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Key Facts

  • Fastest growing providers of education, training and development in the UK
  • Delivers educational services across 35 prisons with an annual contract value of £35m
  • 20,000 students and 3,000 staff 

Milton Keynes College

Milton Keynes College is home to over 20,000 students, 3,000 staff and is a leader in Offender Learning as it delivers educational services across 35 prisons. It is also one of the fastest growing providers of education, training and development in the UK. 

The Challenge The Challenge

Russell Barley, Manager of ILT at Milton Keynes College, first met Circle IT at an event where Roger Harry, CEO, was talking about managed services. Russell was impressed with Roger’s knowledge and felt that Circle IT would be the perfect company to help him manage the college’s technology infrastructure.

Russell had joined the college in 2012 and was in the process of changing the dynamic of technology in the college. At the time, the value of technology wasn’t delivering and it needed to be a lot more flexible, whilst also reducing overheads. He had discovered that 90% of the college’s servers needed replacing and the internal IT help-desk team were lacking in-depth technical expertise.

Both these issues were a cause of concern for Russell, so he invited Circle IT to look at how they could transform the IT infrastructure, specifically the switching and routing capabilities. 

Critical Success Factors

  • Needed to meet green initiatives
  • Reduce overhead in line with government cuts
  • Deliver efficiencies that would meet the demands of a huge educational establishment
  • Transform the IT infrastructure and remove old servers 

The Solution The Solution

As Milton Keynes College continues to evolve, so does their IT environment. This meant that they needed a more robust and stable datacentre to cope with any future changes. Circle IT tackled this challenge by removing the old servers and replacing them with seven new Dell EMC enclosed Blade solution M1000 servers, which incorporate Poweredge and six Equallogic 6000 series SANs and run Microsoft Server 2012 HyperV with SMB.

Milton Keynes College’s initial requirements were then advanced as Circle IT added a state of the art switching solution which used Force 10 switches and Mellanox InfiniBand 40gb technology. 

Solution Highlights

  • Replaced old servers with seven Dell EMC enclosed Blade solution M1000 servers
  • Circle IT managed the entire process from initial assessments and specification to going live and utilising the resource from Microsoft and Dell EMC
  • Used Dell EMC Blade Solution M1000 incorporating Poweredge for their servers
  • Used a state of the art switching solution, Force 10 switches and Mellanox Infiniband 40gb technology

The Benefits The Benefits

These solutions meant that Milton Keynes College were able to save money, advance their infrastructure quicker and be greener.

One of the objectives for the college was to meet green initiatives and so Circle IT ensured that they reduced their racks of servers to improve power consumption savings. They have also seen staggering cost savings, with an annual saving of £300K from IT staff costs and anticipate that over the next three years they will save approximately £225K in support and telephony services. Plus, Circle IT’s strong relationship with Dell EMC meant that the college saved another £100K.

Finally, the college’s IT infrastructure has seen drastic improvements as Circle IT’s solutions have meant that the changes have been made quickly and without disruption. 

At a Glance

  • Circle IT provided project management and installation of complete solution
  • Saved £300K annually in IT staff costs
  • Circle IT's relationship with Dell EMC meant that they saved another £100K
  • Anticipate a saving of approximately £225K in support and telephony services

Why Dell AppAssure? Why Circle IT?

“Circle IT demonstrates an enviable work ethic of straight-talking, sincerity and flexibility that I have not come across before in an IT provider. They have also become a strategic partner for the college, as they have advised us on future initiatives so that we can shape a scalable and flexible IT infrastructure”

Russell Barley, Manager of ILT, Milton Keynes College