Circle IT and Cardiff University form a £15 million partnership deal
Circle, a leading IT solutions and managed services provider, and leading UK higher education establishment Cardiff University, have announced that, following a competitive procurement exercise, a contract for a £15 million partnership deal that will see a radical overhaul of the University’s network infrastructure and support services over the next ten years has been awarded to Circle.
The partnership will bring state-of-the-art wired and wireless network access across Cardiff University’s 300 plus building campus – for staff and students alike - in what will be one of the largest Wi-Fi network deployments in Europe to date, encompassing some 11,000 wireless access points and over 1000 switches. The project will be completed in a co-sourced environment with several key vendors chosen to deliver datacentre networking, onboarding and other essential services. Circle will provide a complete solution that enables these services and underpins the entire project.
A member of the prestigious Russell Group, Cardiff University requires high-quality network access to enable its ongoing research activities, as well as to empower its student and teaching experience. In addition, the new network will support Cardiff University’s five year The Way Forward initiative, which will see the University strengthen its place as one of the UK’s top 20 universities. It will achieve this by building on several key areas; education, research, innovation, international, people, environment, finance and its civic mission.
Following a competitive procurement exercise, Cardiff University awarded the contract for the ten-year project to Circle, which is comprised of a three-year rollout period and seven years’ support. The new network will support the University’s technological growth and accommodate new and existing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. Once live, staff and students will benefit from major enhancements in data capacity, network resilience and experience, security and new integrated technologies.
Circle and Cardiff University will jointly manage and monitor the network infrastructure, allowing the University to extend its network and security support to a 24/7 service. Circle will support the University by handling patch management, software updates, environment monitoring and more outside of the University’s working hours.
Roger Harry, Circle’s Founder, commented, “We have lots of respect for the team at Cardiff University and everything they’ve achieved, and are pleased to launch what we’re sure will be a long and fruitful partnership. Beyond the Welsh connection, we have a rich history of successful education deployments and an intricate understanding of the network requirements, so a partnership like this makes sense. As an added benefit it is also great for the local economy, resulting in new jobs and opportunities in our shared community.”
David Edwards, Director of IT at Cardiff University, added, “We are pleased to have found such a trusted partner in Circle. As a leading global research university, and part of the Russell Group, it is vital that our network infrastructure enables this research and does not restrict or limit our ambitions. The new network will not only enable our first-class learning and teaching but will be crucial in an excellent experience for the student, whether the student is on campus or in a hall of residence. This deployment will underpin all of that, as well as The Way Forward strategy, and is critical to what we hope to achieve in the next decade.”
In addition to the new network infrastructure, this partnership will allow Circle to aid Cardiff University in its civic mission to improve the education, health, wealth and wellbeing of others, particularly those living in the surrounding community. As well as donating the old network equipment to local charities and schools, Circle will support the University by creating several new jobs, offering learning and development opportunities to students through industry placements, and sharing the provider’s wealth of knowledge through guest lectures at the University.
Edwards concluded, “Circle came through the competitive procurement exercise against some very stiff competition and ultimately they were the best fit against our ambitious requirements for our network infrastructure. We are delighted by the start we have made with Circle, and Roger and the team have become close and trusted partners from the word go. We’re excited to move forward with the deployment and see what new technologies this infrastructure will enable.”
About Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research-intensive universities. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework ranked the University 5th in the UK for research excellence. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.
Mae asesiadau annibynnol y llywodraeth yn cydnabod Prifysgol Caerdydd yn un o brifysgolion mwyaf blaengar Prydain o ran addysgu ac ymchwil, ac mae'n aelod o Grŵp Russell, sy'n cynnwys prifysgolion y Deyrnas Unedig sy'n rhoi'r pwyslais mwyaf ar waith ymchwil. Gosododd Fframwaith Rhagoriaeth Ymchwil 2014 y Brifysgol yn y 5ed safle ar draws y DU ar gyfer rhagoriaeth ymchwil. Ymhlith ei staff academaidd mae dau sydd wedi ennill Gwobr Nobel, gan gynnwys enillydd Gwobr Nobel Meddygaeth 2007, yr Athro Syr Martin Evans. Sefydlwyd y Brifysgol trwy Siarter Frenhinol ym 1883, a heddiw mae'n cyfuno cyfleusterau modern trawiadol ag agwedd ddeinamig at addysgu ac ymchwil. Mae arbenigedd eang y Brifysgol yn cynnwys: Coleg y Celfyddydau, y Dyniaethau a'r Gwyddorau Cymdeithasol; Coleg y Gwyddorau Biofeddygol a Bywyd; a Choleg y Gwyddorau Ffisegol a Pheirianneg, ynghyd ag ymrwymiad hirdymor i ddysgu gydol oes.