Essex-based Multi-Academy Trust became a beacon of technology in the area and an attractive choice for both students and schools looking to join the Trust thanks to the fully-managed, highly secure, cloud-based network solution designed to scale as they grow.
A big challenge: upgrade of disparate IT systems in Multi-Academy Trust.
Bridge Academy Trust are Essex based, medium Multi-Academy Trust (MAT). Their mission is that each school within the Trust is a place of learning, where young people enjoy coming, are enriched with opportunities and achieve high standards. The Trust incorporates 4 secondary and 8 primary schools. Their whole IT infrastructure consisted of a large number of disparate onsite equipment. Each of the schools had its own connectivity and on-site Firewall filtering. Many of these old networks had low bandwidth, limited features, and high prices.
Following excellent references from other Trusts, the Bridge Academy Trust chose a well-established provider of IT services and products for the Education Sector – M-Tech Systems to resolve those problems and improve performance.
Stress-free, smooth transformation into a technology leader.
M-Tech proposed a proven and scalable solution. The first was the M-Tech cloud hosted firewall, a core routable wide area network, which brought together old and diversified IT architecture.
Centrally managed filtering was also an important aspect of improving the Trust’s IT infrastructure. They wanted to keep all devices (Windows, Chrome, and iOS) protected and managed. Lightspeed Solution Suite came out as the most secure and flexible solution. Administrators are now able to filter, manage, protect, and monitor from a cloud-based single unified platform. All the access is given through policy-based controls with detailed settings for blocking and filtering. The Trust’s defence remains current due to the continuous updates, target threat analysis and automatic intelligence tools.
Finally, M-Tech Systems ensured that the Bridge Academy Trust can maintain vital operational functions during and after a disaster. The mtech.cloud backup and disaster recovery platform was chosen as the best choice for the Trust. Now, their backup traffic doesn’t move across the internet but flows directly into their cloud backup repository for added security.
M-Tech are easy to work with and understand our needs. Support has been excellent when we have needed them.
Mark Fuller, IT Manager, Bridge Academy Trust
The result and further plans.
The Bridge Academy Trust can now benefit from fast, reliable connectivity, on a highly secure and highly available, fully managed network. The visibility was significantly improved, now detection and blocking of threats is much quicker. Moreover, traffic management is more comprehensive. Thanks to the mtech.cloud backup and disaster recovery platform the Trust can be confident in their disaster recovery abilities.
The whole model is simple to upgrade and scale up, so more schools can be easily brought on board. Especially the smaller ones, which wouldn’t have a possibility to achieve such a high level of technology on their own.
That’s not everything! All schools benefit from lower power costs and reduced environmental impact as all services are centrally hosted.
Four new schools have recently joined the Bridge Academy Trust. They were temporarily connected to VPN and currently trialling some additional, cloud hosted VMs for central Domain Services and their HR system to achieve their cloud-first centralisation goal. After their contracts expire, they hope to follow the steps of other schools and improve their whole IT infrastructure.