Meet the Channel Collaboration finalists in the 2022 CRN Impact Awards

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Meet the Channel Collaboration finalists in the 2022 CRN Impact Awards

An 11-year partner alliance, an internet upgrade for more than 800 public schools and telcos coming together to upgrade a cattle producer's network are the finalists in the Channel Collaboration category of the 2022 CRN Impact Awards.

The three CRN Channel Collaboration Award finalists are:

  • LIFT Alliance's 11-year IT partnership with Department of Education WA
  • Kinetic IT and Telstra upgrading the bandwidth of 800+ WA public schools 
  • MarchNet and Orion Satellite Systems upgrade network for cattle company AACo

LIFT Alliance's 11-year IT partnership with Department of Education WA

This 11-year IT partnership has brought together Kinetic IT with ASG Group, Systemic and Campfire Digital Services (previously Permeance) to change the way the Department of Education WA deals with its IT partners to achieve its far-reaching technology roadmap.

Looking to establish long term, collaborative and strategic relationships, the Department moved from 15 legacy and disparate supplier contracts to a single fit-for-purpose contract.

Resource-augmentation arrangements have been replaced with a single service based, outcomes focused contract, enabling the Department to rise above the day-to-day management of resourcing and prioritisation and ensure their strategic focus.

Giving the Department a single contract and supplier to manage reduced complexity and costs. It also standardised supplier rates and reduced administration effort. Long-term build activities now attract a more attractive and stable rate for the Department.

For the LIFT Alliance, the consortium provides a way to deliver the end-to-end capability and experience the Department requires.

The partnership puts the alliance partners in prime position to deliver the Department’s roadmap, which ranges from x-as-a-service solutions such as public cloud, to remote learning and working, developing and delivering fit-for-purpose security solutions, modernising and replacing applications and technologies and continuing to develop communication solutions for one of the largest geographic education jurisdictions in the world.

Kinetic IT, Telstra team up to upgrade bandwidth for 800+ WA public schools 

Kinetic IT has been named a finalist for the second time in this category, this time for its partnership with Telstra for a network upgrade for Western Australian public schools.

The WA Department of Education sought to increase the bandwidth for its students and staff members, particularly its schools located in regional towns.

Called Kolbang, the network upgrade project is valued at $130 million and aimed to increase bandwidth for students and staff from 50 to 100 Kbps to an average of 2 Mbps.

Also joining Kinetic IT and Telstra is the LIFT Alliance from the entry above, providing direct support and guidance to school technicians transitioning to the new service.

The project involved site core switches and infrastructure updates for some schools, with Fortinet's FortiGate firewall implemented to remove dependency on local routers and legacy hardware. LIFT Alliance panel integrators also assisted with the installation and activation of hardware and helped Telstra with the cutover of the internet service.

Kinetic and Telstra ran the project in phases, with the first phase consisting of hardware upgrades, bandwidth recommendations and provisioning now completed, while phase two, which involves review and upgrade of hardware to monitor the availability and utilisation of the provided bandwidth, is currently ongoing.

The new network is now live in 796 out of 806 school sites across Western Australia, achieving 2 Mbps average bandwidth milestone for each user.

MarchNet and Orion Satellite Systems upgrade network for cattle company AACo

Integrated cattle and beef producer Australian Agricultural Company (AACo) sought to upgrade its network across its national operation as part of a whole business communications transformation effort.

The company wanted to work with a provider that could meet its bandwidth and reliability requirements, so it replaced its current provider with Brisbane-based MarchNet to provide a network of enhanced fibre, fixed wireless and satellite services to cover AACo's Brisbane headquarters and remote sites across Queensland and the Northern Territory.

MarchNet was experienced in regional telecommunications, but AACo also wanted Layer 2 satellite services, which was out of the telco's remit. MarchNet turned to long-time partner Orion Satellite Services for a specialised solution to meet the requirements and provide a network with similar design and security to those found in metro areas.

AACo's cattle is spread across 7 million hectares so the deployment was done in stages, starting with a site and equipment survey to identify if any existing infrastructure could be reused or realigned, followed by the deployment of the satellite dishes, and the installation of application-based routing device to allow AACo to switch between Orion's Layer 2 satellite and NBN Sky Muster residential services, providing increased performance and redundancy.

MarchNet and Orion first worked with AACo in mid-2020 for a trial, eventually moving to a full deployment that lasted over a period of nine months to meet AACo's drop dead cut over date of June 2021 from the previous provider.

Upon completion, the new private network now has enhanced security, triple the previous bandwidth, more simplified and integrated configurations, all for the same budget from the previous provider.

Announcing the rest of the CRN Impact Award finalists and winners

Check the CRN web site for announcements detailing the rest of the finalists in the 2022 CRN Impact Awards.

The CRN Impact Awards winners will be revealed and celebrated at the gala awards ceremony and dinner on August 25th at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort on the Gold Coast, as part of the CRN Pipeline 2022 conference.

The awards ceremony and dinner will be an opportunity for finalists to share their success with CRN journalists and the wider channel community and to network with Australia’s IT channel award winners. It will also be an opportunity for non-finalists to learn which channel partners kicked meaningful goals for customers in the last year, and meet them in-person.

Channel partners that attend the CRN Pipeline conference from August 23-26 at the same location can also network with Australia’s IT channel leaders and immerse themselves in top-class talks and roundtables about key business challenges and opportunities including staff shortages and hiring, economic outlook and key growth prospects.

Attend this year's premier channel awards, networking and strategic talk-fest - see the CRN Impact Awards and CRN Pipeline 2022 agenda.

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