Cardiff University and leading IT solutions and managed services provider Circle IT have announced a major partnership that will see a radical overhaul of the University’s network infrastructure and support services.
The partnership deal will bring state-of-the-art wired and wireless network access to staff and students across the University’s 300-plus buildings over the next 10 years.
Users will benefit from enhancements to data capacity, network resilience, Wi-Fi experience, security and new integrated technologies.
It will be one of the largest Wi-Fi network deployments in Europe encompassing thousands of wireless access points and hundreds of switches.
The University requires high-quality network access to support research and teaching activities.
Cardiff-based Circle IT, which has a successful track record on similar projects, was awarded the contract following a competitive procurement exercise.
The project will include several key vendors chosen to deliver data centre networking, onboarding and other essential services.
David Edwards, Director of IT at Cardiff University, said: “We are pleased to have found such a trusted partner in Circle IT. Ultimately they were the best fit against our ambitious requirements for our network infrastructure.
“As a leading global research university, and part of the Russell Group, it is vital that our network infrastructure enables this research and does not restrict or limit our ambitions.
“The new network will not only enable our first-class learning and teaching, but will be crucial in offering an excellent experience for our students, whether they are on campus or in a hall of residence.
“This deployment will underpin all of that, and is critical to what we hope to achieve in the next decade.
"I want to thank 4C Strategies (independent consultants) and Blake Morgan (legal) who assisted us with the thorough and complex competitive dialogue process and to achieve the outcome we desired."
Roger Harry, Circle IT’s Founder, said: “We have lots of respect for the team at Cardiff University and everything they’ve achieved, and are pleased to launch what we’re sure will be a long and fruitful partnership.
“Beyond the Welsh connection, we have a rich history of successful education deployments and an intricate understanding of the network requirements, so a partnership like this makes sense.
“As an added benefit, it is also great for the local economy, resulting in new jobs and opportunities in our shared community.”
The new network will support the University’s IT in areas of growing technological demand such as e-learning and big data in research and innovation.
It will also accommodate new and emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things to benefit the University’s teaching and research.
Circle IT and the University will work together on the network infrastructure to allow the University to extend its network and security support to a 24/7 service.
The partnership will also feed into the University civic mission to improve the education, health, wealth and wellbeing of its communities.
The previous network equipment will be donated to local charities and schools, while the contract will create several new jobs and offer learning and development opportunities to students through industry placements and guest lectures.