College transforms from antiquated learning services to a modern, technology based learning environment

College transforms from antiquated learning services to a modern, technology based environment

About the Customer

Hopwood Hall College, located on two campus sites just north of Manchester, caters for students from 14 to university level as well as adults, and offers a broad range of academic and vocational courses. 

Challenge

Like many further education institutions, the College has to fight hard to attract students who, increasingly, expect high-class services and facilities at the education institutes they select. Hopwood Hall College sees its facilities, particularly IT, as one of the main features that sets Hopwood Hall College apart from its competitors.

But just a few years previously, the College’s IT infrastructure was very antiquated; fit for a school environment rather than the more demanding and flexible one needed for further education. Many of the PCs, for example, were almost ten years old and trying to run the latest computer applications on them was almost impossible. Sometimes it was taking over 30 minutes for students to log on to applications and IT services related to their course work. 

College transforms from antiquated learning services to a modern, technology based learning environment

Solution

Hopwood Hall College used Ricoh ITS to help plan and deploy its entire IT virtualisation environment. It involved rolling out additional PCs to all departments across the College’s two campus sites and implementing a thin-client virtualisation solution across the entire infrastructure. In addition to the PCs, the College also set up a new data centre with 16 blade servers and another 5 blade servers dedicated to a storage area network. Evans was so impressed with the quality of service Ricoh provided for the PC environment, that he asked Ricoh to help overhaul server virtualisation. 

Results

The College has analysed cost savings by rationalising IT resources and using them more efficiently, and it estimates that the Ricoh virtualisation solution will help save almost £500,000 over three years, achieving a remarkable return on investment in just two months. The environmental benefits have also been impressive. More efficient utilisation of equipment, consolidation of servers and a cut in associated power and cooling energy demand has resulted in a reduction of 190 tons of carbon emissions in three years.

In addition, the new infrastructure has enabled the College to provide students and teachers with the very latest technology.

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