SOURCE: Enterasys

December 10, 2007 10:00 ET

Grant Joint Union High School District Relies on Enterasys Secure Network

Delivers Nation's Most Advanced IT Infrastructure for E-Learning as Technology Coaches Partner With Teachers in the Classroom to Leverage Interactive Video, Personalized Multilingual Courseware, and Centralized Distribution of Educational Applications via Thin Clients

ANDOVER, MA--(Marketwire - December 10, 2007) - Enterasys Networks Inc., the Secure Networks Company™, today announced that the Grant Joint Union High School District in Sacramento, California, is leveraging secure convergence, compliance and connectivity solutions from Enterasys to deliver voice, video and data services to more than 12,000 students and nearly 1,500 district instructors, administrators and employees using over 6,500 networked devices. Through a unique relationship with Enterasys, the district is aggressively expanding its secure network infrastructure and architecting what are slated to become two of the most technologically capable schools in the nation -- a junior high scheduled to open in 2009, and a senior high which will open a year later.

"We're excited and proud of our partnership with Enterasys," said Interim Superintendent Patricia Newsome. "There are few places I know of where kids from economically challenged communities have the educational opportunities that our children have in Grant District. We have built a technological infrastructure that supports a personalized approach to education. What makes us unique is how teachers are embracing interactive technology in the classroom to capture and explore interests of every student in over 30 languages."

The network infrastructure was built for instruction from the start with the security and priority to enable high-definition video conferencing everywhere in addition to IP telephony (VoIP) and data applications. 2.5 Gbps of bandwidth is available to each of 20 remote locations in a triple-redundancy architecture that ensures high availability. Automated guest networking policies enable visitors and contractors access to the public internet from any building on-demand, without risk of compromising the confidentiality, integrity or reliability of the district's information assets.

"Enterasys policy management by user and application makes it easy for us to proactively define and automatically enforce compliance with our acceptable usage policy guidelines," said Dave Marcum, Enterprise Systems Manager for Grant. "As I talk with users of other vendors' networking equipment, they are amazed to see how quickly and easily Enterasys enables us to deploy a new security protection district-wide in a couple of clicks. Enterasys is simple to learn and very cost-effective to operate since it integrates with our Microsoft Active Directory privileges. If you can whiteboard what's needed -- it's easy to configure a policy to enforce it."

Like many public school districts, Grant's IT staff is faced with the overwhelming task of continually enhancing capabilities -- but with limited resources and budget. A team of three network operations personnel manages over 20,000 connected users and devices spread across 20 locations using NetSight® centralized visibility and control software. In the near future, Grant will deploy proactive threat prevention through Enterasys Network Access Control (NAC) to integrate with its existing Dragon® intrusion detection/prevention software which pinpoints the source and exact location of the problem and automates corrective action.

The Grant IT team also manages the video conferencing operations for daily classroom instructions, as well as a variety of student and teacher conferences with their sister high school in Japan. "We assign technology coaches to work with our teachers to develop curriculum that leverages the technology in each classroom," explained Jim Chapman, director of Instructional Technology for the District. "Today's students are conditioned to everything being real-time and on-demand -- we have only seconds to capture and keep their attention. As our use of interactive applications has increased, and our student enrollment continues to expand, we rely on Enterasys to adapt to our changing needs. They have earned our trust as a valued partner in our next phase of growth."

Grant Joint Union High School District is one of the leaders in the nation to effectively integrate technology into the standards-based curriculum on a daily basis. The educational needs of its diverse student population are addressed in part by a suite of Rosetta Stone and other courseware to personalize instruction in dozens of languages. On a daily basis, teachers rely on uninterrupted classroom connectivity to deliver interactive, one-to-one instruction.

"We've experienced only 15 minutes of down time in four years," added Chapman. "This constant connectivity has empowered our teachers to maintain their students' attention, while increasing learning capacity -- both of which are paramount for our educational success."

The district must comply with state and federal regulations to secure student and employee information and ensure only authorized individuals can access the data. With Enterasys, each user and networked device (computer, printer, camera, badge access reader, etc.) is authenticated before being granted access to the network with a specific set of authorized privileges based on time and location. Advanced QoS capabilities deliver granular control of the voice, video and data applications. Beyond network security, multi-vendor interoperability is assured through Enterasys' standards-based, open-architecture approach to protect existing investments.

"We have some buildings with Cisco for voice and HP for data," continued Marcum. "The Enterasys hardware and software interoperates seamlessly and even allows us to control security and priority for users connected to those non-Enterasys devices."

Technical support is one of the main reasons Grant chose to partner with Enterasys. "Grant had purchased just one network device from Enterasys a number of years ago," said Dave Marcum. "We had a problem with it at 4:30pm on a Friday night. It took a few minutes to determine with phone support that the device needed to be replaced due to a hardware issue. My expectation as a new, small customer was that they would ship a replacement the following week. But Enterasys exceeded our expectations when a local technician arrived onsite by 6pm with a replacement unit and then stayed a few hours to make sure the newly configured device was operating correctly with all of our other equipment. Enterasys proved that night how much they care about making sure their customers are satisfied."

"Support is one of our most important criteria," Chapman continued. "We work with every major IT supplier and Enterasys delivers substantially better support that saves our staff valuable time because of the experienced, knowledgeable people that answer the phone and quickly help us fix the problem."

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