SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company (NYSE: HPE), today announced that Spokane Public Facilities District (PFD), the first public facilities district in the state of Washington, has chosen Aruba for a network refresh that will deliver improved mobile experiences to guests of the Spokane Arena and First Interstate Center for the Arts, as well as attendees of the 350+ events held in the Spokane Convention Center.
With an arena that seats 12,500 and is home to the Spokane Chiefs hockey team, an Arts Center that accommodates 2,500+ and a 300,000 square foot Convention Center that averages 380,000 attendees each year, Spokane PFD was intent on modernizing its guest and attendee experiences, while simplifying operations for its IT staff. The facilities district began looking at a complete network upgrade, with a focus on the Wi-Fi infrastructure, to address its needs.
“We’ve had an increasing demand for Wi-Fi in our arena for our Chiefs’ games as well as NCAA tournament games and concerts, both from event attendees and the promoters and performers who want to interact with fans via social media platforms,” said Teresa Hudak, Marketing Manager and Member Services for Spokane PFD. “The key driver for this network upgrade was improving both the experience our guests have when they walk through the front doors of our facilities, as well as the experience promoters, artists, athletes, and performers have when they come in the back door.”
Working with partner Structured, Spokane PFD evaluated a number of networking vendors including Cisco – whose wireless was already deployed in the convention center, as well as Xirrus and Ruckus, but ultimately, selected Aruba. Using Aruba 802.11ac Access Points and Mobility Controllers, Aruba Access Switches, AirWave network management and ClearPass for secure device onboarding and policy management, Spokane PFD enabled pervasive Wi-Fi inside the Spokane Arena and First Interstate Center for the Arts, and is in the process of replacing the Cisco Wi-Fi in the Spokane Convention Center with Aruba wireless. In addition, Spokane PFD has deployed the Aruba wireless outdoors in select areas for some of its service truck and bus lots.
The new network allows for a host of critical applications that have helped Spokane PFD enhance its guests’ mobile experiences, as well as simplify operations and improve productivity. With more reliable and secure Wi-Fi in place, ticket scanners at the three facilities’ entrances are now faster and more efficient, arena concessionaires can use iPads to quickly take and fulfill orders, as well as update their menus in real time, guests can easily post to social media, check email and access the Internet and the Spokane Chiefs can launch their mobile app for better fan interaction. Digital signage is also connected and used throughout the arena to provide fans and attendees with important information and directions and for marketing and promotions.
ClearPass is a crucial part of the network, enabling secure mobile device onboarding and guest access in both the Arena and Center for the Arts. In addition, once the new Wi-Fi and ClearPass are rolled out in the Spokane Convention Center, Spokane PFD will benefit from branding flexibility, with customized “skins” for each of the three venues, secure access for both wired and wireless devices connecting to the network, easy SSID set-up in the convention center for events wherein a variety of exhibitors and vendors need access, and support for IoT devices and applications.
“With ClearPass, we’ll immediately have secure access and the ability to define policies, but we’ll also feel confident that we can embrace IoT without the associated security worries,” said Monte Koch, Director of Facilities and Operations for Spokane PFD.
Spokane is already diving into IoT now that they have a secure and reliable network foundation. The three Spokane facilities have tech booths that need to be closed to block out noise, but also need to be kept cool; heat sensors mounted in these rooms can now be connected to the network, so an alert can be sent if the air conditioning unit fails and the heat threshold is surpassed. In addition, humidity sensors in the arena bowl can be connected to ensure the ice is kept to the correct temperature for hockey games. IT can access the sensor information at any time to monitor or make changes.
Looking ahead, Spokane PFD will deploy Aruba Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) Beacons to complement the location-ready Aruba APs it has already installed, as well as the Meridian platform, to enable wayfinding and mobile engagement for the Convention Center and Performing Arts Center. These tools will help further enhance user experiences, as well as allow the district’s marketing department to access data and analytics for more targeted promotions. Eventually, the district would like to use its Aruba mobile-first network with the location-based services platform to allow in-seat concessions ordering in the Spokane Arena, among other capabilities that will help further engage fans and event attendees.
“The opportunities are really endless once the proper infrastructure is in place,” added Ryan Wilson, IT Manager for Spokane PFD. “With the Aruba network, we have the foundation we need to realize the vision for all of our district’s venues.”
About Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is a leading provider of next-generation networking solutions for enterprises of all sizes worldwide. The company delivers IT solutions that empower organizations to serve the latest generation of mobile-savvy users who rely on cloud-based business apps for every aspect of their work and personal lives.
To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products visit Airheads Social at http://community.arubanetworks.com.