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Bangor University – Wireless Procurement

Founded in 1884, Bangor University has a long tradition of excellence and exceeds expectations, both for academic standards and student experience. The University has over 11,000 students and over 650 teaching staff based in 23 Academic Schools grouped into five Colleges.

Bangor University – Wireless Procurement

Background

Founded in 1884, Bangor University has a long tradition of excellence and exceeds expectations, both for academic standards and student experience. The University has over 11,000 students and over 650 teaching staff based in 23 Academic Schools grouped into five Colleges.

Bangor University is in the top 40 in the UK for research (excluding specialist institutions and single-submission universities). Their research has a major impact around the world according to the latest assessment of research quality, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. The REF recognised that more than three-quarters of Bangor's research is either world-leading or internationally excellent, ahead of the average for UK universities. Over half of Bangor’s academic Schools have been ranked in the UK top 20 for quality of research.

The latest National Student Survey (NSS) results reflects the University’s focus on overall student experience. The results – released August 2015 – place Bangor amongst the UK’s top 10 universities for student satisfaction (excluding specialist institutions). The University is also top in Wales for overall student satisfaction as well as quality of teaching. The What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015 placed Bangor University top in the UK for Clubs & Societies and 3rd overall for Accommodation.

Replacing the Bangor University Wireless Solution

Bangor University previously had a wireless network infrastructure based on Juniper wireless equipment all of which was nearing or end of life. Juniper had served notice to the University that they were pulling out of the wireless market and no longer developing their wireless portfolio. The existing wireless solution was formed of approximately 1,600 wireless access points.

The University had been evaluating the wireless market to find a strategic partner for the replacement of the wireless solution to offer a comprehensive, high-quality wireless service in all its buildings which include teaching, administration and residential buildings but were finding it hard to decide on how to proceed.

The University had put a budget aside that needed to be spent in the 2015/16 financial year for the initial phase of the replacement project.

How 4C Helped

In the first half of 2016, 4C Strategies, an independent ICT Consultancy specialising in telecommunications and network infrastructure projects, was appointed to assist the University in the evaluation of the market for the replacement solution.

4C worked with the University to plan which elements of the project could be delivered in the aggressive timescales and tight budget allocation. The following approach was agreed with the University:

  • Agree on the procurement mechanism
  • Preparation of specification and evaluation criteria
  • Assistance with evaluating supplier responses

Outcome / Benefits

  • Procurement Mechanism
  • 4C used their knowledge of the Higher Education sector and applicable routes to market to evaluate the most appropriate route to market for the wireless replacement project. Consideration was given to project scope, timescales, previous supplier engagement and sector best practice.

  • Preparation of specification and evaluation criteria
  • With the financial end of year restrictions, the deadline was quickly approaching in which the project was viable. 4C pulled out all the stops capturing and documenting the University’s needs into an output based specification with a clearly defined evaluation criteria that allowed them to clearly compare the different technology capabilities.

  • Assistance with evaluating supplier responses
  • Utilising the carefully developed evaluation criteria 4C guided the University through the evaluation process. A total of five different “technologies” were compared during the evaluation with all major vendors represented.

  • The Result
  • The result for the University was that they partnered with a specialist supplier and vendor of wireless technologies who were geared up to deliver the project on budget and more importantly on time. Focus was put onto the end user experience with a emphasis on re-creating the “home broadband” experience within the residential areas.