Managed Wi-Fi

Sundial Group


The Brief

Established in 1964, Sundial was the first company to recognise the need for dedicated meeting environments and created the UK’s first conference hotel at Highgate House in Northamptonshire. Since then they have established two additional conference hotels – Barnett Hill in Surrey & Woodside in Warwickshire.

The importance and performance of Wi-Fi provision for paying guests and business users has changed dramatically in recent times with expectations being much higher than they were previously.

An existing and poorly performing unmanaged Wi-Fi system was in place across the three sites which meant that the requirement was for a new solution that addressed the needs of all of the prospective users and was able to be managed centrally by the IT dept.

The Problem

The existing set up meant that there were problems at every turn. At every site there were notorious black spots and areas without coverage, the new solution needed to make sure that every communal area, meeting room and private guest room had a robust and speedy connection.

The unmanaged and stand-alone nature of the existing systems also meant that in the event of a problem remote fault finding and diagnosis was also impossible without a visit from an engineer. With an estate spread across sites in three different counties and an IT Dept with a small headcount, many hours of productivity were lost due to travel and customer satisfaction suffered due to prolonged outages.

Secure and separate networks for staff and guests were impossible to create and manage, and authorised authenticated connection for users needed to be controlled.

Adaptive IT's Solution

After an initial consultation with the Head of IT and a live demonstration of the system, we proposed that the Ruckus Wireless solution would be deployed across all three of the sites. The Ruckus product is especially successful in the Hospitality sector and provides an effective solution that would immediately alleviate all of the existing problems and improvements in performance would be seen immediately by staff and guests alike.

The main operational benefit of the Ruckus system meant that the management and monitoring of the 3 venue networks could be done remotely from the central IT HQ at Woodside. This meant that pretty much all problems could be diagnosed and troubleshot without the need to physically be present in front of the WAP and modifications and changes to services could be made without a modification to software configuration.

End users would also benefit from a much better quality of connection and benefit from faster speed, better coverage and less of the “drop outs” that they had suffered from historically.

Recommendation

A live real time survey was undertaken at each of the premises to create a full heat map for coverage and prospective performance of the new points. In optimised positions, Dual band 2.5ghz & 5ghz N Range WAPs would be installed to service all of the communal, staff, conferencing and guest areas as required

Implementation

Physical deployment of the Wi-Fi infrastructure was phased over each site starting with Highgate, then Woodside and Barnet Hill. Final coverage checks and connection tweaks were made before the introduction of the new live system which was received with immediate success across the estate.

Ongoing Support

All hardware has a lifetime warranty and an optional support contract that is renewed year on year that gives the end user newly released software updates and security patches.

From the onset it was apparent that the benefits that the customer would be able to enjoy from both the IT and Guest perspectives would be huge and it was great to be able to be involved with their journey from start to finish. Wi-Fi connectivity and performance continue to evolve at pace to keep up with the demands of users and their soaring expectations. The Ruckus solution fits perfectly into this environment and the improvement in service to the Sundial clients and the operational help it has given their IT Dept has been great for us to see.

Jonathan White

Project Manager, Adaptive IT Solutions

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