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The Co-operative Childcare is part of The Midcounties Co-operative, the second largest independent co-operative in the UK. The Midcounties Co-operative (MCC) trades in a number of business sectors including Food Retail, Travel, Energy, Funeral, Childcare, Flexible Benefits, Healthcare and Post Offices. It runs its business in accordance with the values and principles that are common to Co-operative’s throughout the world.

The Co-operative Childcare has grown from having 6 nurseries in 2004 to 46 today. The organisation is focussed on providing communities with quality early years childcare and education. Trust Systems Limited have worked with The Co-operative Childcare team to roll out a scalable, secure WiFi solution enabling them to transform the way they monitor and assess the children across their nurseries.

What challenges did the business face that led you to speak to Trust Systems Limited?

Holly Sawyers, Business Transformation Manager explains, ‘As part of our transformation project we were rolling out a new Childcare Assessment Application called iConnect. The application enables MCC Childcare practitioners to monitor and assess the children in their nurseries via tablets. To enable the roll out this vital business application we required an enterprise scalable WiFi network. This is when we began talking to Trust Systems.’

Why Trust Systems Limited?

‘As you can imagine safeguarding the children is of the utmost importance in everything we do and we required a system where we could be confident that the technology ensured any data we collected was secure. The Trust System team clearly demonstrated that they not only had the technology to deliver this level of security, but they also had a solution offering to proactively monitor the environment remotely, offering on-site fixes and remote support via the service desk. Having this level of support was a critical factor in our selection as we need to ensure business continuity in the work we do.’’

What are the main functions supported by the new system?

Tom Stone, Technical Director at Trust Systems Limited explains the technology; ‘The solution is a cloud-managed WiFi network delivered by Aerohive technology which enables The Co-operative Childcare nurseries to connect their tablets to the internet. The tablets are configured with an Airwatch Mobile Device Management Policy which locks the devices down and ensures that the data collected on the children is safe and secure. What this means is that no data including photots are saved to the device, All information is passed to a cloud. If a device goes missing or is stolen it can be locked down remotely and it becomes a useless piece of tin.’

‘We rolled out the project within 3 months, from the start of site surveys to deployment. To date we have deployed around 500 tablets, 189 Internal Access Points, 46 External Access Points and 46 Switches across the 46 sites.’

How is the solution adding benefit to The Co-operative Childcare business?

Holly explains, ‘We have a secure WiFi service we can rely on across our estate. If we need to add additionally sites we are in no doubt that the solution provided by Trust Systems is scalable. Most importantly we are confident in the security of our solution which has been especially important as part of our GDPR due diligence.

From the outset of our project we have received a fantastic level of project management with a member of the Trust Systems team available and happy to answer questions, which has really taking the stress out of the project. The attention to detail at the specific sites to ensure that the install and solution were fit for purpose at each location has been exemplary. This high level of service and quality of rollout was accompanied by the fact the project was completed in an amazing 3 month period.

Since working with the Trust System team we are very happy with the ongoing support and quick resolution times. The fact that the resolution is often remote is very convenient for our business. We feel like a valued customer. I hear of lots of issues with WiFi in other nursery chains due to the size and diverse nature of the buildings, I’m glad we’re not one of them!’

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