Sydney, 27 February 2018 – Macquarie Telecom (ASX: MAQ) today announced it has signed its largest SD-WAN deal to date with G8 Education (ASX: GEM), which will see the Australian telco deploy SD-WAN services to more than 500 child care centres across the country.
G8 is the largest ASX-listed child care centre operator in Australia, with centres nationwide. The organisation’s mission is to be Australia’s leading provider of high quality, developmental and educational child services.
The announcement comes at a time when the Australian Government is encouraging the use of technology in early learning. Through its Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) pilot program, commencing this year, the Federal Government aims to develop digital applications to engage pre-schoolers and encourage real-world play and STEM learning opportunities.
“We want to be at the forefront of early childhood education,” said Peter Nelson, Chief Information Officer, G8 Education. “The child care industry is competitive – parents are astute buyers and want to know their children are getting the best quality education and that technology is being used to enhance their experience and involve parents wherever possible.”
Currently being used in almost 70 centres across the country, G8 sees SD-WAN as a major breakthrough in being able to provide digital learning initiatives and tools to help parents see progress and interact with their children during their first years of formal education.
Using Macquarie’s SD-WAN platform, the education provider will improve how it uses various educational and parent communication tools to enhance communication between educators and parents. The improved network means educators will be able to share media of children participating in activities and completing tasks through various applications, while the service gathers information and provides regular feedback on children’s progress.
“This way parents can stay involved and be in regular contact with children and their educators,” added Nelson.
Macquarie’s SD-WAN uses an orchestrator to show in real time how applications are being used in each site and what might be taking up a centre’s often limited bandwidth. It found that Apple and Windows software updates, social media and other non-essential workloads had been congesting the network in the centres currently live.
Macquarie was then able to deprioritise these applications and instead focus network resources on important applications such as parent communication tools. This process will be repeated across all 500 of G8’s Australian centres within the next year.
“This is just the beginning for us,” said Nelson. “We’re placing an increased focus on integrating technology into our programs to further improve the education we provide to children across Australia. SD-WAN is very much at the centre of that, as it will maximise our network capability and resources to make sure these digital services and communication tools are reliable.
“In Macquarie Telecom, we’ve also found a partner that shares our passion for high quality customer service – something we haven’t experienced with previous carriers. We’ve visited the company’s new network operations centre in Sydney and seen firsthand how it actively listens and responds to what customers are thinking and telling them.”
The move to SD-WAN is also expected to increase IT security across G8’s centres, as the platform can centralise content filtering and endpoint security on all devices, alleviating another concern many parents have when deciding where to enrol their children.
“Technology has the power to improve education and introduce children to STEM subjects and careers from an early age,” said Luke Clifton, Group Executive, Macquarie Telecom. “G8 understands this and is using SD-WAN to make the most of its network resources to ensure it’s in a position to provide exceptional education to children in Australia.
“From an IT perspective, child care centres are effectively small businesses. It’s unrealistic to think you can put the best possible network and broadband speeds into each one, particularly in regional areas. What SD-WAN can do is make the most out of the resources that are available, prioritising programs that help children learn and enable parents to become more involved.”
About Macquarie Telecom Group
We’re Australia’s data centre, cloud, cyber security and telecom company for mid to large business and government customers. The way we do this is completely different from our competitors… we provide the best customer service in Australia. www.macquarietelecomgroup.com