Wesley Mission Queensland operations is most of the way through a “re-wirelessing” project across 68 sites, in pursuit of better experiences for clients and staff alike.
“We wanted to create a flexible, mobile-first environment for our staff and clients,” CIO Selina Beauchamp told CRN.
Those stakeholders work and reside across a network of 68 sites providing residential care, youth services, palliative care and retirement living, among other services.
But the network infrastructure across those sites was spotty. Beauchamp said black spots on some sites meant staff walked from room to room seeking WiFi coverage.
Better wireless is important for two reasons.
Clients – especially residential clients – love to remain connected to the outside world. Skype, Netflix and YouTube are therefore killer apps.
“Technology is a huge enabler in allowing people to feel connected,” Beauchamp said. “It reduces loneliness for those who can’t be visited as often as they would like.”
Staff, meanwhile, make increasing use of tablets to consult records and record data.
“We operate clinical care systems and medication systems, and they need real time information on customers,” Beauchamp explained. “If we have a changed dietary requirement, staff need to know. It is critical to care.”
To scope its hoped-for upgrade, Wesley Mission Queensland used a new facility under construction in the Brisbane suburb of Sinnamon Park as a test bed.
TPG was tapped as the organisation’s telco, Data#3 helped with implementation and Brisbane reseller Aryon helped with a site survey and network planning. Aruba scored the hardware gig, with Beauchamp impressed by the central management capabilities that let her small team control networks across all sites.
“TPG were part of our design from the very beginning, so they knew exactly what we were trying to achieve,” she said. “The whole program has been very collaborative between varying partners. We are all in this together.”
The resulting build delivered a wireless network without black spots, internet access for staff, clients and guests. The template developed for that deployment has now been used on around 70 percent of Wesley Mission Queensland’s sites, with complete rollout due by June 2020.
The project won’t end there: Beauchamp said her team is already working on asset tracking with WiFi, plus a wayfinding app that will help visitors to find parking or other on-site facilities like cafes.
The current network is already delivering. Beauchamp said a Wesley Mission residential facility recently used it to live-stream a Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
“The residents absolutely loved it. They had tears in their eyes. They told me they hadn’t done something like that for thirty years.”