Why St. Albert the Great Expands on Their NaaS
Just two years ago, St. Albert the Great Catholic School in Reno, NV was struggling with network connectivity so unreliable that its teachers had to have two lesson plans for each day - one that assumed Chromebooks could be used and another for no Wi-Fi connection whatsoever.
Rochelle Perez, who is both a computer technology teacher and IT support for St. Albert’s, found that the school's 300 students were not in an ideal learning environment due to connectivity issues. The existing network provider failed to identify the source of the problem, which placed a significant strain on teachers. As a result, Marisa Cardenas, office manager went in search of a new solution and found Nile’s Network as a Service. She brought in Rochelle, and they immediately realized it was a game changer for St. Albert’s. Highly resilient APs provide end-to-end coverage, zero trust secures the network and eliminates unauthorized access and malicious actors, and simplified IT operations give Rochelle and the team the time they need to educate.
Network as a Service Facilitates Student Success
Flash forward to today, Rochelle is thrilled with her high-performing, hands-off Nile network and is confident that St. Albert’s students are in the best learning environment possible. Faculty and staff also love the new network. In fact, Rochelle reports that the network at the school is so good, compared to the network at the other buildings on campus, that everyone is flocking to the school to hold meetings and conduct business. That’s not a capacity problem for Nile’s highly-redundant network design.
NaaS Expansion Transforms St. Albert Campus
It was time to get the entire organization on the Nile network, so Rochelle brought the parish office, the church building and the child development center online with Nile.
I recently connected with Computer Technology Teacher, Rochelle. Here is Q&A from our chat.
Why Expand With Nile?
Jasmine Shah: Can you share what other challenges you were facing that led you to expand with Nile?
Rochelle Perez: Before expanding, the church building didn't have any existing network in place, the parish office had faculty working during the day and events in the gathering room that the network couldn’t support, and the connectivity for the cameras in the child development center was really spotty.
I had seen the value of the Nile network at the school and how much time it saved me, so I decided to streamline everything across the campus. We also had additional projects we weren’t able to do with the existing network.
Day 0, Day 1 NaaS Experience
JS: Scheduling the rollout of a new network had to be a challenge with St. Albert’s school, church, daycare and community schedules. How did the install of the second phase go?
RP: It was great. Nile worked directly with our cabling provider in advance and then sent in the team during Thanksgiving break to install the network, so there was no disruption to our students, faculty or staff. They were done in two days. This is a great example of what I love about Nile, they worked around our schedule to make it easy for us.
Always-Available Customer Support
JS: Can you tell us more about your experience with the Nile support team?
RP: The Nile support team is wonderful, I can't speak highly enough of them. The support experience with Nile is different from any vendor I’ve ever worked with.
Nile is proactive so that I don’t have to be reactive. I’m alerted immediately to any issues so I feel prepared knowing what kind of situation I am coming into. They’re available to troubleshoot 24/7 to make sure my network is meeting my SLAs.
JS: You talk about Nile support being different than support from other vendors, can you elaborate on that difference?
RP: The difference between Nile and other vendors can be summed up in two words: no excuses. When we come to Nile with a request or an issue, they don’t make excuses, they work until they find a solution and they meet our expectations.
I had concerns about partnering with a company that wasn’t local. But Nile has been phenomenal working with us remotely. When we had to install new access points to increase connectivity, Nile mailed the AP over, the cabling company installed it and Nile connected it remotely. Even though Nile isn’t local, they truly are our support team and they’re always ready to jump on anything we need them to. In fact, we are feeling much more supported by the Nile team than even local support teams we’ve worked with right here in Reno.
Takeaway: Engineering the network from a clean slate has allowed Nile to simplify and automate much of the network lifecycle.
- Day 0 is made easy – Nile works with the end user to understand technical business requirements.
- Day 1 is simplified with an automated BoM and zero configurations for an easy install.
- Day 2 is completely automated with AI-based softbots that continuously monitor the network and proactive self-tune for optimal performance.
- Day N operations are offloaded and simplified, and completely seamless and never disrupts the user experience.
Maximize Teaching Time by Offloading Networking Tasks
JS: Has expanding Nile to the entire St. Albert campus made your job problem-free?
RP: The initial Nile deployment at the school made my life so much easier in terms of network maintenance and management, but I was still dealing with the old network in the other campus buildings. Having Nile as our backbone across the entire campus now is amazing. I can count on one hand the number of tickets I’ve had in the last two years.
High-Performing Network Connectivity
JS: And how is life different on the St. Albert’s campus now that everyone can connect and stay connected?
RP: Nile has allowed us to expand in ways we had envisioned but hadn’t been able to because we were held back by our network.
Now that we have seamless connectivity, we can easily move among buildings to collaborate without being dropped from the network multiple times, which is a real time saver. We can also now support remote work for our employees. The availability of reliable Wi-Fi in more places is making everything easier. We have peace of mind knowing that we can have a Zoom call with any of our community partners and it won’t be dropped.
Comprehensive Zero Trust for Students, Faculty and Guests
JS: I’m sure student safety is a top priority. Do you feel that Nile helps you protect and secure them?
RP: Nile definitely helps with both digital and physical security. We like Nile’s zero trust model because it stops hackers from tampering with the network. Actually, I don’t think I’ve had any breach reports since implementing Nile. As the IT administrator, it’s really important for me to know that our kids are protected from things that could sneak onto our network. Now I have peace of mind and a lot less work to do around security.
JS: Thank you so much for taking the time today, Rochelle, to bring us up to speed. It’s wonderful to hear that you’re able to focus on teaching now that the IT part of your job has become so much more manageable, and that the St. Albert’s community can connect in new and meaningful ways.
RP: Of course! It makes me so happy to report that we have everything here at St. Albert streamlined, and now that all of our wired and wireless devices are connected to Nile, our connectivity issues are in the past.