City and Islington College has dropped networking provider Cisco and selected Dell Networking solutions to improve the institution's IT infrastructure.
The move will lead to increased capacity and resiliency for IT services such as voice over IP (VoIP), which are planned to provide better digital support for the college's 12,000 students and 1,000 staff.
New digital technologies will allow the college to expand IT offerings throughout its five academic centres, in an effort to provide the best learning environment it can offer.
"We intend to move to VoIP and unified communications in the future and to prepare for this, we really needed to improve our network infrastructure," said Mark Jenkins, the college's head of ICT services.
"With this in mind, we chose to completely replace our incumbent Cisco core, distribution and access switches with a Dell collapsed core solution," he continued.
"The Dell solution was chosen due to its high performance following a competitive procurement exercise using the Janet routers and switches framework."
The college examined a number of solutions providers before eventually selecting Dell.
"We evaluated each supplier's response to our invitation to quote against the Janet framework. Our networking specialist, despite a long relationship with Cisco, was extremely impressed with the Dell offering so we chose to work with Dell to revamp our datacentre.
"Our students' needs come first and we needed to be able to support them from an IT perspective," he added.
The Dell services team implemented 10 Dell Networking S4810 core switches and Jenkins said he was impressed with the way in which the project was handled.
"Throughout the deployment, it felt like one project team working together rather than us versus Dell," he said.
"It was really a roundtable in that we were working towards the same common goal and success. The project manager and network specialist were exceedingly helpful," Jenkins concluded.