LTE group drives innovation in UK education

Manchester-based LTE (Learning, Training, Employment) group is the United Kingdom’s largest education and skills organisation. Business growth and educational innovation were hampered by an aging and disparate technology infrastructure, and performance problems. LTE group engaged HPE to build an agile hybrid-cloud platform delivering improved network services, enterprise efficiencies and the power to create new digital educational services.

UK’s largest education group

LTE group improves UK lives and economic success through learning.

Abstract image representing not for profit integrated education

LTE group is the United Kingdom’s first and largest integrated education and skills organisation. Based in Manchester, LTE is a not-for-profit social enterprise established in 2016. It encompasses four operating divisions, each supporting a unique student population: The Manchester College provides Further Education and Higher Education. MOL delivers blended distance learning. Total People provides apprenticeship training. Novus provides education services to a prison population of 65,000 learners.

Driven by a strong social mission, LTE group is committed to improving lives and economic success for its diverse student body. Its group structure enables each organisation to focus on its own unique learners and
stakeholders, supported by shared services.

100K

Learners receiving high quality training, education and employability services

5K

Employees across the Group
  • "We need to make sure that every learner who steps through our door leaves able to hit the ground running into a career."

    Jamie Marshall, Group IT Director, LTE group

Educate. Empower. Employ.

LTE group tunes organisations to grow, evolve, thrive for public good.

Abstract image representing education for public good

Economic shifts due to technological change and global competition have led to skills gaps and worker displacement in the UK. In addition, educators in the UK are grappling with government funding cuts, and increasingly, regional- and sector-specific policies and grant requirements.

Educators are challenged to emphasise learner employability and ongoing career success, and must improve their services and develop new digital delivery models. As an education innovator, LTE group needs to coordinate responses to changing government policies across the Group, while strengthening the overall organisation by seeking new opportunities to work collaboratively with other organisations. Each business unit is responsible for developing and delivering digital instructional technologies that provide effective and engaging learning tailored to that unit’s unique environment of learners, employers, and stakeholders.

LTE group also faces particular challenges related to its status as a charity working for the public benefit. It must provide high quality teaching, tackle social exclusion and exhibit an excellent student employment record. Like other educational institutions, LTE group also must pass inspections – of student exam pass rates, curriculum content and infrastructure capabilities – by the UK’s Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted).

23K

Enrolled learners at The Manchester College

4

Business units to serve

500

Interactive college learning spaces
  • "Just as workers today must upgrade their skills throughout their careers, the institutions that educate them need adaptive flexibility to keep up with changing market demands."

    Jamie Marshall, Group IT Director, LTE group

Short-term goals, long-term vision

Transformation journey begins with modernising network, leads to cloud-empowered agility.

Abstract image representing modernizing education infrastructure

Growth through acquisition had left LTE group with multiple siloed, aging and underutilised IT systems that hampered market agility. LTE group aimed to create a modern shared-services infrastructure, to drive efficiency and innovation across all four divisions.

LTE group application development and testing teams, for example, needed IT agility to develop and deliver new blended and distance-learning educational tools that would meet the needs of each unit’s learners, employers, and stakeholders.

The Group also needed to increase student and colleague satisfaction, including with the wireless network at The Manchester College. Years of underinvestment in technology had left the network slow and unreliable. Students complained they could not access critical applications, and the resulting low morale fed student and colleague attrition.

To accomplish its transformational goals, LTE group sought a technology vendor with solutions and expertise end-to-end.

24x7

Network availability so students enjoy fast, seamless, anytime access

3

IT people responsible for the entire infrastructure

40K

Student devices accessing the wireless network
  • "The infrastructure has to be fast, available 24x7, absolutely rock-solid – and it has to allow us to flex with changing needs."

    Jamie Marshall, Group IT Director, LTE group

Improving educational opportunities with an always-on hybrid cloud environment

LTE group leveraged HPE services and technologies to create a secure IT infrastructure enabling seamless customer service, crossunit efficiencies and innovation at market speed.

Abstract image representing secure IT infrastructure

To support its immediate improvement goals as well as a long-term vision, LTE group took a phased approach to digital transformation. First, LTE group upgraded its wired and wireless networks at The Manchester College to ensure seamless student services via Microsoft Office 365 in a public cloud. This delivered the fast, reliable performance and single sign-on simplicity demanded by tech-savvy teenage students, while giving LTE group back-end security over network usage.

At the IT infrastructure’s core, LTE group created a secure and highly available on-premise infrastructure for curriculum and other mission-critical applications, and colleague services such as messaging, email and telephony. The new environment, centralised in the data centre at The Manchester College, also includes a private cloud for LTE group developers to perform agile development and testing of new curriculum applications, including web-delivered instructional tools that represent the leading edge of reaching learners where they are with engaging interactivity.

For the technology and strategic expertise to build, deploy and support the end-to-end solution, LTE group turned to HPE Pointnext services.

20%-30%

Faster time to market forecasted for new

10%-15%

Expected increase in number of students at The Manchester College who will continue their further education due to curriculum improvements

93%

Current retention rate for further education students at The Manchester College
  • "HPE was the only organisation that could deliver all of the different facets of technology and expertise we needed on our journey to the cloud."

    Jamie Marshall, Group IT Director, LTE group

A world of educational possibilities

Technology foundation enables growth, innovation.

Abstract image representing education technology foundation

LTE group’s new IT environment has made an immediate impact on student engagement and performance, and is supporting business expansion and educational innovation. As reported by Ofsted, many of the students at LTE group’s The Manchester College are from some of the most deprived neighbourhoods, yet they often make better progress than less disadvantaged learners in other colleges. That is the kind of outcome LTE group is aiming for with its digital journey – the fulfilment of its educational and social mission.

With its foundational IT infrastructure in place, LTE group is also firmly positioned to continue its corporate growth, through both expansion of existing services and acquisitions. Meanwhile, LTE group development teams are empowered to shape the digital education model of the future, from leveraging Big Data and the Internet of Things, to Beacon location services that increase student engagement across campuses. The possibilities are wide open. What LTE group has achieved is the power to discover and pursue them.

  • "We didn’t have a robust platform for test and development. Now we have a very agile system that supports the full lifecycle, all the way to go-live. Time to market for new applications and websites is unprecedented."

    Jamie Marshall, Group IT Director, LTE group

Solution recipe

Building a rock - solid, agile IT infrastructure

LTE group engaged HPE Pointnext to install, configure and integrate an end-to-end hybrid cloud solution, and transfer knowledge to LTE group staff. Aruba ClearPass and Aruba AirWave deliver access security, visibility and management at the infrastructure edge. The core internal cloud leverages HPE 3PAR StoreServ Storage, HPE Blade Servers and HPE FlexFabric Switches – all managed using HPE OneView.