Located across England and Wales, the Girls’ Day School Trust is a group of 25 schools, providing education for pupils aged 3 to 18. It is the largest group of independent girls’ schools in the UK, educating 18,000 students each year. It was formed in 1872 to provide affordable day school education for girls and is one of the top 15 largest charities in the UK.
Business & Technical Objectives
The existing wired and wireless network infrastructure across all 42 of the Trust’s sites had reached the end of its supported life, with performance and design limiting GDST’s desire to provide an education where girls can learn without limits.
With 25 schools and a significant investment going to school buildings and facilities at the Girls’ Day School Trust, it was clear that some of that money needed to be invested in modernising their network infrastructure and installing secure, future proof, high density wireless across their entire estate.
GDST needed one integrated solution with one single point of management and due to the nature of the education industry, it was essential that the project could be started and completed within the same summer holiday period.
GGR installed over 2000 of Cisco’s leading enterprise wireless access points, more than 450 LAN switches and Cisco Prime Infrastructure management software, enabling a single point of management for all the devices.
GGR simultaneously upgraded their unified communications by replacing 1700 handsets, providing them with innovative telephony functionality using GGR’s own single sign-on software, enhancing the user experience and providing 100% flexible workspace.
More recently, GGR assisted in the design and implementation of the switch and wireless upgrade during GDST’s move to a new Head Office. In addition to zero down-time and 100% wireless coverage, superior functionalities now allow their staff to work anywhere across the office and guarantees their critical intake of coffee through their state-of-the-art coffee machine.
- A modern network supporting more than 18,000 pupils between the ages of 3-18 years, and 3,700 staff
- Reduced management overheads
- Improved performance, allowing their network to cope with some 14,000 concurrent users on any one day
- Increased reliability, enabling the schools to maximise teaching time
- Enhanced telephony user experience, allowing maximum flexibility for staff, regardless of their location
Reason for Choosing GGR Communications
Right from initial discussions, it was clear that GGR’s knowledge, responsiveness, and consultative approach stood out.
GGR’s team of professional engineers are committed to the success of GDST and spend a lot of time with the key stakeholders to ensure that the design, scheduling and management of each project is tailored to achieve their business and technical needs
The quality of work that GGR have provided has given Dan Hall, GDST’s Head of ICT, and his team, peace of mind and the confidence that the investment in their network infrastructure would provide longevity, would capably handle their future growth plans and ultimately position them as leaders within the UK’s education sector.
“As the use of technology for education increases, we rely on GGR Communications to provide us with a stable but agile data environment. We become ever more reliant on our networking services and trust GGR to help us deliver these”, Dan Hall, Director of IT Services.
- Increased visibility, reliability and efficiency
- Flexibility and scalability for future growth across multiple sites
- Improved management and monitoring functionality , reducing management overheads
- Centrally managed but uniquely allowing for site-by-site control over each access point
- Fast but secure roaming, improving productivity of remote users
- Provided the capacity for BYOD and for each-and-every pupil to be able to use a secure, connected device
- Ongoing consultative support, providing a quick and effective response to business challenges
“We work with GGR Communications firstly because their technical expertise is second to none. It is matched by brilliant customer service and focus on our needs, and the needs of our schools across the Trust”
Dan Hall, Director of IT Services