Macquarie Telecom (ASX:MAQ) has started to roll out its SD-WAN technology for childcare centre operator, G8 Education (ASX:GEM).
There are 70 centres currently using Macquarie’s SD-WAN with plans to having the solution deployed to all 516 centres.
Publicly-listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), G8 claims to be Australia’s largest ASX-listed childcare operator.
The deal -- the largest SD-WAN project Macquarie Telecom has signed since launching the services in August 2017 -- will enable the education provider to improve how it uses various educational and parent communication tools to enhance communication between educators and parents.
The improved network means educators will be able to share media of children participating in activities and completing tasks through various applications, while the service gathers information and provides regular feedback on children’s progress.
So far, Macquarie has already been able to provide improvement to the 70 centres to have initially installed the solution. Via its orchestrator, it was able to show in real time how applications are being used in each site and what might be taking up a centre’s often limited bandwidth.
It found that Apple and Windows software updates, social media and other non-essential workloads had been congesting the network in those centres.
Macquarie was then able to change configurations in order to focus network resources on important applications such as parent communication tools.
“This is just the beginning for us,” G8 Education chief information officer, Peter Nelson, said. “We’re placing an increased focus on integrating technology into our programs to further improve the education we provide to children across Australia.
“SD-WAN is very much at the centre of that, as it will maximise our network capability and resources to make sure these digital services and communication tools are reliable.
“In Macquarie Telecom, we’ve also found a partner that shares our passion for high quality customer service – something we haven’t experienced with previous carriers,” Nelson added.
Improving IT security is also part of G8’s transformation. The SD-WAN platform can centralise content filtering and endpoint security on all devices.
“Technology has the power to improve education and introduce children to STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] subjects and careers from an early age,” Macquarie Telecom group executive, Luke Clifton, said. “G8 understands this and is using SD-WAN to make the most of its network resources to ensure it’s in a position to provide exceptional education to children in Australia.
“From an IT perspective, child care centres are effectively small businesses. It’s unrealistic to think you can put the best possible network and broadband speeds into each one, particularly in regional areas. What SD-WAN can do is make the most out of the resources that are available, prioritising programs that help children learn and enable parents to become more involved.”