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Circle IT and Cardiff University form £15million partnership deal

Circle IT-Cardiff University main building

The partnership will see Circle IT provide the University with a state-of-the-art network to underpin ten year roadmap

Circle IT, an IT solutions and managed services provider, has secured a £15million partnership deal following a competitive procurement exercise. The contract will see a radical overhaul of the University’s network infrastructure and support services over the next ten years.

The partnership will bring state-of-the-art wired and wireless network access across Cardiff University’s 300 plus building campus – for staff and students alike - in what will be one of the largest Wi-Fi network deployments in Europe to date, encompassing some 11,000 wireless access points and over 1000 switches. The project will be completed in a co-sourced environment with several key vendors chosen to deliver datacentre networking, onboarding and other essential services. Circle IT will provide the complete solution that enables these services and underpins the entire project.

Cardiff University, requires high quality network access to enable its ongoing research activities, the new network will support Cardiff University’s five year “ The Way Forward initiative”, which will see the University strengthen its place as one of the UK’s top 20 universities. It will achieve this by building on several key areas; education, research, innovation, international, people, environment, finance and its civic mission.

The contract is comprised of a three year roll out period and seven years’ support. The new network will support the University’s technological growth and accommodate new and existing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. Once live, staff and students will benefit from major enhancements in data capacity, network resilience and experience, security and new integrated technologies.

Circle IT and Cardiff University will jointly manage and monitor the network infrastructure, allowing the University to extend its network and security support to a 24/7 service. Circle IT will support the University by handling patch management, software updates, environment monitoring and more outside of the University’s working hours.

Circle IT’s Founder, Roger Harry, commented, “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.”

Director of IT at Cardiff University, David Edwards, added, “We are pleased to have found such a trusted partner in Circle IT. 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.”

He continued “The new network will not only enable our first class learning and teaching and will be crucial in delivering an excellent experience for the student, whether the student is on campus or in a hall of residence”.

In addition to the new network infrastructure, this partnership will allow Circle IT to aid Cardiff University in its civic mission to improve the education, health, wealth and wellbeing of others, particularly those living in the surrounding community. As well as donating the old network equipment to local charities and schools, Circle IT will support the University by creating several new jobs, offering learning and development opportunities to students through industry placements, and sharing the provider’s wealth of knowledge through guest lectures at the University.

Edwards concluded, “Circle IT came through the competitive procurement exercise against some very stiff competition and ultimately they were the best fit against our ambitious requirements for our network infrastructure. We are delighted by the start we have made with Circle IT, and Roger and the team have become close and trusted partners from the word go. We’re excited to move forward with the deployment and see what new technologies this infrastructure will enable.”

Cardiff, UK – 10th December 2019