Wellcome implements mobile first strategy with Aruba Wi-Fi

UK bio-medical research charity builds new mobile-optimised network to cater to real-time staff collaboration and the creation of a new digital library for the public

Wellcome implements mobile first strategy with Aruba Wi-Fi

Wellcome, one of the world's largest charity funders of biomedical research, has upgraded its communications infrastructure using Aruba Wi-Fi solutions to create a ‘Mobile First Workplace’ environment for its 630 staff and the 570,000 public visitors its Wellcome Collection in London, UK gets each year.

The aim is to create a more dynamic, productive and collaborative environment. By refreshing its network infrastructure to cater to the diverse needs of the Trust’s ever-growing user base, the Trust is preparing to roll out new, immersive ways of sharing its work with the public, as well as enabling efficient collaboration internally.

Prior to this implementation, the Trust was experiencing patchy Wi-Fi pick up across its two main buildings – The Wellcome Trust offices and the Wellcome Trust Collection (Reading Room pictured above), affecting both employee productivity and public user experience.

The Trust can now offer a huge collaboration programme for its staff running on Skype for Business, allowing real-time and pervasive mobile communication to happen across the campus. Secure network access policies have been defined and applied for staff-owned devices as well as those owned by collaborators and visitors in a unified manner.

Building on this, the Trust now allows for the highly secure exchange of information between staff, using Aruba’s end-to-end encryption and contextual analysis to set up ‘rings of trust’ within its network, allowing it to create unique access levels for different staff.

This mobile first approach has increased the level of collaboration across the business as well as lowering the number of IT glitches. Noel Quinn, IT Development Manager at Wellcome who oversaw the whole process, said: “The measure of success is how few IT complaints we’ve had. In fact, with an average daily connection of over 1,200 devices, we have only experienced 10 Wi-Fi related reported incidents.”

“So far we have implemented secure access management and have started to gain visibility of the entire network for troubleshooting purposes. But there is a great deal of value headroom down the line. With Aruba, we have the possibility to create solid context and role-based security policies, application optimisation capabilities as well as proactive network management in order to avoid problems before they actually occur,” said Quinn.

Using the Aruba ClearPass network security policy manager that is already in place, there is the opportunity to provide value added services to visitors. In addition to this, Wellcome is already looking at providing information about their exhibits through location based technology.

Jon Moger, senior director at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, commented: ”Improving workforce mobility and productivity are at the heart of Digital Transformation projects, when combined with improvements in visitor experience it’s a winning formula.

“Wellcome is a perfect example of how both private and public usage can be catered for under one roof. We hope this is just the beginning and that the new infrastructure allows Wellcome to grow and produce even more innovative ways to show off their work.”

Across its two buildings, the trust has deployed:

• Aruba Mobility Controllers - offering centralised network engineering, IP services and policy controls, while simplifying the integration of security and enterprise app platforms
• Aruba AirWave network management – allows users to centrally manage controller-based and controller-less wireless networks and generations of wired networks from just about any vendor, across multiple locations
• Aruba ClearPass security policy manager - providing secure network access to mobile devices. It features ultra-scalable AAA with RADIUS and TACACS+ and a policy engine that leverages contextual data based on user roles, device types, app usage and location.

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