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Education

Integrated Technology for schools.

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Eastern Voice and Data is an integrated technology solutions provider delivering Telephone and IT services to over 30 schools in the East Anglian region.

Eastern Voice and Data is the preferred supplier to Academic Trusts in East Anglia through the Everything ICT procurement framework. Everything ICT is an ICT procurement framework for the Public Sector. It has a rigorous selection process to ensure only the best and most trusted companies are recommended to the Public Sector purchasing departments.

Eastern Voice and Data is an integrated technology solutions provider delivering Telephone and IT services to over 30 schools in the East Anglian area.

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If your current telephone system is ageing then you may well be experiencing:

  • High call costs
  • Poor quality lines
  • Lack of collaboration tools (presence, video conference, chat etc.)
  • No mobile phone integration
  • No call waiting monitoring and reporting statistics
  • System downtime

By upgrading your school would benefit from:

  • Intelligent call routing via IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
  • Video conferencing
  • Voicemail to email notification
  • Auto Attendant
  • Call Queuing
  • Soft phone integration
  • Mobile phone as an extension
  • Guaranteed uptime with failsafe disaster recovery

Eastern Voice and Data Commitment

Eastern Voice & Data was founded in 1998 to provide business communications to companies looking for integrated systems designed to improve their efficiency.

Our qualified staff listens to your requirements and offer the products best suited to meet your needs.

We can offer the latest technologies using market leading partners to design and implement systems to provide winning strategic tools for your business.

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Service Benefits / Features

Our services to the Education sector include

Telephony

IT network installation and support

Wireless Networks

Cyber Security

Data cabling and Fibre backbone installation

Secure Internet Access (Filtering)

Monitoring/Alerting

IP CCTV

Audio Visual systems

Public Address systems

Access control systems

Internet connectivity

Eastern Voice and Data has upgraded the IT fibre network for 15 local schools. The schools have benefitted with a significant increase in speeds and bandwidth availability.

Bottlenecks have been removed from the network allowing fast and reliable internet access for students and teachers.

Eastern Voice and Data can be your single point of contact for all your IT and Telecoms needs. We will work closely with you to advise and create a resilient flexible integrated network that is reliable, effective and value for money.

We will ensure your investment in the school’s IT infrastructure is money well spent creating a safe educational environment for the pupils and staff alike.

If you’d like to know more…

Contact us today for a free site survey and quotation

Contact Us

A few recent projects….

2N CASE STUDY: ENSURING SECURITY IN SCHOOLS

Eastern Voice & Data are specialists in the supply, support and installation of IP products. Their portfolio covers a range of IP devices including:

  • Business Telephone Systems
  • Hosted Telephone Systems
  • Data network cabling
  • IT support
  • CCTV
  • Access Control Systems
  • Business Broadband
  • Mobile Phones
  • Cloud Computing
  • PA systems
  • Business Grade WiFi

Eastern Voice & Data supply to a range of businesses including those in the public sector, hospitality and private sectors.

Always striving to provide the very best experience to their customers, Eastern Voice & Data work with carefully selected manufacturers and suppliers to ensure an optimal level of service.

Working alongside ProVu Technologies, Eastern Voice & Data supply 2N’s range of IP Access Control Systems.

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Ensuring the security of both employees and pupils

Support for third-party devices

Creating a solution which could be centrally managed

Business Challenges

Eastern Voice & Data set out to create a secure, easily manageable solution for its client, a specialist academy providing 24-hour curriculum for students with social, emotional and mental health difficulties. With a high turnover of staff, the academy found that they were spending a lot of time visiting sites to update their systems and ensure access rights were removed from former employees.

The key factors Eastern Voice & Data were faced with include:

  • Security - Security is key in educational institutions, the site needed to be secure whilst also allowing staff to be able to access areas at the push of a button or swipe of a key fob.
  • The solution needed to integrate with the existing systems and be easily managed by the central IT team.

Eastern Voice and Data approached 2N and ProVu for assistance in creating a solution which would:

  • Ensure security for the Academy pupils and staff members
  • Integrate with the client’s existing systems
  • Provide a remotely manageable solution
  • Is easy to use

The Solution

Security in schools is key and was the utmost priority when creating this solution. ProVu worked alongside 2N and Eastern Voice and Data to develop the ideal solution to address their application. The recommended solution consisted of:

  • 2N IP Force Intercom with camera
  • 2N Access Units
  • Indoor Touch
  • RFID cards

With an IP rating of IP69K, the IP Force provides a robust intercom. This was placed on the gate at the entrance of the Academy and connects to the 2N Access Unit via an IP network.

Upon arrival, visitors simply press a button which automatically sends an alert to the Indoor Touch units which were installed in the reception area. Staff in the reception area were then able to see and speak to the visitors via the indoor touch screen or through their deskphones, enabling staff to grant or deny access from their desk.

The 2N Access Units were then installed throughout the academy to maintain security around the premises. All members of staff and pupils were then given their own RFID card which is configured via the 2N Access Commander App to enable access to the relevant areas. The RFID cards also double up as an ID card for all users, helping to reduce costs and minimise the risk of them being misplaced.

  • Ensure security for the Academy pupils and staff members
  • Integrate with the client’s existing systems
  • Provide a remotely manageable solution
  • Is easy to use

How it works

All of the deployed devices in this solution connect by IP and were placed on a separate VLAN. Compatible with a wide range of third-party devices, 2N’s range supports the connection of existing infrastructure such as IP desk phones, DECT phones and visual alerters. Eastern Voice and Data placed this solution on its own VLAN to separate data from other devices on the network, helping to protect and ensure resiliency for any future developments. For ultimate security, this solution also has the ability to be used to automatically trigger a lockdown should it be required, helping to protect the safety of the Academy’s pupils and its staff.

The Results

Eastern Voice and Data are now looking to expand this 2N Access Control solution across the Academy’s other sites. Through the implementation of this solution, Eastern Voice and Data have reported the following results:

  • A more robust, secure system to ensure employee and pupil safety with automated preferences enabled. i.e. gates locked thorughout the night and access to learning facilities disabled out of hours.
  • A significant reduction in time and costs used for site visits - the system can now be remotely managed and updated remotely.
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We put a lot of work into ensuring every product and supplier we work with is the best option for our customers. We pride ourselves on providing the very best experience for our customers and like to ensure that the companies we work with are knowledgeable about the products they’re providing and can ultimately support us in fulfiling the experience we want to provide.

Following our research, we found both 2N and ProVu to be the best option available to us. The 2N product range offer a wide variety of high quality products which can work alongside our hosted offering - this is incredibly important to support the cross selling of our products and services.

We found working with ProVu and 2N a very positive experience. Everyone we dealt with at ProVu was incredibly knowledgeable about the product set and advised us how we could best set up the system to work how our client wanted it to. They were clearly invested in the project and were a great asset to helping us create some outstanding results!

Andrew Mash,

Teachnical Sales Manager, Eastern Voice & Data

King Edward Grammar VI School

Upgrade and refurbishment of old and new buildings on one site

King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford is one of the UK’s leading state schools with a history going back to 1551.

The Problem

An extensive building programme led to a requirement for more phones, and the existing legacy analogue infrastructure was ageing, working to capacity already with limited functions, such as no voicemail facility.

The existing cabling was unreliable and did not extend to the new building, meaning any new phones would require extensive work to replace and extend it.

The Solution

The cost effective solution was to migrate all phones over to a Voice over IP (VOIP) infrastructure, which meant the installation was seamless, able to use the existing cabling and being VOIP, the new phones could be plugged into any PC so there was no need to install extra cabling or networks.

This meant disruption was kept to an absolute minimum.

The school has all the phones they need, with up to date functionality enabling staff members to listen to their voicemails wherever they are and a fully scalable future proof solution.

The contract was fulfilled very cost effectively, hassle free and left the school’s IT department to concentrate on other areas.

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When we looked at the options available, it was evident that the solution…did everything we wanted – better. Plus it was so user friendly. The interaction with Exchange was a big plus and the ability to deliver voicemail by email really clever. And whilst we haven’t had any major issues with the system, the high level of support we get from the Eastern team makes life much easier for the IT staff

Craig Wright,

Network Manager, King Edward VI Grammar School

Eaton Hall Specialist Academy

During October 2018 half term we were asked to complete an emergency installation for Eaton Hall

Specialist Academy. Eaton Hall is part of the Right for Success Academy Group for whom we have undertaken projects for Sewell Park Academy, Sprowston Academy, Tuckswood Academy, Martham Academy, Stalham Academy and St Clements Free School.

Eaton Hall is the only Norfolk specialist academy catering for students with social, emotional and mental health difficulties. The school is residential and operates with a 24 hour curriculum.

The school’s cabling infrastructure was in serious need of replacement and due to various security issues the academy felt that they had to act. Eastern Voice & Data had anticipated that the project would be completed during a longer holiday break and had estimated that 3 weeks would be required to fully complete the project. The amount of work required was further complicated by the need to replace the main security gate that had been damaged in a collision with a truck. This involved groundwork to lay an armoured fibre optic cable so that a video access system could be installed. The existing telephone system was no longer fit for purpose and a school wide DECT system was specified allowing staff to be able to call for assistance.

Eastern Voice & Data specified an updated network solution utilising ZyXel Gigabit switches. This was allied to a Panasonic NS700 IP-PBX that provided full cordless coverage over the whole site by virtue of networked Panasonic IP DECT Base stations and KXTCA185 DECT Handsets. SIP trunks provided a managed fibre optic voice connection to complete the telephony set up.

The door entry solution was provided by 2N, consisting of a vandal resistant IP Force video intercom networked to the school reception via a secure fibre optic connection allowing school staff to view visitors and converse with them. The wifi control panel also provided a video memory log of all callers to the site.

The students left for half term on the 18th of October and 6 engineers immediately began to strip out the existing network and telephone system. Groundworks for the installation of the new security gate and fibre optic connection started on the 22nd October. By the 26th October the cabling infrastructure had been replaced, a total of 12 DECT base stations newly installed providing full site coverage, new ZyXel network switches had also been installed. By 29th October the new security gate installation was complete and the fibre optic connected.

An installation that effectively completely replace the entire IT network, telephone system and secure door entry was complete in 8 days from project start to completion.

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We are a multi-academy Trust in Norfolk with 8 schools within our portfolio. We started to work with Eastern Voice and Data 2 years ago and they are great to work with. They are very professional and knowledgeable. They are also very competitive in terms of pricing. Would definitely recommend to anyone.

Jonathan Lumb,

Academy Trust Norfolk

Boudica Schools Trust case study

Boudica Schools Trust

Success Story

New cloud-managed, faster and secure school ICT managed network at Sprowston Community Aca

Challenges

  • Existing network comprised various brands of networking equipment and proved difficult to manage with no centralised provision
  • Performance issues were making if difficult for students to login on the network
  • Problematic cabling infrastructure built on a mix of network backbone links with some fibre OM1, OM2 and OM3 using wrong patch leads, plus some Cat5 links
  • All cabling running only 1Gbps and some sub-cabinets switched from previous cabinets causing bottlenecks
  • Increased student and teacher demand for network connectivity resulted in the network running slowly

Solution and Benefits

  • Zyxel Network Switches
  • Zyxel USG210 Firewall
  • Zyxel NWA1123-ACHD Access Points
  • Nebula Cloud Management
  • Student cloud-based web filtering

Background

The Boudica Schools Trust oversees the operational activities of several educational programmes and institutions, including the Sprowston Community Academy in north Norwich. The Trust prides itself on an ethos where pupils and staff feel secure and safe within the learning environment. This includes the responsibility to provide an effectively managed access control system to all entrances and exits to the Trust’s academies.

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To manage the extensive IT network comprising Chrome books, PCs, laptops, phone systems, broadband/leased line connectivity, CCTV, and automated gates, the Trust reached out to Eastern Voice and Data to carry out the installation and maintenance across more than 10 sites, including Sprowston. Soon it became apparent that the school’s networking infrastructure was not living up to the expectations of both staff and pupils. Sprowston Community Academy had been struggling with a slow network and this was restricting productivity related to lessons and admin.

After conducting onsite surveys, Eastern Voice and Data identified problems with the school’s cabling infrastructure as both OM1 and OM2 fibre optic cabling was in serious need of replacing. The audit found that the wrong OM patch leads were being used across the site and also multiple subcabinets were linked via the switch of the previous cabinet, so if the first cabinet/switch had an issue, it would take all the following cabinets offline. This was also causing a bottleneck on the network as the most densely IT populated rooms were running from sub-cabinets at the end of the chain.

Challenges

The network has become an important tool for the 1,500 pupils and the teachers looking to engage them with a first-class education. However, with increased demand for connectivity, there are now high expectations for seamless digital teaching and learning experiences. In fact, the school’s network proved particularly challenging with its low speed, which subsequently resulted in disruption to classes.

Solutions and Benefits

The installation of the new and improved network system took place over the summer holiday period with Eastern Voice and Data upgrading the school’s network with a centralised cloud-based solution. The Zyxel Nebula cloud network can be managed remotely, minimising on-site visits from Eastern Voice and Data. Nebula helps to provide a high level of visibility of data and network usage including both wireless and hard-wired connection. Also, new 10GB switches replaced old 1GB switches and each cabinet has a direct 10Gbps fibre link to the main cabinet, helping to manage the data more efficiently and improving speeds across the network.

Andrew Mash, at Eastern Voice and Data says: “To ensure faster network speeds and high security, our solution included implementing 40 network switches, 70 Zyxel NWA 1123-AC HD PoE access points, Zyxel USG-210 firewall and Zyxel Nebula cloud network management. The new switches provide greater control and performance to ensure that data is managed more efficiently. In fact, Zyxel Nebula network solutions are easy to use and provide real-time monitoring and configuration changes via the Nebula Control Centre online web portal and accompanying smartphone app. The products are also affordable but still offer high performance for schools aiming to meet high network infrastructure demands.”

Andrew Mash adds that Zyxel has given the resources to provide users with truly high-speed WiFi. “In addition to improved user satisfaction, we have also seen great progress with Sprowston Community Academy’s overall network performance and we’re looking forward to working with the Trust to help build a reliable and safe networking infrastructure at its other school sites.”

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The network has become an important tool for both our teachers and students because technology helps us provide engaging and powerful learning experiences and content. The new network offers greater efficiency and security, especially implementing a new cloud-based web filtering software that controls the types of content that can be accessed by pupils. The new network system also creates better learning opportunities and standards, while reducing costs

Jonathan Lumb,

IT Manager at Boudica Schools Trust