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Case Study – University of Salford

With four faculties, 12 schools, nearly 20,000 students and 2,500 staff, the University has seen tremendous growth since it was first established in 1896. Today, it is driving forward with an ambitious plan to transform all aspects of campus life, including the provision of some of the most sizeable and state-of-the-art facilities accessible at a UK university.

As part of this wider initiative, a project was commenced to perform an upgrade of all University buildings with BrandRex Category 6 structured cabling.

‘ISG Technology listened, assisted, communicated and delivered on time, every time.’ I.S. Technical officer (Estates Projects) 

The Challenge

The University needed a complete LAN and infrastructure upgrade throughout the campus. The partner they needed would also require excellent project management skills – not only to work-round the universities dynamic day-to-day activities, but to ensure absolute adherence to health and safety processes in public areas.

The University’s existing Centrex telephone system was expensive to run and operationally inadequate. To improve the performance of its telecommunications networks, the University specified a Cisco Call Manager IPT solution that required a full LAN and infrastructure refresh across the Campus. As well as the challenge of specifying the most appropriate solutions for the environment, the chosen technology provider was required to demonstrate stringent health and safety processes in compliance with the University’s criteria and the latest Construction, Design and Management (CDM) regulations.

This was particularly important as the majority of the University’s buildings would be occupied during the deployment. Furthermore, strong client liaison, acute on site supervision and adept project management skills were key attributes sought by the University’s Estate and Infrastructure Departments, who would be working with the appointed team to ensure the very highest quality control.

Solutions

ISG was selected as a preferred partner in the multi-vendor framework established for the duration of the Project. As well as strong client liaison and project management skills, ISG demonstrated exemplary health and safety management systems, meeting the university’s criteria and CDM regulations. Its installation teams worked closely with the University and all involved parties to agree the final design of the cabling solution, with input from ISG’s BICSI RCDD designer to propose alternative solutions to suit the environment, where necessary. The Team has since installed over 11,000 Category 6 outlets (protected by a full Class E/Cat 6 Brand Rex Warranty) in over 12 buildings. It has also deployed the majority of the University’s new fibre-optic backbone between 23 separate buildings, consisting of both multi and single-mode cables.

To satisfy health and safety, the project was managed by the University’s Estates and Infrastructure Departments. All engineers underwent an induction and wore corporate clothing on-site. Working areas were tidy and segregated at all times and the storage and delivery of materials were closely controlled. These measures were especially important as most buildings were being used by staff¬ and students throughout the installation. Fundamental to the completion of a project of this scale however, were the regular meetings ISG facilitated with the Client and building occupants. These briefings were crucial in keeping the project on schedule, on budget and within all university’s legal requirements..

ISG was able to meet the needs Salford University’s project because of our wide range of competencies and nationwide coverage.

ISG’s Professional Services team provide experience-based advice and solution design services, while our multi-skilled engineers can provide auditing, surveying and installation services for WiFi and any other aspect of physical infrastructure – along with the capability to undertake a variety of other tasks that might be needed to complete a project – such as power installation or implementing specific proprietary systems and software. Once systems have been installed, ISG’s service desk provides user support and takes care of delivering 24x7 break-fix maintenance whenever required.

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