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SMSEagle delivers affordable and reliable SMS communications for Marwell Wildlife UK

“We previously used an external third-party who provided an email to SMS service via the Internet,” reveals Dave Whitehead, IT & Telecoms Manager at Marwell Zoo. “Despite the fact they offered a charity rate, and we’d been with them for more than ten years, the cost per SMS was becoming prohibitively high. We needed to find a cheaper solution without compromising our ability to send and receive critical  communications.”

Marwell Wildlife
Company Information:

  • Founded: March 2, 1978.
  • Location: Winchester, Hampshire
  • Nature of Business: Research in natural sciences, secondary education, and management of nature reserves.
  • Employees: 218.
  • Key Activities: Operates Marwell Zoo and engages in conservation and education programs

Founded in 1972 near Winchester, UK, Marwell Zoo is owned by Marwell Wildlife—an action-oriented charity with world-renowned conservation programs. Marwell’s landscaped, 140-acre park is home to over 150 species of exotic animals from around the world—from endangered Amur tigers, snow leopards, lemurs, and white rhinos, to giraffes, gibbons, and penguins.

Leading the way in sustainability with the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2020, Marwell’s Tropical House is “powered by poo.” Some of the zoo’s 700 tons of animal waste—consisting of dung, leftover hay, and soiled bedding—is processed to provide heat for buildings across the zoo, enabling it to reduce its carbon footprint and dependency on fossil fuels.

The structures curved roof is built using the latest ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) technology, allowing the transmission of almost the entire UV spectrum to shine through, creating ideal tropical conditions for 65 different animal and 650 plant species to flourish. Rainwater is harvested from the roof and stored in two 50,000-litre tanks, providing ample water for the 70,000-litre aquarium and plants and making the building completely self-sufficient.

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The Challenge: Reducing costs and ensuring communications resilience

Dedicated to protecting threatened wildlife under the Endangered Species Act and maintained by over 150 volunteers, Marwell relies on supporters’ generous donations to help finance its conservation work.

“With our gates closed because of COVID-19,” states Whitehead, “every penny counts—literally. Since I’m responsible for all of the zoo’s IT systems—including CCTV, network, PBX, PCs, and servers—I looked for ways to save money while at the same time optimizing operational efficiencies. In addition to reducing the cost of sending SMS messages, I wanted to mitigate the risk of not being able to send alerts should our Internet link go down.”

Delivering affordable and reliable SMS communications with complete control of costs

“I found out about SMSEagle via Google,” explains Whitehead, “and looked for a local distributor for purchasing and support.” A fast-growing, independent UK supplier delivering cost-effective services and bespoke unified business communications solutions, DMV Intelligent Communications offers hassle-free, reliable service and solutions—including SMSEagle.“Being community-based requires data collection tools to be a good fit in terms of both purpose and context,” states Riedel, commenting on the challenges that needed to be overcome. “The communities most at risk for undetected disease outbreaks are those off the grid with poor health and telecom infrastructure.”

Supporting global GSM, 3G, and 4G standards and full waveband coverage, SMSEagle is a professional hardware SMS gateway for automating the sending and receiving of SMS messages. Designed for reliability and stability, SMSEagle works independently of third-party providers and bypasses the Internet, sending SMS messages directly to the cellular network.

Installed on-premises, SMSEagle provides security control with an internal firewall that can be configured to only allow access to authorized users. And with a SIM card tied to a contract with a network carrier of choice, you have complete control over negotiating and managing the costs of sending and receiving SMS messages.

“We get faster SMS delivery, and we’ve eliminated approximately £1000 per year in SMS costs. And now that we can send unlimited texts via our SIM, we’re thinking about integrating SMSEagle with other onsite systems over and above alerting.”

Dave Whitehead
IT & Telecoms Manager
Marwell Zoo

Relying on local partners for fast, friendly support

“We send emails to the SMSEagle for forwarding as SMS messages to both individuals and distribution groups,” says Whitehead. “We’ve also automated message sending with the built-in scheduling features. It’s fully integrated with our fire alarms, intruder alarms, network monitoring, and animal building temp monitors, providing us with reliable alerting and response.”

Designed and manufactured to work optimally in a wide variety of environments, SMSEagle provides a range of ready-to-use APIs and plugins for fast, easy integration with existing solutions, systems, and workflows, including a variety of Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems.

“We’ve only been using SMSEagle since November 2020,” states Whitehead, “but we’ve already extended support to 2023. We get faster SMS delivery, and we’ve eliminated approximately £1000 per year in SMS costs. We’re also no longer dependent on the Internet for sending alerts. And now that we can send unlimited texts via our SIM, we’re thinking about integrating SMSEagle with other onsite systems over and above alerting.”

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SMSEagle is a hardware & software solution that guarantees a swift delivery of your messages to designated recipients, whether it’s for notifications, alerts, or important updates. Discover SMSEagle to stay seamlessly connected.

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