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£7 million Networking and Security Partnership Awarded to Circle

Following the successful delivery of their network transformation project, The University of Dundee has chosen Circle to deliver its secure networking environment over the next 5 years.

University of Dundee networking project

The University of Dundee, one of the UK’s leading Universities, is working towards future-proofing the establishment with a full network refresh.

The institution is enhancing the security of its networks to ensure that the organisation and its users are protected, whilst providing a seamless user experience.

Circle and the University of Dundee have been working in partnership since 2016 when Circle were awarded their last networking tender. Over the past 5 years, Circle has delivered a complete overhaul of the University’s network and installed a robust network security system. Driven by academic-led innovation, the University is committed to providing enhanced, secure connectivity to all students and faculty.

Following the procurement process, the University of Dundee awarded the £7 million networking tender to Circle to deliver its secure networking environment over the next 5 years. Working in continued partnership, Circle and the University will deliver one unified space for all users.

Students and Faculty will experience the same security assurances and connectivity through both wired and wireless, regardless of location. Users will be able to seamlessly transition between access points in internal or external spaces and experience ubiquitous connectivity wherever they are on campus. The planned upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 technologies which support faster speeds and capabilities, will improve the University’s already award-winning connectivity. This not only maximises the experience for the latest generation devices but provides enhancements for previous generations. Enhanced, state of the art firewalls will also allow people working and learning from home to have the same high level of cyber-protection as if they were accessing the network from campus.

At a time where accessing data online is essential, cyber-security is a top priority for the University. One of the driving forces behind the developments of the University of Dundee’s security measures is understanding student and user behaviours to better protect them and the network. By utilising advanced data analytics software, the solution will provide granular and holistic searches across all the environments, enabling rapid visibility of user activities. The SIEM (security information event management) system consistently monitors the network and its users' behaviours. This real-time 24/7 monitoring enables it to judge abnormal or unusual activities and will immediately trigger an alert to be actioned if anything is ‘out of the ordinary’. This wealth of analytics will also enable the University to make proactive improvements to benefit students and faculty. User authentication gives the user access to only the data they need, meaning they can easily find what they are looking for and what is important to them. This gives additional network protection by ensuring sensitive data is only accessible to a specific group. It also feeds information back to the data analytics software, ensuring the entire network is monitored for any abnormal behaviour.

The University of Dundee strives to provide the best experience to its students. Working with Circle, they will continue to implement changes that will deliver a user-focused environment.

They listen and they understand the problem – you don’t just get a pre-built solution, you get something that’s built to your environment. We wanted to move from having a partner who would manage our IT infrastructure, to having a partner that would manage the network service and provide more guidance, particularly around the increased need for security.

Jonathan Monk, Director of IT for the University of Dundee

Jonathan Monk, Director of IT at the University, has spoken about the new contract. “We have recently awarded Circle the contract for our network upgrade. We’ve worked with Circle over the previous 5 years and found them great to work with. They listen and they understand the problem – you don’t just get a pre-built solution, you get something that’s built to your environment. We wanted to move from having a partner who would manage our IT infrastructure, to having a partner that would manage the network service and provide more guidance, particularly around the increased need for security.”

“[Circle] will work with our organisation to make sure that we are providing a high level of service 24x7, moving away from the 9 – 5 service. The University has moved from having a lot of the students on campus to having the students distributed around the globe. So, we can’t have a situation where we only have the service provision 9 - 5 on a Monday to Friday, we need to have a 24x7 service environment. We chose Circle as they really understand what we are looking for and having worked with them for the last 5 years, we have the confidence that over the next 5 years, they can take us to that next level”.

Having already worked with the University, Circle were thrilled to be chosen for the network refresh project. David Jones, CEO of Circle, responds to the news of the tender award. “We are delighted to be selected by the University of Dundee for their network refresh. The award is a great reflection of the strength of the relationship we have built with the University over the last five years. It is a testament to the capability and commitment of our people that they have decided to continue to partner with Circle. We are excited by the opportunity to work more closely with the University of Dundee team over the coming years.

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