With a sprinkle of wireless networking and the adoption of a unified communication system, staff and students at the Melbourne Grammar School are seeing the benefits of an intelligent network.
The school's director of information technology, Sue Lines, said migrating to a Cisco unified communications environment, and implementing wireless gear, had major benefits.
"We believe networking technologies are playing an increasingly important role in supporting the overall school community and helping us provide a world's best practice learning and teaching environment," Lines said.
With the help of unified IP phone handsets and portable soft phones, teachers can use notebooks as primary desktop telephones. With wireless access points providing connectivity, students can wirelessly access school resources such as online databases, printing facilities, the school portal and Internet services.
The wireless networking and communication moves installed at the Melbourne Grammar School are being played out in countless schools across the country.
D-Link marketing director, Maurice Famularo, said education is one of the hottest markets for wireless. The company is pumping up its reseller training to deal with the demand.
Going to school
While the lion's share of its business comes from the consumer side, D-Link is ramping up efforts in the corporate and education markets. Wireless LANs (WLANs), which use radio communication to link two or more computers without using wires, give users the mobility to move around within a broad coverage area and still be connected to the network.
In an education and corporate environment, there are a host of benefits including convenience, mobility and boosted productivity; as well as installation flexibility, speed and scalability.
"Regions with or without limited wired infrastructure can easily establish wireless communication," Famularo said.
WLAN technology, including voice over wireless LAN (vWLAN), and wireless mesh technology are taking off in the education arena. Partners need to skill up in these specific areas, according to Nortel product and solutions marketing manager, Adam Kleemeyer. Running RFID over WLAN is another hot market opportunity for partners, particularly in healthcare, hospitality, retail, warehousing and manufacturing.
"It's not just about handsets, PCs and laptops, but also the interesting applications in demand across various verticals," he said. "Wireless technology is helping fuel momentum."
Nortel is banking on its recently released WLAN 2300 series, which is a portfolio of WLAN security switches, multi-mode access point and management software system.
WLAN technology represents a considerable market opportunity, according to IDC telecommunications market analyst, Shing Quah. IDC found enterprise and SMB customers were demanding the delivery of an integrated wired and wireless network.
IDC sized the local networking equipment market at $US708.45 million. It is expected to reach US$856.03 million by 2010.