Iconic venue wows crowds with digital transformation

In Spring 2022, London’s music lovers rejoiced as KOKO reopened its doors, fresh from a £70 million restoration that includes a state-of-the-art NaaS solution by Qolcom.

KOKO’s revitalisation goes beyond the realms of architecture and design. The team wanted a space in which music can be performed, produced, and streamed around the globe. The entertainment world is going in new directions and this venue of the future needed the technology to match.

Network as a Service drives KOKO’s rebirth

Creating a monumental venue like KOKO involves huge financial commitments so Network as a Service (NaaS) was exactly what KOKO needed. A modern, pay-as-you-go model, it eases pressure and frees up cash flow at a crunch time. What’s more, you simplify network set-up and management, pre-empt and auto-fix issues and stay one step ahead of advancing technology. As part of a 5-Year NaaS plan KOKO has underpinned its experiences with a network that is smart, secure, and scalable and they have round-the-clock support from Qolcom experts if ever they need it. All without any capital expenditure.

“By choosing Network as a Service KOKO makes sure they keep their edge. The technology we’ve deployed for them is the absolute best in class right now. But technology iterates quickly, as do business requirements and customer expectations. Thanks to NaaS, KOKO has the agility to upgrade their tech in the future to stay ahead of the curve.”
Stuart Pass, Chief Technology Officer at Qolcom

Nightlife as a Service

Selected by KOKO as their IT partners after an extensive RFQ process, we set about mapping infrastructure to their aspirations, all the while making sure that the technology was sympathetic to the building heritage. Working closely with the leadership team, our engineers plotted the design for a high-performance wired-and-wireless IP infrastructure over which voice, data, and multi-media applications can operate over multiple buildings and floors. This works in tandem with an enterprise grade IP-based network solution that offers lightning-fast connectivity for all IT and Audio-Visual service requirements along with support for CCTV and Building Management Systems.

Connecting the KOKO community

KOKO is renowned as an inclusive and eclectic space that welcomes music fans of all genres and eras. As part of the digital transformation, we’ve made it so people can enjoy the KOKO experience wherever they are in the world. The next-generation Aruba Edge Services Platform (ESP) gives Qolcom all the tools it needs to deliver NaaS. The full-stack, edge-to-cloud solution includes networking and security. Data from the edge drives real-time automation and actionable insights and built-in AI Ops help us analyse a vast body of information in new ways, so we deliver a quality NaaS to KOKO.

At the centre of the action

The Qolcom Network Operations Centre (NOC) utilise Aruba Central as the conductor that orchestrates Aruba ESP, a cloud-smart networking solution, so our NaaS team have an unprecedented level of control. Wired and wireless infrastructure are unified in a holistic system that the NOC can manage from a single screen. The network also handles building management, security and CCTV systems as part of a 360-degree network strategy.

“At KOKO we had a special opportunity to start with a blank canvas. It was like song writing, in a way. It began with a creative vision – then it’s about layering on all these instruments and locking them into step so that the whole piece works in harmony. The use of the Aruba Central platform in our Network Operations Centre is the key that binds the NaaS together.”
Keith Reading, CEO at Qolcom

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