University of Cumbria invests £600k in new IT infrastructure

The university is set to develop its core network to ensure future-proofing and reliable communications

Students and staff at the University of Cumbria will benefit from a £625,000 investment aimed at developing future wireless, network and technology services.

With demand for communication – from email to sharing presentations and videos – set to increase significantly, the university is keen to update the core network to ensure students and staff could be certain of secure, fast connectivity.

“Most university internal and external electronic communication depends on ‘the network’ including email, most desk telephones, videoconferencing, document retrieval and editing, electronic learning resources, electronic payments – the list goes on and on,” said Stephen Young, the university’s technology services manager. “The network is actually composed of many different layers of hardware and software components that route data, voice and video traffic from a computer or tablet around the university and out into the Internet.”

Work began last summer when a business case for the work was drawn up. Tenders were invited and awarded in January 2017.

The project aims to remove obsolete core network equipment, increase bandwidth, and increase resilience. – Colin Coghill, Director of Information Services, UoC

“The project aims to remove obsolete core network equipment, increase bandwidth, and increase resilience,” Colin Coghill, Director of Information Services, said. “The ‘network’ is a service over which the user consumes other services, and the number and type of services now requiring a network to deliver its function is increasingly exponentially.  Whilst the network service will continue to be perceived as ‘normal’ post-implementation, the university will have the core network capability that is expected to support increased usage and transformational projects from all areas for up to 10 years.”

Bob Swallow, managing director of Logicalis UK, the company who carried out the work with the university said: ‘Logicalis approached this project for UoC with the aim to create a resilient, reliable and agile network that would connect the whole university community, whilst also laying the foundations for future growth and opportunity. We wanted to facilitate this forward-looking higher education establishment’s ability to become even more progressive thanks to the first class IT services and support that it can offer to the digital generation who call it home.”

“This is a great example of a client partnership where we collaborated closely with the university in order to ensure that the project was delivered ahead of time and that the end result meets the most pressing needs of both current and prospective students and staff.”

The work means the university will have the capability needed to support the predicted increase in usage for the next decade. 

“This project will mean the university will be able to offer students and staff access with confidence to the kind of IT facilities that are now commonplace – both now and in the future,” Stephen Young, the university’s technology services manager said.