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De Pere School District

De Pere, WI

I have never said this to ESG, but I was actually more pleased with how the project went than how I expected it to go based on previous project experiences.

Michael O'Callaghan, Director of Technology
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Project Scope

The use and variety of wi-fi enabled devices being brought into the classroom has skyrocketed in recent years and has been a major issue at De Pere School District (DPSD). That was until they made the move to have a Ruckus Wireless system installed by Enterprise Systems Group.

The existing system wasn’t providing the necessary bandwidth and couldn’t support the number of devices the students and faculty wanted to utilize. There has also been more reliance on media-rich resources within student’s curriculum. The district was missing out on these features due to the the existing wireless system.

ESG stood out from the rest of the Request for Proposal (RFP) respondents immediately. “They (other respondents) didn’t have nearly the amount of detail in supporting our implementation that ESG had thought out in their response,” said Michael O’Callaghan, Director of Technology. “ESG was really the only vendor that did a pre-site survey before they filled out their RFP.”

The detailed approach ESG took in their evaluation was matched by the technology they proposed. The Ruckus solution had many features separating it from other products.

“When you look at some of the other technologies we looked at, it’s all basically the same type of wireless technology. Maybe packaged a little differently, maybe managed a little differently, but what impressed us about Ruckus was their antenna array, the ability of their system to support more connections with fewer access points,” stated O’Callaghan.

Requiring fewer access points (AP’s) was a staple of Ruckus’ marketing that had O’Callaghan skeptical at first, but after his team’s research process he found every claim to be true. “The fact that we could get by with fewer AP’s had a direct impact on the cost of the Ruckus implementation.”

One of the biggest improvements from an IT stand point is the system’s ease of use. The previous solution required a technician to physically touch every device for it to work on the network. This required special sessions to be held where students, guests and faculty would have to bring in their devices to be onboarded. That process was eliminated and users can gain access to the network quickly and easily without assistance from IT.

Managing the system itself also became easier. “The Ruckus tools that came along with the product, we felt, were much more intuitive and easy to use than any of the other tools that we looked at,” claimed O’Callaghan.

The Ruckus solution is now live in all of the district’s six buildings. ESG’s ability to work with the team at DPSD and bring in Ruckus technicians directly helped the implementation run smoothly and efficiently, according to O’Callaghan.

“If you look at a project, from a technical perspective, from a people perspective and from a process perspective, I mean the process they followed was solid, the technology was solid the technical skills to support that were solid, and the people we worked with just had a fantastic attitude,” O’Callaghan stated. “I have never said this to ESG, but I was actually more pleased with how the project went than how I expected it to go based on previous project experiences.”