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IT upgrade sees arts centre make right connections as free wi-fi boosts marketing

The Met, Bury’s newly refurbished arts centre, is set to make the right connections with visiting theatre, music and arts lovers following a major IT upgrade.

Public and private wi-fi networks together with a new internet telephony system and cutting-edge productivity software have been installed by local communication and data specialists, Pennine.

The project means free wi-fi is now offered to visitors at the arts venue which recently benefited from a massive £4.6 million refurbishment.

In addition the Purple wi-fi platform specified by Pennine will help The Met grow and refine its marketing effort. This is because visitors log-on using either their email address or a social media account, with demographic data captured to enable the venue to better target its marketing communications.

“Wi-fi is something customers want and expect,” commented The Met’s chief executive Victoria Robinson. “It also makes our facilities more attractive to hire. Hirers want not only people attending their events to be able to access the internet, but their performers and production staff.”

Alongside the public wi-fi Pennine has also installed a secure staff network, with both running off six strategically placed access points sited across the Grade II listed building.  This is already making life for staff whose roles require them to work across the venue easier and relieves pressure on limited desk space.

The project has also seen the introduction of a cost-saving internet telephony system being installed. This allows some calls to be made over the internet using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to minimise traditional telephony bills.

Completing the upgrade was installation of the powerful Office 365 applications and services platform. This will help support remote working which The Met requires for staff on a daily basis and when hosting the annual Ramsbottom Festival which the venue organises.

“The ability to access services remotely is very useful. Staff can work from home and at different sites including the Ramsbottom Festival and still access central resources which keeps things running smoothly,” comments Victoria.

The festival itself has long benefited from a free wi-fi service which Pennine has provided as a key sponsor of the increasingly popular weekend event.

“We’re grateful to Pennine, both for the company’s long-term support of Ramsbottom Festival and the quality of advice and service it has provided to The Met when upgrading our communication and collaboration tools,” said Victoria.