Aerial view of the Oberpleis School Center.

The Oberpleis School Center becomes more digital thanks to a new network

Together with T-Systems, a future-proof network was created that offers schools many new educational opportunities

Better digital offering through new school network

Schoolyard with Oberpleis School Center building.

Many schools are setting out to introduce new methods for imparting knowledge. Digital media play a key role for the new interactive formats. The new network of the Oberpleis School Center in Königswinter is a future-proof platform for the continued introduction of digital services that open up completely new educational opportunities for schools. In the future, new media such as digital whiteboards and touch panels can be used in lessons or in school organization. 

The expandable VoIP telephone system offers its users a wealth of potential additional functions. In addition, the telephone system once again has support from the manufacturer. Problems can be solved even faster by remote access. Travel times for technicians are significantly reduced.

The harmonized infrastructure with its new technical foundation can now be administered with much less effort – the console provides clear information about the status of the individual components: defective elements are identified and replaced more quickly. 

The new school network also offers a host of other options for the future development of services on the school campus. Clubs which use the premises can, for example, also access network resources easily and securely. The simplified administration makes it all possible. And this is hardly the end of the road: "With the network, we have set a new standard that can be scaled effortlessly with an increasing number of end devices and users," says Frank Laska, the T-Systems project manager. Sales manager Gerald Renner adds that "The rollout to other schools in Königswinter is already planned. They, too, should be given the chance to use new options for digitalization in education." The central server room and the new, modern security architecture form the basis for this: step by step, the nine other school locations are to join onto this central platform and thus benefit from the achievements that have been made.

Benefits for the customer

  • Elegant, simple administration of all components
  • System scalability
  • Blueprint for other schools
  • Modern telephony
  • Increased security
  • Future viability of the platform

A groundbreaking project for education in Königswinter.

Peter Wirtz, Mayor of Königswinter

The challenge: isolated solutions

Education and training are among the most important tasks of the public sector. Only with an adequate education will the students of today be able to cope with the challenges of tomorrow. At the same time, however, very few school boards have or have had the resources to develop and implement a broad-based digital strategy. This despite the fact that digitalization is one of the main factors influencing modern teaching. 

The reality at many schools, as well as at the Oberpleis School Center in Königswinter with its more than 2,000 pupils, is different: step-by-step initiatives by official bodies and volunteers lead to a large number of isolated solutions. Various technologies, a mix of different hardware in various states of release and different performance levels lead to unclear, inefficient and non-expandable systems which generate high costs for the management of the network landscape. On top of that, there was a telephone system that had become outdated and no longer had manufacturer support. This is not a foundation on which a school can implement its educational mission for the future or manage its administration efficiently.

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The solution: an up-to-date network infrastructure

Server with many pink cables.

The city of Königswinter takes the equipment of its educational institutions seriously and made the decision to adapt the network infrastructure of the Oberpleis School Center to meet current requirements. This could not, however, be achieved through simple modernization. The network landscape was too diverse and it was not possible to implement uniform, efficient management using the existing hardware and the non-uniform architecture. A comprehensive solution was needed – a completely new and up-to-date network infrastructure that reflects the current state of the art. 

Based on new components, T-Systems set up four sub-networks with strictly separated logic in the school network. One for the school administration, one for the pedagogical area, and one for the new software-based VoIP telephone system. The fourth sub-network serves to manage the networks. At the heart of the system is a network access controller that segments the physical network. It accesses an active directory where components such as new extensions, users or (WiFi) access points can be easily added and removed. 

A firewall and an antivirus server protect the school network and its 180 access points and 90 telephones from the outside world. A high-performance router connects the solution to the internet via a Telekom high-performance 1 Gbit/s connection. The high bandwidth offers a good foundation, even for high-volume data traffic. An intelligent high-availability data storage system secures all data in the network centrally.

About the Oberpleis School Center

Further project details and pictures can be found in the report on the successful project handover.

Click here to visit the customer's website  (german only)

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