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Circle IT secures major university deal

The Welsh managed services specialist has won the opportunity to help its local university deliver a network fit for the demands of the 21st century

Managed services player Circle IT has landed a major contract with Cardiff University to overhaul the education institutions network infrastructure and support services.

The deal, which will run for a decade, is worth £15m and will involve rolling out improved network services across 300 plus buildings in the University campus. That deployment will involve underpinning a vast wi-fi network with 11,000 access points and more than 1,000 switches.

The customer outlined its demands in a procurement process for infrastructure that could cope with the emerging demands, with the ability to cope with AI and IoT paramount.

Circle was one of the first wave of MSPs to roll out services to customers but as many of those became commoditised it has been carving out a name for itself in the legal and education spheres, hunting for more significant projects to work on.

Roger Harry, Circle IT’s founder,  said that it was looking forward to working with the team at the University.

“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,” he said.

Part of the plans include sharing the old networking equipment with local charities and schools as well as helping to create some employment opportunities in the Cardiff area. There should also be chances for Circle IT to get involved with some students that might be looking for careers in the IT world.

“As an added benefit it is also great for the local economy, resulting in new jobs and opportunities in our shared community,” said Harry.

David Edwards, director of IT at Cardiff University, said that higher education providers had a duty to ensure they delivered the best services for students.

“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 an excellent experience for the student, whether the student is on campus or in a hall of residence. This deployment will underpin all of that, as well as The Way Forward strategy, and is critical to what we hope to achieve in the next decade,” he said.

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