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Regent's University London and Data Integration team up

From Fashion Weeks to firewalls, it's all in a day's work for Data Integration

Posted by Alice Savage | May 21, 2017 | Technology

Specialising in managed networks, managed security services and mobility solutions, and high-performance hosting solutions, Data Integration deliver media-rich and bandwidth-intensive applications over high-speed, high-availability and secure network infrastructures to a variety of high-profile education and public sector organisations across the UK.

Data Integration also provides services and technology to the large corporate, legal, finance, media, and publishing and leisure sectors. 

On 3rd April 2017, the merger between CSC and HP Enterprise has now formed a new company, DXC Technology. Data Integration are now part of DXC Technology, offering end-to-end IT services. 

Zubair Fakir is Head of Information Technology Services at Regent’s University London, a
Data Integration client. 

➡ When and how did Regent’s University first use Data Integration’s services? 

The first active engagement with Data Integration was in early 2013. Companies were invited to tender for replacement of the old infrastructure and Data Integration was successful. 

➡ What did replacement involve and what challenges did it bring? 

The tender entailed a complete rip-out and replacement of the network from the ground up. The most challenging part was to do it while the existing network was still running, but that’s exactly what we managed over three years. We have replaced all the physical cabling from the end point to the switches and replaced all of the edge, distribution and core switches, creating a new resilient core and resilient firewalls in two locations. Data Integration also supply a resident engineer. We scoped very early on in the project that because we had a blueprint of what our tier network looked like, we knew how to replicate it at other buildings. This made it much easier to implement. 

➡ How many students and staff use these facilities?  

Roughly, about 4,800 students, and 800 staff and contractors. 

➡ Do certain of the University’s facilities or departments make particular demands? 

The University has a large conferencing department, and a couple of years ago we hosted a London Fashion Week event, with the client putting up their own satellite dish pointing to the BT Tower. We supported them with additional technology.

Zubair Fakir, Head of Information Technology Services at Regent's University London

 

➡ Are you approached by students and staff requesting particular IT services? 

One of the challenges on our network is enabling students to have access to a larger technology range. Sometimes they ask us for access to various products, such as the Amazon voice-activated assistant. We need to rapidly see if we can fulfil their request to allow the product to work on our network but have to consider that if it does work, will it compromise anything else? If it can be accommodated within our risk profile we will do it. 

➡ How do you envisage the University/Data Integration link developing over the next five years? 

I can see the main drivers being cyber-awareness and security-focus within an increase in general technology resources. 

➡ How does the University and Data Integration keep in touch? 

There is always engagement and customer-focus from Data Integration, including monthly operational meetings, reviews of last month’s incidents, quarterly and strategy meetings and project updates plus Data Integration’s service delivery manager phoning my infrastructure manager weekly. There is constant communication, so nothing goes unchecked, because everything is being looked at very proactively. The relationship has been very, very positive. 

W: https://www.dataintegration.com

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