Layer 3 Communications Named Aruba 2011 Americas Education Partner of the Year

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National Network Professional Services Firm Counts Many Texas, Other School Districts as Customers; Helps Schools Deal with Proliferation of Mobile Devices

Layer 3 Communications today announces it was named Aruba’s 2011 Americas Education Partner of the year during Aruba Networks’ 2011 Americas Partner Summit, held in San Jose, CA, in early April. This honor comes to Layer 3 Communications after working with Aruba on its wireless installations, in schools and other customers, since 2004. Layer 3 Communications is proud of this accolade, and more proud of the satisfied customers it supports everyday with their wired and wireless network needs whether for data, voice or video.

Layer 3 Communications started in 1998 and specializes in the design, implementation and support of network connectivity and security. The company supports customers in a wide variety of industries from state and local government organizations to hospitals to Fortune 100 brands. Schools, whether K-12 or higher education, while just one focus area of Layer 3, are where the company excels so much as to bring recognition from Aruba as its best Americas Education Partner for 2011.

“We are deeply proud of the work we do with our education customers, engagements that began with ways to help school districts manage Internet access,” said Craig Wall, managing partner and Texas lead for Layer 3 Communications. “Aruba is a fantastic partner in this effort, and its technologies help our customers succeed. We are honored to be Aruba’s 2011 Americas Education Partner of the Year.”

“Aruba is honored to count Layer 3 Communications among our growing ecosystem of leading channel partners as we work together to enable the global mobile workforce,” said Robert Bruce, vice president of worldwide channel sales at Aruba. “Layer 3 truly distinguished itself this year, and has been a stand out partner for us for many years. Together, in fact, we implemented Aruba’s first K-12 school with Spring ISD, outside Houston, in 2005. That customer is still a happy Aruba user, and growing its engagement with both companies as its network needs expand.”

Layer 3 Communications counts nearly two dozen school districts and several major Universities in Texas - primarily in Austin, College Station, Houston and San Antonio - as customers. Many, like Spring ISD in Houston, or Eanes ISD in Austin or Northside ISD in San Antonio, have been Layer 3 Communications' customers for years, and through multiple engagements.

“Spring ISD is proud to have been Layer 3 Communication's, and Aruba’s, first K-12 customer,” said Chris Kent, Director of Infrastructure, Spring Independent School District, outside Houston. “Craig and his team have done phenomenal work getting us up and running on the right wireless network for all our needs, and evolving and growing over time. I’m not surprised Aruba is recognizing their work!”

And Layer 3 Communications will be the partner to help many schools grapple with the new BYOD – Bring Your Own Device - movement, widely emerging January 2011, just when students and teachers returned to school with new electronic gifts after the holidays. Previously, school IT departments could keep control over their infrastructure by only “trusted” (approved, secured, registered) devices accessing their networks. Now, there are more and more laptops, tablets and smart phones out there. Specifically the iPad phenomenon has been the tipping point where school districts – really any network manager in any business or organization - know users will demand all devices be supported and allowed wireless access. BYOD is a movement where Layer 3 Communications and Aruba are well positioned, ready to provide outstanding products and services to help network managers grapple with this phenomenon.

Northside ISD in San Antonio is working with Layer 3 not only to manage BYOD and secure and optimize the network for this multi-device-world, but also to upgrade to the latest version of 802.11 wireless. This project updates Layer 3 Communication's original design and implementation of a 7000 access point network for Northside across all their 100+ schools. It is the largest Aruba deployment in Texas to date and demonstrates why Layer 3 Communications is Aruba’s logical choice for 2011 Americas Education Partner of the Year.

“Our number one goal is student achievement, we want our students to have access anytime anywhere. We know we have a really large school district with different and complex needs campus to campus,” said Ernest Vasquez, Assistant Director, Technology Services, Northside ISD. “With teachers, administrators and other support staff needing access on a myriad of computing devices - PCs, laptops, iTouches, tablets and even smart phones - we rely heavily on great solutions like Aruba and strong partners like Layer 3 Communications to make it happen.”

About Aruba PartnerEdge:
The Aruba PartnerEdge program was launched in September 2007 and counts more than 400 value-added resellers (VARs) in its ranks. More than 1,000 partner engineers have received Aruba technical certifications since the program started. Aruba provides online sales training and comprehensive technical training at no cost to qualified partners. Approximately ninety-three percent of Aruba’s revenues were generated through its partners in the quarter ending January 31, 2011.

About Layer 3 Communications:
Layer 3 Communications is an engineering firm providing complex network services and products. With offices across the Southeast and Texas, Layer 3 Communications provides its customers design, implementation, optimization and ongoing support of network infrastructures and security including real time monitoring and zero day threat mitigation. Layer 3 Communications provides services in diverse verticals including education, fortune 500, healthcare and government entities. For more information please visit Layer 3 at http://www.layer3com.com.

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