The installation of Wi-Fi and secure VPN remote branch access at the College of Occupational Therapists

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Project Overview

Organisation: College of Occupational Therapists (COT)

Partner: Browns IT

SolutionWireless management, VPN

Products Used: Vigor 2960 firewall, Vigor 2830n, VigorACS remote management

Case Study Summary

  • DrayTek supplies Business Class internet connectivity for the 6 remote offices and for 3 home workers

  • Maximise uptime and pro-active network support with DrayTek’s central network management solution

 

About the College of Occupational Therapists

Based in Southwark, London the College of Occupational Therapists (COT) are the professional association representing individuals and organisations that practice occupational therapy. They currently support over 30,000 subscribed members on a range of subjects from training and insurance through to business development and to keep them abreast of current news and developments relevant to the sector.

A key requirement for COT is to keep members fully up-to-date with issues and be highly knowledgeable on legislation and “best practice” to help ensure OT is delivered professionally and according to guidelines.

The Brief

COT consists of a head office in London with 70 staff, 6 remote offices based in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and 3 home-based staff. As part of a general updating of the office systems it was necessary for all remote offices and workers to have reliable and secure remote access to the systems based in London.

As Phillip Lennon, Head of Finance explains...

“The Country Policy Officers based in our remote offices need constant access to head office systems for email, central files and databases to enable them to respond quickly to the needs of the members. Any downtime or interruption of service can have a major effect on their ability to support incoming requests and enquiries.”

The key requirements were:

For the remote sites

  • Implementation of ADSL broadband with Business Class routers in the 6 remote offices and for 3 home workers.
  • Provision of Wi-Fi at the remote locations to support Blackberry Smart Phones, Microsoft Surface Tablets or Laptops.
  • Support for a workstation and printer with a wired LAN connection
  • Secure VPN access to head office

For the head office

  • A firewall capable of supporting a 100Mb/s broadband circuit that terminates the incoming 9x VPN connections

The Solution

Once the requirements were agreed COT contacted Browns IT, a specialist value added reseller that recommends, implements and supports IT infrastructure, office systems and remote networking. As Phillip explains “Browns IT have worked with us for many years helping us build a reliable and effective IT system, they really understand our business and have been incredibly responsive when we’ve really needed them.”

In conjunction with DrayTek, Browns IT recommended installing Vigor 2830n routers for the remote sites and a Vigor 2960 firewall for the central site VPN concentrator.

The routers, DrayTek’s flagship offering, provide wireless “n” WiFi to connect the mobile devices, a high-speed ADSL modem, VPN support and LAN ports to connect the printer and workstation.

This provides a highly cost effective “one box” solution for all the remote sites networking needs.

At the central site a high speed Vigor 2960 was installed to terminate the 100Mb/s broadband with 9 VPNs. With a 500 Mb/s capacity and the ability to terminate up to 200 VPN s this was a high-quality solution with plenty of room for expansion.

Phillip goes on to explain

“Now it’s installed, the ultimate praise I can give to the network is that we don’t really know it’s there! It’s a solution that just works.”

In order to maximise uptime and take a pro-active approach to the network, Brown’s IT are implementing DrayTek’s central network management solution, ACS –SI.

This allows the network manager to monitor traffic to help identify usage and potential bottlenecks, manage router configurations across the estate and automatically update firmware as needed. ACS-SI can be securely accessed via an internet browser offering flexibility for use.

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