Case Study: Wireless Solution Grants School District its Communications Wishes

Netsync Stages, Configures, Tests and Deploys More Than 1,800 Devices to Deliver one Effective Solution

The Challenge

In technology, “10-years-old” is another way of saying “ancient.” And with today’s heavy reliance on technology, especially in education, 10-year-old solutions provide little more than band-aid approaches to information technology. And an antiquated approach to IT is another way of saying “not providing the best educational experience for students.”  

A Texas school district had been applying band-aid fixes to its decade-old wireless and telephony infrastructure, but their IT budget didn’t allow for a complete overhaul. It didn’t allow for a solution, just a cobbled together architecture. But their fate changed the day they were awarded a $16 million E-Rate grant. And their future changed the day they met Netsync.

Now, they were going to experience firsthand what so many Netsync customers have enjoyed for the past 18 years―innovative solutions delivered by the industry’s best engineers, solutions architects, project managers and field technicians.

The school district knew that Netsync was the leader in innovative, cutting-edge technological solutions for the education industry. They’d heard about the successful solutions they had delivered to hundreds of school districts across the United States. Now, they were going to experience firsthand what so many Netsync customers have enjoyed for the past 18 years―innovative solutions delivered by the industry’s best and engineers, solutions architects, project managers and field technicians.

It Starts With a Vision…

The school district imagined a solution that would include indoor access points in each of the schools’ classrooms, IP phones throughout, outdoor access points, and a mass notification paging system for added security.

Netsync’s solutions architects helped the district’s vision become a reality. They architected a solution with equipment from its valued, long-time partnership with Cisco.

Then a Solution…

Cisco Meraki Access Points
In each classroom, Netsync deployed Cisco Meraki MR42 and MR74 wireless access points. They are four radio, cloud-managed access points designed for next-generation deployments in schools, offices, hospitals, shops, and hotels. They provide performance, security, and simplified management. Netsync installed and configured the Meraki Dashboard, which provides visibility into the network, its users and their devices, and applications being utilized. Now, the district’s IT administrators can easily create access control and application usage policies, optimizing both the end-user experience and network security.

Cisco Catalyst Switches
Each school received Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches to serve as the solution’s backbone. They’re optimized for Multigigabit Ethernet services and provide scalability, security, and the simplicity needed to address most IT challenges.

Cisco IP Phones
Netsync deployed Cisco 8800 Series IP phones. They’re easy to use and provide highly secure voice communications. It supports a built-in Gigabit Ethernet switch for PC connection and combines an attractive ergonomic design with wideband audio for crystal clear voice communications. Netsync set up Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) phone features that provide “always-on” reliability, encrypted voice communications for enhanced security, and access to a comprehensive suite of Cisco unified communication features.

Paging with InformaCast
To satisfy the district’s need for a new paging system, Netsync deployed InformaCast, a mass notification system from Single Software. It sends audio, text, and images to mobile and on-premises devices. InformaCast increases the reach, speed, and success rates related to emergency notification communications. It gets critical information to the people who need it.

Fully Staged, Delivered Ahead of Time

All equipment that comprised Netsync’s solution was first received at its lab, staging and logistics facility. Each was asset tagged and included in a comprehensive inventory report provided to the district. Firmware was installed and burn-in testing was conducted, after which the hardware was shipped to each respective high school. On arrival, Netsync’s tenured field technicians installed each piece of equipment, then fully tested the solution prior to its go-live date.

And Now, the Reality…

The school district’s five high schools now have an infrastructure that promotes communications between students, administrators and faculty. Students have access to the online learning tools they need to be successful. Administrators have intuitive and easy-to-use dashboards to manage the entire solution and keep students and employees safe. The faculty can better communicate and collaborate with their peers. The Netsync solution now delivers exactly what the school district wanted and needed―an overall better learning environment.