The University of Salford Chooses Unisys to Provide Advanced IT Infrastructure to Support New Academic Services
New centralised, secure platform will support virtual learning environments and advanced knowledge-sharing
London, – Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) today announced that its UK subsidiary has won a contract for a data centre transformation project from the University of Salford. The 13-month contract, signed in the third quarter of 2010, has a value of approximately $US9.2 million.
Unisys will design and implement an advanced IT infrastructure by integrating new server, storage and networking platforms and delivering an upgrade to Microsoft Exchange 2010. The platform will enable the university to deliver cloud-based shared services in the future – for example, virtual learning environments shared with other universities.This will help the university enhance its student experience and attract and support a growing number of applicants who want to study remotely.
“Significant changes are taking place in the UK’s higher education system,” explains Derek Drury, chief information officer, University of Salford. “Students today need access to quality information systems, with flexibility to study in a way that suits them.
“A modern, virtualised technology platform is the key to delivering those requirements, so this data centre transformation project is critical to our business plan. We are impressed by Unisys’ balance between a well considered strategic vision and the technical expertise to project-manage the programme. We view Unisys as an ideal partner to help us realise the benefits of this long-term investment.”
The University of Salford has almost 20,000 students and over 2,500 staff, served by 5,200 desktops, 290 servers and 164 customised applications. The new data-centre platform will centralise these previously disparate IT operations, reducing capital and operational expenditures, while making it easier to provide new applications and a range of services to staff and students.
The university will use the new infrastructure as a platform for a centralised data warehouse and the consolidation of its business planning systems. The centralised IT service and support function will enable the university’s 95 IT staff to manage systems remotely from a single location. Virtualised systems and more efficient infrastructure will also help the university improve its carbon footprint and support its sustainability policy.
The new infrastructure will also support the university’s innovative teaching methods by enabling live streaming and recording of lectures, in addition to making available video, text and web-based course material. Mobile video conferencing will be available for tutorials and to facilitate collaboration on research projects. Staff and students will also benefit from increased secure access to the university network from their personal laptops and mobile devices, as well as from campus computing centres.
Rob Chapman, vice president and managing director, UK, Middle East and Africa, Unisys, concludes, “As the UK looks to create a knowledge economy, it is vital to give the workforce of tomorrow access to the latest technology to support their learning. The University of Salford is taking the lead among institutions of higher learning in building a sophisticated platform that will give students anywhere, anytime access to the resources they need. We welcome the opportunity to help the university transform its IT systems and capitalise on changes in the higher education market.”
About the University of Salford
The University of Salford is home to almost 20,000 students and over 2,500 employees on a green campus only a mile and a half from Manchester city centre. It offers an exceptional learning environment for students, with strong opportunities in research and enterprise and plays a key role in connecting with, and regenerating local communities. From 2011 the University will have a presence at the MediaCityUK development at Salford Quays. Staff and students from all areas of the University will make use of this cutting-edge facility, located at the heart of six major BBC departments.
Unisys is a worldwide information technology company. We provide a portfolio of IT services, software, and technology that solves critical problems for clients. We specialize in helping clients secure their operations, increase the efficiency and utilization of their data centers, enhance support to their end users and constituents, and modernize their enterprise applications. To provide these services and solutions, we bring together offerings and capabilities in outsourcing services, systems integration and consulting services, infrastructure services, maintenance services, and high-end server technology. With approximately 23,000 employees, Unisys serves commercial organizations and government agencies throughout the world. For more information, visit www.unisys.com.
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