Infinity Group implemented an innovative Wi-Fi network solution for Swingers London an award winning, corporate indoor golf course.
Hybrid Infrastructure Project of the Year
What was the driving force behind the project – what business or technology challenge needed to be addressed?
Swingers Golf are a leading corporate entertainment venue in London. Their venues attract the corporate market and accommodate 500 people at once. Each site has over 20,000 sq/ft of floorspace and innovative Wi-Fi network that requires large amounts of data and strong, reliable Wi-Fi connection around the clock.
Infinity Group were appointed to design, implement and manage the Wi-Fi and data network solution for their flagship venue Swingers West End. Due to the scale of this project and advanced technical needs, we deployed a dedicated project team to plan, manage and deliver the project from start to finish. Within the dedicated Swingers team was our CTO, PMs, IT Security Consultants, Specialist Cisco Meraki trained Network Consultants, IT Solution Architects, a technical Account Manager and our IT Support Manager. Our project team worked closely with the clients project lead over a 6 month rollout period.
Taking a strategic approach right from the start and to gather the intricacies of their current IT Network, we kicked off the project with a site survey of their original venue. The survey provided us with a comprehensive understanding of the existing network and enabled us to analyse pitfalls and recommend improvements that could be incorporated to their new West End venue.
Their preliminary site’s network solution was designed by another provider and had frequent technical issues, inconsistent Wi-Fi signal and was hard to maintain remotely.
Their initial brief to us was to implement several different wireless networks for each of their devices. Implementing this setup would take a lot of time to maintain and keep secure and would also not be cost effective.
We took into account their brief and current and future needs and designed a wireless network solution to accommodate the PDQ machines, Swingers mobile app, CCTV, VOIP, AV equipment, access control and their EPOS system. Instead of multiple SSIDs which is slow are hard to manage we deployed the main 802.1x network which allow us to have a set of credentials for each relevant device to enable it to be assigned to the main network. For security reasons and guaranteed availability we installed a separate network for guest Wi-Fi to enable Swingers guests to join the Wi-Fi without the need to enter a password.
Over and above Swingers’ original requirement, we were able to provide Swingers with an innovative multi-site hosted telephony solution and fully retained IT Support Services for technical issues at their London venues and Head Office. We also fully managed their IT hardware and software provision, managed the delivery and consolidation of their services, provided technical consultancy on their IT Security and Access Control System and CCTV solution
• How did the solution address the challenges and were there any particularly innovative aspects that made it stand out?
Due to the specific requirements and high volumes of data usage needed from the Wi-Fi network. Our projects team designed the network using Cisco Meraki components managed by Ekahau Pro. A specialist site survey tool that is the complete toolkit for designing optimising and troubleshooting Wi-Fi networks. We paid for our lead network engineer to be trained on how to use this specialist software to an advanced level to ensure the solution we implemented was fully robust and could be analysed in terms of any pitfalls and performance.
Since this Swingers project we have used this software to manage several other clients Wi-Fi networks.
• What major challenges were faced during the project and how were they overcome?
Swingers were looking to roll out the network solution we designed to their future venues as part of their fast expansion plan.
Clear communication between both us and the client was key for seamless project implementation especially seeing as there was so many third party suppliers involved with installing the internal fittings of the golf club. We had to overcome several factors out of our control whilst designing the network. These included not having a server room until the very last minute, which meant we had to adapt our delivery schedules so our team could work late into the night and over the weekends to install the network when the other trades were not present.
To keep this schedule efficient we established a rolling list of priorities and our Project Manager made sure this was updated frequently to ensure the project was kept on track and remained in scope at all times.
The six month project was exceptionally well managed and headed up by our Senior Technical Project Manager who spent many days on site closely managing every aspect of the project from design to installation, quality control and deployment.
To ensure all of our dedicated project team were aligned with the installation and management plan, we made sure they were fully inducted on site in order for them to install the network, gain an in-depth understanding to the technical setup and continue to effectively manage and maintain the network remotely once live.
Our IT Solution Architects and IT Security Consultant had regular meetings with the client to discuss the solution and troubleshoot throughout the installation phase. This kept the customer in the loop and enabled us to collaborate on regular occasions to ensure the ever changing needs were accounted for at all times.
In order to achieve the highest output for the client, our certified Cisco Meraki Consultants underwent additional specialist training direct with the vendor at the start of the project to ensure their knowledge was kept at expert level.
From our great work, we continue to provide IT Support and IT Consultancy services to Swingers on an ongoing basis and have done for the past 18 months.
• What tangible benefits has the organisation seen as a result of the project’s implementation?
We implemented a full Meraki network consisting of the following components
7x MS250-48LP (1 stack + 1 separate switch linked via fibre using MC-LAG for redundancy)
1x MS120-8LP to facilitate for additional ports added at the last minute for the EPOS system at one of the bars
16x MR52 (strategically positioned using predictive heat maps and re-surveyed to confirm positions using Ekahau Site Survey)
measurable outcomes for the project
The solution we implemented at the West End venue has surpassed all capabilities of the initial solution another provider installed in the preliminary venue. There has been very little downtime or technical issues since the solution went live.
Excluding authentication failures, the wireless has a connection success rate of 99.2% (DHCP and DNS successful, per connection) and device success rate of 98.8%. This indicates a high performing wireless network.
600 Swingers devices access the Wi-Fi network per day/per site
All while their Wi-Fi network is serving all CCTV and Wallboards, CCTV alone uses 830GB of traffic per day and 1 TB of traffic is used through the scoreboard and advertising wallboards per day. Corresponding to 400Mbps average background throughput.
Throughout the day and in peak times such as the evenings, customer Wi-Fi traffic has no impact on back end system network performance (the main network that powers all Swingers devices including CCTV, EPOS, PDQ’s etc) because they access the separate Wi-Fi network we installed.