Consortium wins multimillion dollar deal

A consortium which includes Cabletron Systems, Logical Networks and Data and Voice, has won a multimillion dollar deal to provide a network and management solution to Adelaide University.

The network, known as "Project Odyssey", is designed to provide IP services to more than 2500 staff and 14,000 students at the university, from over 7000 network points.

It is being installed to improve business connectivity, and support a PeopleSoft ERP system implementation, which is being rolled out concurrently.

Implementation of the network, which is being handled by Logical Networks, is based on Cabletron's SmartSwitch Router technology.

Andrew Stephanou, managing director at Internet and integration services company Logical Networks, said it was the "integration arm" of the consortium.

"Our focus is really in terms of professional integration services," Stephanou said. "They're our core competencies and skills in terms of rolling out medium to large projects of this nature."

He said universities, by the nature of their campus-type environments and diversity of information systems, did have particular requirements.

"Their basic needs are somewhat different. But in terms of the rollout of the technology, that is fairly mainstream."

In a statement relating to the project, Cabletron said Adelaide University was the first university in Australia to choose a wide-scale Gigabit Ethernet deployment instead of traditional ATM networking technologies.

Ian Fewtrell, managing director of Cabletron Systems Australia, said Gigabit Ethernet had become the technology of choice for demanding campus environments. "It combines simplicity and scalability, whilst delivering great value for money."

Fewtrell said the tender had been a "nice one to win" and that "certainly every success enhances a reputation".

He advises resellers to consider the opportunities new technologies present to provide "add-ons" to customers. "This technology enables you to provide a solution that addresses other elements of a customers' business," he said.

"It enables them to manage their business to a greater extent, to manage the traffic."

The project the Cabletron/Logical/Data and Voice consortium is carrying out at Adelaide University involves replacing more than 600km of cabling, which will allow deployment of Gigabit Ethernet and 100MB Ethernet for a 10-fold improvement in the speed of networking communication between Adelaide University's four campuses and four teaching hospitals.

Peter Nissen, from Adelaide University's information technology services, said the consortium had won the project over several proposals from other network vendors and integrators.

"Adelaide was among the first Australian universities to introduce a high-speed data network, but the network grew in a piecemeal way during the past decade," Nissen said. "We are virtually going back to square one and replacing the entire network."

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