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Action for Children partners with Claranet to support its outreach efforts

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The challenge At any one time, approximately 500 sites up and down the UK sit on Action for Children's central network, through which the charity coordinates its various initiatives from head office and centrally provides access to children's databases, files, office and corporate systems. Their old network, which had developed and grown organically over time, was becoming slow, inefficient, costly to maintain, while lacking the flexibility that the charity needed to function effectively. Alan Crawford, CIO at Action for Children, explained: "As a charity, we owe it to our supporters to ensure that we are maximising our time, expenditure and resources. So when we assessed our network costs, in relation to the service we were receiving, it became clear that the issue needed to be addressed. Downtime was becoming a real issue, and as we don't have the financial capacity to employ IT technicians to each remote site, we needed centralised management and support from our provider. "Our network is something of a movable beast. Although the base number of sites connected to the network sits at around 500, we tend to experience a churn rate of approximately 20 per cent per annum; many of our initiatives are conducted on a project basis and when one project finishes, another will start in a different part of the country. This had severe implications for our network, which wasn't flexible enough to cope with near-constant change," he continued. Security was another key consideration for the charity. With children accessing the internet via their network, Action for Children needed an efficient way to control which pages were accessible, and which ones were not, to guarantee the children's safety. Rather than managing this on each device, the charity wanted to control these settings with a network-wide firewall. Action for Children For more than 140 years, Action for Children has been helping disadvantaged children and young adults through a number of innovative services and initiatives. In total, the charity works with around 300,000 children, young people and carers to tackle serious issues like child neglect and abuse. The charity is run out of six core offices that co-ordinate and support approximately 600 services, offering support and care across the UK. These services include adoption and fostering, family support, helping children with disabilities and specialist schools. The ability to access information securely online is essential in the provision of these services. Claranet partners with leading UK children's charity to support its outreach efforts Services taken: • Managed Networks and MPLS • Internet Connectivity • Colocation • Web Security Claranet case study Action for Children

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