Fitchburg State College Relies on Enterasys Networks' Wireless Solution
RoamAbout wireless delivers mission-critical connectivity to academic buildings and common areas across campus for faculty and students
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Andover, MA — Dec 18, 2006
Enterasys Networks®, the Secure Networks Company™, announced today that Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts has deployed an Enterasys RoamAbout® wireless solution to provide reliable, robust wireless connectivity in all of its classroom buildings, campus center, library, dining hall, and other common areas across the college’s 31-acre campus.
Prior to the start of the current academic year, FSC replaced an existing wireless network that lacked the centralized management and scalability of Enterasys’ solution. “The old wireless network was not a centrally managed solution,” said Charles Maner, the college’s chief information officer. “We upgraded our wireless infrastructure, and it’s been probably the best decision we’ve made from a network standpoint. We literally couldn’t teach many of our courses without our Enterasys wireless solution.”
Maner says the wireless network is an integral teaching tool at FSC. “A reliable, robust wireless infrastructure is absolutely mission-critical for an academic environment like ours,” he said. “Our classroom buildings are essentially 100 percent wireless. We have, at most, two wired data ports in a classroom. Many of our faculty depend completely on the wireless network as part of their lesson plans. If the wireless were to fail, that day’s lesson plan would be gone, and that’s just unacceptable when some classes only meet twice a week. With our Enterasys solution, the performance and coverage are better, the reliability is radically better, and it’s a much more manageable solution for us.
“FSC has many historic buildings that can’t easily be wired, so wireless is a cost-effective way to bring ubiquitous network access throughout the campus,” Maner said. “We don’t even have enough power capacity in the buildings to wire for all the circuits we would need to support a wired infrastructure. So wireless is the way we provide essential technology in each classroom.”
The Fitchburg State wireless network includes Enterasys RoamAbout 8400 wireless switching and more than 100 RoamAbout access points throughout the campus. “The integration between the wired network from another vendor and our new Enterasys wireless infrastructure has been absolutely flawless,” Maner said.
Rutter Networking Technologies, Inc., of Wilmington, Mass., an Enterasys partner, brought Enterasys and FSC together for this successful wireless deployment. Rutter is an on-site consultant to the college and managed the implementation of Enterasys’ wireless solution throughout the campus.
The real test of the new wireless deployment came last September when new and returning students converged on campus with their laptop computers and other wireless devices. “We chose Enterasys for our wireless upgrade because we really needed a solution that was proven in academic environments, and so far the company and the solution have absolutely lived up to their reputation. We have not experienced a single outage. In fact, the only help desk tickets about wireless have come from students who are anxious to know how to connect,” said Maner. “Our original wireless solution caused our network manager to spend several hours a week just rebooting access points. The best ‘feature’ of the Enterasys solution from my perspective is that we don’t have to touch it; it just works, and our students and faculty benefit from the always-on availability and predictable performance it offers.”
In the near future, Maner looks forward to taking advantage of the capabilities of RoamAbout Switch Manager, which will enable the college to optimize the deployment of its wireless access points by automatically determining wireless coverage in any part of a building, avoiding unnecessary overlaps and dead spots. He also expects to expand the wireless deployment to include the Quad—the college’s major outdoor gathering area—as well as common areas of its five primary residence halls.
“Our Enterasys solution gives us flexibility that we simply didn’t have before,” Maner said. “And unlike other vendors, Enterasys took the time to understand our environment, know our pain points, and assess what was working and what needed improvement. As a result, we have a superior solution that was designed not only for a higher education environment, but specifically for Fitchburg State College.”
About Enterasys Networks
Enterasys Networks—the Secure Networks Company—is owned by a private investor group led by The Gores Group, LLC and Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC. Enterasys’ unique Secure Networks solutions secure any network from any vendor and ensure the integrity and performance of IT services and the business users that rely on them. Thousands of leading companies, government agencies and educational institutions in more than 70 countries rely on Secure Networks solutions to maintain business continuity and protect vital information. The company's culture is centered on the principle "There is nothing more important than our customers." Delivering on that commitment, Secure Networks provides granular, policy-based command and control of individual user, application, device, port and flow performance, and security. Enterasys’ architectural approach to network security offers a long technology lifecycle and significant operational and business benefits, while reducing total cost of ownership. Information about Enterasys’ award-winning policy-enabled switches, routers, wireless products, security software, and services is available at www.enterasys.com.
About The Gores Group
Founded in 1987, The Gores Group is a private equity firm focused on acquiring controlling interests in mature and growing businesses which can benefit from the firm's operating experience and flexible capital base. The firm combines the operational expertise and detailed due diligence capabilities of a strategic buyer with the seasoned M&A team of a traditional financial buyer. The Gores Group has become a leading investor, primarily in the technology and telecommunications sectors, having demonstrated over time a reliable track record of creating substantial value in its portfolio companies alongside management. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, The Gores Group maintains offices in Boulder, Colorado and London. For more information, please visit www.gores.com.
About Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC
Tennenbaum Capital Partners is a Santa Monica, California-based private investment firm managing over .8 billion in assets through private funds. The firm's investment strategy is grounded in a long-term, value approach, and it assists—both financially and operationally— transitional middle-market companies in such industries as technology, healthcare, energy, aerospace, business services, retail and general manufacturing. Tennenbaum's core strengths include its in-depth knowledge of equity and debt-financing vehicles in the public and private markets, as well as a thorough understanding of special situations. For more information, please visit www.tennenbaumcapital.com.
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