SOURCE: Enterasys Networks

October 15, 2007 08:30 ET

Aldine Independent School District Relies on Enterasys Secure Network to Deliver Advanced IT Services to Faculty, Students and Families

Real-Time Video Extends Graduation Ceremonies to Family Members Around the Globe While World's Largest Implementation of Online Learning Application Improves Student Learning Experience for Nationally Recognized District

ANDOVER, MA--(Marketwire - October 15, 2007) - Enterasys Networks Inc., the Secure Networks Company™, today announced that the Aldine Independent School District (AISD) in North Harris County, Texas, is leveraging convergence and connectivity solutions from Enterasys to deliver video and data services to more than 60,000 elementary school students and over 8,000 district instructors, administrators and other employees. Over 100,000 parents and extended family members can experience graduation ceremonies over the Internet while student instruction is enhanced with the world's largest implementation of PLATO learning software. As the district continues to expand with thirteen new schools scheduled to join 73 existing facilities spread across the North Houston area, Enterasys has partnered with Aldine to achieve their mission of producing the nation's best by encouraging lifelong learning.

"We are changing lives with technology," said Margaret Barnett, executive director for Technology Services, Aldine Independent School District. "Many of our children are the first in their family to graduate from high school. When a grandmother in Mexico, an uncle at a petroleum facility in Africa or a family member serving their country in Iraq can watch a student graduate -- we enable families to share in this very important achievement."

A team of six network operations personnel support more than 110,000 connected users and devices. "If we are facing a challenge, the rest of the industry is, or soon will," said John Crumbley, director of Technology Support Services at Aldine. "Enterasys security, scalability, automation, performance and support are key enablers for our small team to deliver big results. We dare to be great, as many of our people are former graduates of our schools -- I'll put my team up against any corporate IT group in America."

The open-architecture, standards-based Enterasys technology has integrated well with Aldine's other network infrastructure components including Check Point and Nokia. A new data center has expanded from 1500 to 5000 square feet, and has been constructed to withstand the hurricane and tropical storm weather conditions the Houston area has experienced -- as much as 30 feet of rain in a single year. The District's 6500 seat arena with wired and wireless connectivity hosts graduation ceremonies, as well as an annual international basketball tournament with athletes and media from around the globe. "Enterasys and their local partner, Solid IT Networks, perform a proactive health-check before major events to make sure our network infrastructure is ready to reliably deliver high-definition video signals around the world," said Barnett. "We're proud of what we continue to accomplish together."

The Enterasys Secure Networks solution has also helped to prevent disruption of services. "A couple of years ago the MS Blaster worm crippled the networks of other school districts in Texas for days, weeks and even a month in one case," said Dale Jahnke, network architect for Aldine. "Our Enterasys security-enabled infrastructure automatically protected our network from the effects of the Blaster worm through policy-based quarantine of infected computers so we never failed or went down at all."

"We learn something every time we talk with an Enterasys developer or support engineer," Crumbley continued. "Enterasys' single minded focus on collaborative problem solving means we never have to deal with finger-pointing. Even though the root causes of issues are later determined to be associated with another vendor's hardware and/or software -- we can count on Enterasys to help troubleshoot and fix our problems quickly based on their experience and knowledge of our IT environment."

Aldine has consistently been recognized in Texas and nationally for their excellence. The District is the 2006 Study Award winner from the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) for "Best in the Nation IT Department" as part of their pursuit of a Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. Aldine was one of five National Finalists in 2005 and 2004 for the Broad Prize for Urban Education as the second best large school district in Texas for educating African-American students, and the third best for educating Latino students. The District earned the 2001-2002 Standards of Excellence Award for an exemplary child nutrition program. Aldine has earned seven recognitions from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) as one of the state's highest performing school districts. In 1999, AISD was one of the 24 school boards nationwide and the only one in Texas to receive the coveted Magna Award from the American School Board Journal. In 1998, the District was recognized as the Outstanding School Board of Texas by the Texas Association of School Administrators.

"As a K-12 institution we don't have the luxury of redundancy," continued Barnett. "Enterasys technology protects us on the inside from curious kids exploring the network, as well as from outside external threats. We also ensure the privacy of our information in compliance with state and federal regulations leveraging Enterasys Secure Networks. Their support, product reliability, and seamless interoperability via industry standards is truly appreciated."

About Enterasys Networks

Enterasys Networks -- the Secure Networks Company -- is owned by a private investor group led by The Gores Group, LLC and Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC. Enterasys' unique Secure Networks solutions secure any network to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, availability and performance of IT services and the business users that rely on them. Thousands of leading companies, government agencies and educational institutions in more than 70 countries rely on Secure Networks solutions to maintain business continuity and protect vital information. The company's culture is centered on the principle "There is nothing more important than our customers." Delivering on that commitment, Secure Networks provides granular, policy-based command and control of individual user, application, device, port and flow performance, and security. Enterasys' architectural approach to network security offers a long technology lifecycle and significant operational and business benefits, while reducing total cost of ownership. Information about Enterasys' award-winning policy-enabled switches, routers, wireless products, security software, and services is available at www.enterasys.com.

About The Gores Group

Founded in 1987, The Gores Group is a private equity firm focused on acquiring controlling interests in mature and growing businesses which can benefit from the firm's operating experience and flexible capital base. The firm combines the operational expertise and detailed due diligence capabilities of a strategic buyer with the seasoned M&A team of a traditional financial buyer. The Gores Group has become a leading investor, primarily in the technology and telecommunications sectors, having demonstrated over time a reliable track record of creating substantial value in its portfolio companies alongside management. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, The Gores Group maintains offices in Boulder, Colorado and London. For more information, please visit www.gores.com.

About Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC

Tennenbaum Capital Partners is a Santa Monica, California-based private investment firm managing over $3.8 billion in assets through private funds. The firm's investment strategy is grounded in a long-term, value approach, and it assists -- both financially and operationally -- transitional middle-market companies in such industries as technology, healthcare, energy, aerospace, business services, retail and general manufacturing. Tennenbaum's core strengths include its in-depth knowledge of equity and debt-financing vehicles in the public and private markets, as well as a thorough understanding of special situations. For more information, please visit www.tennenbaumcapital.com.

Contact Information