JAWZ develops converged LAN for SAF

Extending its hand toward charitable causes, Toronto-based JAWZ Inc. has leant its services to the Science Alberta Foundation (SAF) to create its converged data/voice LAN for the foundation’s new offices in the Research Park of the University of Calgary.

The question is why would a leading provider of end-to-end security solutions offer assistance to a non-profit organization like the SAF?

According to Lawrence Gordey, director of Internet solutions for JAWZ, the joining of the two forces was a chance happening.

“We shared the same physical location with the SAF on the same floor,” Gordey said. “I met Arlene Ponting with the SAF and she described what they do. It was very exciting in the sense that it was a way of educating kids with respect to science.”

Dr. Ponting, executive director of SAF, explained prior to acquiring the services of JAWZ, the SAF spread information through newsletters and a network of hosts, predominantly librarians who hosted science exhibitions across Alberta.

“We have been established for 10 years,” Ponting said. “A study was done to really figure out what it is that is needed here to enable all citizens to learn more about science. Coming out of that study came the fact that we would become a network and not a facility. We are very unique in this concept of the Science Centre without Walls.”

Ponting said JAWZ was able to help formulate this network and helped bring in other partners, including Nortel Networks, Microsoft, Checkpoint Technologies and Aladdin Knowledge Systems.

“We thought it was a worthwhile cause,” Gordey said. “We started working with Arlene and her people, and started to build that relationship. We provided them with guidance and assistance and we helped them with the installation of their network and their Web site development.”

Using voice-over-IP to converge voice and data, Gordey said JAWZ supplied services to provide a solution that was going to work and meet SAF’s needs. He also noted JAWZ was willing to spend the necessary time and effort to work with SAF.

“There is a significant amount of time when you are working with an organization such as SAF that you don’t really get paid for,” he said. “So we put the effort in to work with them and to really understand their needs.”

Although the SAF is a non-profit organization, not all services provided were free. Ponting explained that the SAF was given a grant from Syncrude Canada, an old production facility,

for their technology upgrade, and SAF also allocated some revenue from its casino. She added that JAWZ was able to provide a substantial amount of services either at no charge or at a substantially reduced rate.

“JAWZ is going to help us in terms of going the next step in our administration and also the transfer of some of our educational content to the Web,” she said. “Obviously, one of the biggest things they will help us with is to make sure our network is secure, and that when we are communicating with our clients we are not transmitting any viruses.”

Gordey added that JAWZ will provide assistance by applying technology to deliver their science programs and help to make science fun for kids.

JAWZ is currently in the midst of developing SAF’s Web site, although no definite date has been decided for its launch.

“Some of that comes in terms of our fundraising,” Ponting said. “Obviously JAWZ will not be doing this entirely. We have developed some really good connections with Nortel Networks and Microsoft and we are hopeful they will come along with us in phase two and three. We certainly have the concept.”

“From our side, what our vision around this whole relationship was is that we really believe that being able to facilitate this process is very valuable and JAWZ is very proud to be part of this,” Gordey said.

For more information, visit www.jawstech.com.