates needed to be carried out on each AP individually – a highly time consuming task in itself. 

The college reached out to ANSecurity, a long time and trusted solution provider to help solve its wireless network needs. In an industry where IT budgets are frequently monitored and sometimes restricted, ANSecurity carried out a virtual site survey on the campus for free, identifying key blackspots and mapping out where APs needed to be placed for maximum coverage.  Canterbury College also needed a solution that could handle the capacity requirements for its 1600 laptops and BYOD devices used by up to 2,000 students onsite at any given time while ensuring future-proofing when it came to upgrading or scaling out of the network.

Based on these requirements, ANSecurity recommended and installed a Ruckus Wireless solution including Ruckus R500 wireless APs using adaptive antenna technology and automatic interference mitigation to deliver consistent, predictable performance even in a busy classroom or dining hall. ANSecurity also provided a Ruckus’ SmartZone 100 controller, which immediately gave the IT team advanced visibility into the behaviour of not only connected users but the performance of the individual APs within the network.

Canterbury College has elevated the student experience on campus, as proven with an initial survey of students and faculty which resulted in unanimous positive feedback.  Additionally, since the installation Canterbury College has seen a 60 percent reduction in the number of complaints to the IT team regarding the quality of the Wi-Fi. The college is now able to offer guest passes from the reception desk to visitors, something they’ve never been able to do before.  However, by far the biggest change has been how much added visibility and management the SmartZone controller has given the IT team over the entire wireless local area network (WLAN).

“Education wireless needs to be secure, but we also need to be able to track it,” says Barry Boden, Head of IT for the College. “With our duty to protect and safeguard our students and their internet usage, ANSecurity and Ruckus Wireless have made this process simpler, and the ability to remain compliant with the monitoring and reporting of student’s wellbeing has become a lot easier.”

Cook added: “From start to finish the ANSecurity team have gone above and beyond to ensure we received the best possible service. The team’s knowledge and expertise alongside the outstanding performance of the Ruckus Wireless solution has meant we can begin to invest our time and resources into more ways we can use technology to help our students and staff improve the entire classroom and learning experience.”

“The project at Canterbury College is a great example of how a powerful hardware and flexible software can help to solve challenges that go beyond providing simple access,” said David Hood, Managing Director, ANSecurity. “Features such as guest access and self-service tools can dramatically improve the performance of help desk teams and provide a much more enjoyable Wi-Fi experience for teachers, students and guests while offering a bottom line financial benefit.”

Steve Johnson, Regional Director of Northern Europe at Ruckus Wireless said: “As the learning experience becomes further digitised, and demands of faculty and staff increase, schools and colleges need best-in-class Wi-Fi infrastructure in order to deliver a 21st century education. With ANSecurity, we have deployed a future-proof network to Canterbury College, placing their students at the forefront of technology and learning innovation.

About ANSecurity

ANSecurity is a specialist in securing networks and protecting data that helps some of the largest organisations in the UK and global brands to reduce risk and simplify operational management. In fact, the 10 largest ANSecurity clients have aggregate annual turnover in excess of £780 billion, employ over 779,000 staff and include top three players in the fields of financial services, retail and logistics. Public sector customers include local and central government, schools and colleges, police forces and the NHS.

ANSecurity is made up of subject matter experts that are focused on solutions and not just specific brands. This independence is maintained by ongoing certification and accreditation with over 32 leaders in secure information technologies including market stalwarts and innovative start-ups.

But our ethos recognises that technology by itself is not enough to create world class security processes that reduce risk. As such we offer consulting services to help our customers architect mature security methodologies and educational services to help them develop the skills needed to strengthen security from within.

As we celebrate our 13th year of double digit growth, ANSecurity will continue to build both point and end-to-end solutions that protect our customers’ networks and businesses while continually expanding our knowledge to meet the evolving IT security challenge. To learn more, visit www.ANSecurity.com

About Canterbury College

Canterbury College are one of the biggest further education colleges in the south east, with more than 5,000 students across campuses in Swale and Canterbury. The College delivers hundreds of qualifications across its sites, with a range of higher education and further education qualifications available. Apprenticeships are also a key focus for the College, which works with more than 300 businesses in south east Kent.

About Ruckus Wireless

Ruckus Wireless, now part of Brocade, delivers simply better wireless for approximately 70,000 enterprise, service provider, government and small business customers worldwide. The company is focused on technology innovation, partner ecosystems and customer service—yielding the best possible wireless experience for the most challenging indoor and outdoor environments. Its Smart Wi-Fi platform delivers scalable, high-performance Wi-Fi with simplified control and management for on-premise and cloud-based Wi-Fi deployments, along with new services for secure on-boarding, policy management, location services and analytics that enable new business opportunities. 

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Ruckus, Ruckus Wireless, and ZoneFlex are trademarks of Ruckus Wireless, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other product or company names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Media contacts
Ellis Reid/Stacey Thorpe
OneChocolate for Ruckus Wireless
+44(0) 207437 0227
Ruckuswireless@onechocolatecomms.co.uk

Anne Harding
The Message Machine (PR for ANSecurity)
+44(0) 7887 682943
anne@themessagemachine.com

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