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Companies must digitize to drive purpose

By | Pankaj Sharma | Executive Vice President, Secure Power Division at Schneider Electric

A new school year has started. We know it’s destined to be a unique, if not challenging year for many. The start of this new school year recalls one customer that exemplifies the power of purposeful digitization: the Bainbridge Island School District in Washington state. The district’s schools are located on an island in the Puget Sound. The Sound is beautiful, but it is also home to severe storms that cause frequent power glitches.

Even before hybrid school environments became somewhat normal, many districts had already embraced more web-based teaching tools. At Bainbridge, students commonly used notebooks and tablets in the classroom. Teachers used IP-based phones to communicate. Network outages make this sort of digital learning difficult.

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To mitigate the impact of weather-induced downtime, Bainbridge invested in uninterruptable power supplies (UPSs) for their centralized data center and 35 distributed data closets. The district also deployed a solution to automate data center monitoring and maintenance.

With the changes, the small IT team at Bainbridge reduced its off-hours troubleshooting and monitoring time from hours to minutes. The team can now identify and remediate problems with the network that much faster.

Yet, the true importance of these technology improvements is in the classroom. Supervisors and teachers are now secure in the knowledge that even if a network disruption occurs, their students can continue to learn. With the start of this new school year, ensuring students everywhere have the tools they need to succeed, whether at home or in the classroom, should be a major priority.

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