How upgrading network infrastructure is enabling ExCeL London’s transformation into a smart venue
ExCeL London is home to some of the world’s leading business and consumer events, with a footfall of approximately four million visitors per year.
To ensure that it continues to deliver a first-class experience for everyone who visits, the venue has a digital transformation strategy to ensure customers experience the best services and facilities onsite using the latest tech.
ExCeL has plans to increase its capacity, ensuring the venue remains globally competitive and continues to attract major events.
ExCeL London recognised it needed to upgrade its legacy local area network (LAN) to a modern software-defined LAN. This would allow the venue to make faster changes to its network and technology now and in the future, making it easier to accommodate the sophisticated and varied requirements of its customers.
Its goals for the new LAN project included:
- Increasing the overall bandwidth and performance of the network to facilitate current and future event demands
- Refreshing the routing infrastructure hardware and software
- Implementing resilient, flexible network architecture with 24/7 support
- Protection from erroneous ‘rogue’ equipment malfunctions and misconfigurations
ExCeL London shared its plans with Virgin Media Business. As their Head of Technology, Simon Callow, explained, “Our ask was to start at the very foundational level of technology; help us understand the gaps, visualise what’s possible and choose the right tech for our venue, but most importantly for our customers.”
The network infrastructure solution
Working with solution architects, sales engineering, tech practice and account management teams from Virgin Media Business, we determined that a Cisco Software Defined Access solution was what ExCeL needed.
Having met the criteria for delivery, commercials and timescales, they awarded us the business in December 2020. Our software-defined LAN solution had the added benefit of being cost-effective for the venue, which was a deciding factor.
We implemented an Enterprise Agreement for ExCeL London, which provides:
- Easier procurement software and services purchasing
- On-demand deployment
- Anytime access to new software
With this agreement, prices are locked in, management of licencing is more straightforward and ExCeL has more buying power. It can also flex up and down as its digital needs change.
The project was successfully completed on time and to budget in August 2021.
The enhanced customer experience outcome
“We now have network infrastructure we can rely upon with Enterprise-level security for our entire estate. It means we can offer a higher quality of service and better customer experience for the people who use our space and facilities every day. With this foundation in place, we can build optimisation and innovation into our customer-focussed initiatives.”
Simon Callow, Head of Technology, ExCeL London
With its new network solution delivered, ExCeL London is enjoying the benefits of:
- Faster, more reliable network speeds. This has created a better experience for exhibitors and visitors thanks to the faster, more reliable speeds boosting the efficiency of its operations.
- Modernised IT architecture. The implementation of a modern enterprise-level infrastructure backbone is enabling ExCeL to pass the benefits on to its customers.
We’ve laid the foundations for ExCeL to enable future smart projects and to continue on its digital transformation journey.
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