Hills Educational Foundation, first established in 1992, incorporates Hills International College, Hills Language College and Hills Golf Academy and was one of the first colleges in Australia purpose built for both Australian and International Students. It is a K-12, Co-ed and non-denominational day and boarding school situated on a truly beautiful 660 acre semi-rural area 40 kilometres from Brisbane, Queensland.
With a view to move to a 1:1 iPad device policy in the proceeding 12 months, Hills began investigating how they could deliver a seamless network experience for Students and Staff across the campus that would provide both the performance and ease of manageability the school was looking for.
Cisco Meraki was selected as the Vendor of choice over several competing technologies due to its unique combination of a solid Wi-Fi offering that incorporated robust Guest management features, a Cloud managed switch platform, an integrated Security Appliance, as well as robust Mobile Device Management capabilities all accessible from within the one Dashboard.
As the IT Manager Craig Montgomery explains "Meraki was the logical choice to use whether that was in the classrooms, dormitories, guest houses, outdoor areas, or on the golf greens". "Cloudifi were great when it came to clearly articulating their thoughts as to how the Meraki product range could be used to best fit our environment and serve our requirements, making the decision easy."
Ultimately, seventy five Access Points - either MR34, MR18 or MR66 models, twenty six MS220 Switches, four MS320 Switches, and an MX400 Security Appliance would be installed over a period of 7 days on site. The network was designed from the ground up to completely replace the existing legacy network incorporating the best design and security principles.
Cloudifi, that hails from across the country in Perth, provided the Meraki equipment, completed the design work and pre-config of the network in the Cloud Dashboard remotely, and then came to site and installed the equipment and conducted performance testing before leaving.
"It was no barrier to a successful implementation working with a partner that didn't have a local presence" Montgomery espouses. "With the Cloud Management of the Meraki network, it was all done before the guys arrived and now they just assist when needed in the Dashboard - what I see is what they can see. This really lowered our on-going support costs."