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Case Study

Aruba solution helps Loughborough College get fit for the future

Solutions Provided


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Established more than 100 years ago, Loughborough College delivers a range of high-quality academic and vocational courses to help students prepare for higher education and the world of work. It works in close partnership with leading universities, including Loughborough, Derby, and Warwick to promote progression through to degree-level education and beyond.

Recognised as one of the UK’s leading sports colleges, it’s built a strong reputation for sporting excellence through its development of training programmes and pathways in support of some of the world’s top athletes and sports stars. It also provides a range of adult education courses for people with disabilities and learning difficulties and works alongside the local business community to promote engagement and opportunity for all.


Key facts

  • Provider of high-quality academic and vocational courses
  • Widely renowned sports college working in partnership with leading UK universities
  • Strong focus on local community and business engagement

The Challenge

An ageing network infrastructure and the development of new buildings meant Loughborough College needed to refresh its existing systems to meet future challenges. It was keen to maintain Aruba hardware to enable seamless integration with its existing systems and purchase a replacement solution through an existing framework.

The college contacted their Softcat Account Manager to investigate potential solutions. The Account Manager set up a call with one of Softcat’s Network Security Specialists and Loughborough College’s in-house IT team. During that call, the IT team highlighted its exact requirements, including purchasing through an existing framework, the need to ensure competitive, flexible pricing and invoicing, and the tight deadline associated with the new building completion.

Critical success factors

  • Source suitable hardware for network refresh and new buildings
  • Ensure solution integrated with existing Aruba systems
  • Guarantee competitive, flexible pricing and accelerated implementation schedule

​​​​​​​The Solution

Softcat worked closely with both the in-house IT team and the vendor, Aruba, to scope out a suitable solution. During that process, an appropriate framework was identified, an accelerated implementation timeline was established and Softcat provided clear and transparent information around pricing and invoicing.

Throughout the process, multiple calls were held to ensure the solution design matched Loughborough College’s expectations and would provide the functionality and scale needed to meet its ongoing and future requirements. This close collaboration helped ensure that the college’s senior team members received useful, up-to-date feedback throughout the engagement to ensure a successful implementation was achieved. It also provided the clear and transparent pricing information and invoicing schedule the client needed to align with its budget and growth ambitions.


  • Close collaboration with client and vendor
  • Transparent pricing and invoicing
  • Solution implemented in line with accelerated timeline

The Benefits

Softcat’s management of the whole engagement has been characterised by a willingness to go the extra mile to secure a solution that matched Loughborough College’s specific requirements. It involved establishing a close relationship with the technology provider, HPE Aruba, to help ensure the project would be completed in line with the college’s tight deadline.

Client feedback has been excellent, with Softcat’s flexibility, willingness to quickly and efficiently rectify any issues and the pricing and invoicing deal it was able to secure being particularly highly praised.  For instance, the client realised it had specified an incorrect part code that could have derailed the solution implementation. Softcat moved rapidly to organise a return and source a replacement part code as quickly as possible.

The client has also been impressed with Softcat’s ongoing collaboration and project management. It’s added real value to the project and helped facilitate a strong, productive relationship between the college and HPE Aruba.

Benefits at a glance

  • Close relationship established between client, Softcat and vendor
  • Proactive account management providing flexibility and a rapid response to any issues
  • Negotiated favourable pricing and invoicing schedule to match client's specific needs

Why Softcat?

Softcat’s knowledge of the marketplace, deep experience of providing fit-for-purpose technology solutions and strong ongoing relationships with leading providers means its ideally placed to meet client challenges.

Its capacity to negotiate favourable pricing and invoicing schedules, alongside its willingness to put in the hard yards to create added value in every engagement, helps ensure clients receive the right technologies at the right time and for the right price.