Managed services provider, Computelec, has introduced a complete network infrastructure for Melbourne’s East Preston Islamic College (EPIC), replacing its nearly non-existing environment with a customised solution based on HP and Meru Networks hardware.
EPIC is an ‘English as a Second Language’ (ESL) school which caters to more than 20 different ethnic backgrounds, with students from prep to year 12, and largely from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
The school approached Computelec with almost a blank slate; according to the MSP’s senior account manager, Nick Walters, it had a couple of network switches, no wireless, no dedicated servers, and was not virtualised.
Its outdated technology was inefficient to manage and falling short of what could be considered cutting-edge ESL teaching and learning solutions. It also lacked the expertise to set strategic direction and negotiate the challenge of purchasing the right equipment.
Additionally, the school was not prepared to allow students on its network as there was next to no security. As a result, there was no integration of any sort of technology into the environment; staff did not have laptops, and therefore all processes were paper-based.
The major challenge facing EPIC was that it did not have financial resources to invest in order to deliver the desired quality of education outcomes for students and teachers.
“We got the school up to a position it probably should have reached three to four years ago,” Walters told ARN.
“It didn’t have a great cashflow. We organised some fairly-aggressive finance through HP to fund the purchase of all of the equipment.”
“The project entailed the deployment of a new wireless network from Meru and wired network from HP. We also virtualised the limited server environment it had, and brought it up to date with all the relevant Microsoft servers. It went with VMware as its virtualisation platform.”
Considering the cashflow issues, Walters said Computelec organise the service so that it is priced significantly cheaper than having a full time staff member to manage the environment. The existing IT manager can therefore focus on IT strategy and integration of technology while the MSP manages “mundane tasks.”
The contract between the two parties is indefinitely ongoing. A Computelec engineer monitors EPIC’s environment remotely, and ensures uptime. In the event of a disaster, Computelec is in charge of recovering the site.