One of the largest public school systems in Switzerland wanted to upgrade their networking equipment, enabling a modern school classroom to connect to multimedia via either wired or wireless devices. To support these devices, the IT infrastructure of the classrooms needed network switches. The requirement to achieve the desired outcome was to install 500 to 800 network switches per year. This project was crucial to maintain modern instructional processes and workflows in the classroom, giving students the best chance to succeed in their education.
The school reached out to a regional distributor, which is a Black Box partner. Leveraging our extensive and long-standing experience in the Networking space, we were ready to assist in the school system's challenge.
The solution must address students' and teachers' learning processes that require them to connect to Internet, Intranet, or wireless presentation systems. To best support networking devices, keeping up-to-date on the latest technology means installing new network switches every 5 to 7 years.
Black Box and the distributor installed unmanaged Gigabit Ethernet copper switches (LGB408A-R2) in several hundred classrooms, each having one switch. The switch provides fast file transfer via 1G ports and also supports legacy 10- and 100-Mbps devices, so you can mix and match different network speeds on the same network.
Component shortages were no obstacle to Black Box: we sourced the exact switches they needed from a trusted, long-term OEM manufacturer. The customer was confident in us because our good-quality products are very reliable and ship on-time, so the new network switches were certain to be foolproof and in place in plenty of time for the school year.
The switch autonegotiates the speed (10-, 100-, or 1000-Mbps), depending on the capabilities of the attached devices, and works with either straight-pinned or crossover cable. The switch's quiet, fanless design does not add noise to a potentially noisy classroom of students. It also supports efficient data transmissions to keep everyone connected and also prevents the attached network devices from generating excessive heat. It has a built-in, extremely reliable power supply. The switch works in local and remote installations to support the entire network of schools.
The new switches optimized the workflows in the classroom, so students and teachers can now seamlessly share information. Teachers enjoy their ability to deliver multimedia presentations that promote students' learning process.
Because the school system's IT department has updating network hardware in the budget planned for every 5 to 6 years, the school readily had the funds for the upgrade and there was no haggling over price.
Adding the Black Box unmanaged network switches to several hundred classrooms solved the customer's initial problem. They chose Black Box because we provided a reliable solution and there were no RMA requests.
The new switches streamline the workflows in the classroom, and optimize the school infrastructure and internet access. This enables students and teachers alike to share information, improving the learning process.
The switches satisfied the customer's initial requirements and did what they wanted it to do. It met their expectations and they got what they needed. Everything went as they expected. The customer was very happy with the support from Black Box. This presents an opportunity for repeat business every time the school system's network is updated, potentially every 5 to 7 years.
George Corjin, Black Box Sales Manager commented: "This is a typical example of long-term business, a long-term run rate type of business that works flawlessly for more than 8 years. As long as the customer is happy, we have business in our pockets. Even with component shortages, we were able to find a solution that the customer requested."
Other school districts that have similar IT programs may adopt these switches in the future, thanks to word-of-mouth references to Black Box.