Westorytellers client BCI hired us to showcase what it did for the Hattiesburg Public School District in Mississippi.
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My name is Ross Randall, I’m with Hattiesburg Public School District in Hattiesburg Mississippi. We are a district comprised of a 9 schools we have approximately 4500 students.
The devastation from the hurricane reached all the way up to Hattiesburg. Obviously the major impact was on the coast where there was nothing left.
The biggest challenge technology wise for us after that was having the backbone and infrastructure to be able to use the web applications and the network applications that we needed to use in the classroom.
After hurricane Katrina in 2005, Cisco came in and met with several of the schools and developed a 21st century school program and we met with them periodically during that first six months after the hurricane discussing different ways that they could come in and impact education.
Cisco came in and donated a tremendous amount of product for us and expertise to take our schools to the next level, to get them to where they needed to be technology wise and that included new switches, the new switching infrastructure, core switches, and the expertise to be able to know how to use those.
We also brought in unified communications, we brought in network security, wireless infrastructure, just about everything Cisco had at the time they threw at us and wanted to see how it could impact learning.
We were looking for a partner that could do everything and we looked at a lot of different partners. And not everybody had the expertise in every area. bci had all that expertise in-house and was able to help us not only choose the right products that Cisco was going to donate but also had the expertise to tell us how we were going to be able to use those and also how to implement them.
They really stepped up. They proved to me that they were willing to go above and beyond the normal.
We have to have a partner that we can be in constant communication with that will help us understand what the next step is, what’s capable with the equipment that we have, and BCI fits that bill and to this day we still have regular meetings talking about where do we go next, what can we do to improve on what we have.
It’s a shame that all districts can’t have partners like BCI and Cisco.