Education - Higher Education
Improving communications anytime, anywhere throughout campuses fosters safer facilities, enhances operational and facilities management processes, and achieves cost savings. Spectralink solutions provide campus wide coverage while providing mobility for administrators, faculty, staff and students as they move about the campus and more effectively manage their time. Spectralink offers the most durable, feature-rich, and cost-effective VoIP and wireless telephone solutions enhance unified communications to meet institutional challenges.
- Improve mobility - Comply with a changing society to allow administrators, faculty, and staff to connect and collaborate where and when desired
- Enhance safety and security effectiveness - Instantly verify points of contact, communicate instantaneously with vocal and visual access, and view reactions in crisis situations to decisions with a sound of a voice or the touch of a button
- Open communication channels among staff as they manage the daily operations of large campuses
Important features for higher education:
- Can provide wireless extensions to any voice platform
- Wi-Fi or DECT
- Wireless handsets can receive urgent text messages (eg fire, duress alarms, evacuation)
- Range of handsets to suit different applications (eg admin, outdoor, staff protection/duress)
Feature Case Study
With network connectivity a factor in many students' choice of college or university, higher education institutions worldwide are choosing Meru Networks for campus-wide deployments. Each year, thousands of students arrive on campus with a diverse range of laptops and other devices, expecting to connect wirelessly.
No longer just a convenience, the wireless LAN has become the main way that most users reach the campus network and beyond. Wireless devices have already changed the way students live, study and communicate.
Designed for the All-Wireless Enterprise
From the beginning, Meru designed its network for the All-Wireless Enterprise: an organization that never needs to depend on wires for connectivity. College students who have grown up in a world without wires need a network that can combine high performance with mobility, while IT needs to provide high density coverage without sacrificing performance or reliability.
Meru's virtualized Wireless LAN architecture offers students and faculty a wired-like user experience, combined with fast deployments, simple management and a low total cost of ownership.
- Wireless Like Wire. Meru's virtualized wireless LAN offers all the performance that users expect from wired Ethernet combined with the mobility of cellular.
- Quality of Service. Data applications get all the bandwidth they need while toll-quality voice is assured.
- Fewer Access Points. Meru requires fewer access points on campus than other solutions, stretching IT dollars further and simplifying management.
- Airtime Fairness. Each client in a packed lecture hall gets a fair share of the airwaves, letting legacy clients coexist peacefully with the latest 802.11n devices.
- Strong Security and Simple Management. It is easy to control the diverse devices that students connect to a network, ensuring that badly-behaved clients do not affect overall performance or compromise security.
Important features for higher education:
- Support for wireless data, voice and video with QOS
- High user densities
- Ability to provide wireless coverage over large areas
- Simple, centralised network management for multi-site campuses
- Simple to install / simple to manage, with lower total cost of ownership
- Support for simultaneous multiple:
- Wi-Fi clients (a/b/g/n) - Meru Airtime Fairness means WLAN performance is not influenced by slower devices
- Devices (notebooks / netbooks/ iPhones/ smartphones, student gaming devices)
- Operating system Windows (XP, 7), Apple etc
- Support for multiple applications:
- Guest access management
- Wireless intrusion protection
IP Telephony / UC
Universities and colleges using traditional legacy PABXs are often burdened with systems that have limited functionality, are expensive to maintain, use proprietary handsets and do not interface with their other computer applications.
Many of these sites maintain a number of disparate systems from different vendors, providing additional challenges for seamless integration of their communications network. Combined with increasing demands to reduce call costs, improve staff productivity and become more customer responsive, there are increasing requirements for improved staff and student safety and security.
Higher education IT managers are increasingly turning to implementation of IP Telephony, platforms, which address these issues, including:
- Lower total cost of ownership: Universities are able to leverage their existing LAN infrastructure to control costs of cabling and network maintenance by moving to a single network environment. For older sites which may attract Heritage listings, issues relating to adding cabling and drilling walls are minimised as much as possible. Costs are also reduced with access to a wider range of standards-based IP equipment, and common adds, moves and changes can easily be implemented by in-house IT staff via browser interface.
- Improve staff productivity and customer service: A true unified communications platform delivers the ability to integrate with the computer desktop and common applications (eg Outlook, CRM etc). Delivering faxes and voicemails directly to Outlook simplifies management of all communication forms, improving responsiveness to colleagues and students.
- Enhance Safety: Having an accessible IP PBX allows administrators to proactively disseminate critical information to staff and students during an emergency. IP PBXs support wireless SIP devices (Wi-Fi or DECT), providing enabling wireless PBX extensions across an entire campus.
Important features for higher education:
- Outlook integration
- Voicemail / fax to e-mail - manage calls from staff and students from office or from home, or from smartphone (iPhone, Blackberry etc)
- Support for a wide range of SIP voice and video phones
- Presence and chat via PC screen shows realtime availability
- Supports wireless extensions for users anywhere on campus
- Built-in conference bridge allows multiple staff to hold telephone meetings
- Point and click - easy call handling for reception to transfer calls to staff
- Supports both traditional (analogue or ISND) and VoIP calls
- Call recording and monitoring
- Call reporting and logging
- Support for IVR and multiple call queues for different departments
Network Access / Security
Education is a segment which has specialised needs for public Internet access. An educational campus community demands high levels of access to both the public internet and the institution’s internal networks and requires stringent control over management of usage and bandwidth. Both wired and wireless connection availability is expected in almost every building on campus, labs, libraries, and residence halls. Examples of stakeholders in need for a broadband internet connection are students, faculty, staff and official visitors.
Managing the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon
The challenges in managing network access are being amplified by the new generation of personal smart devices including iPhones, tablets and other devices that students and staff want to use on campus. The BYOD phenomenon is seeing a flood of diverse Wi-Fi® devices entering networks claiming their share of WLAN resources. Networks must be prepared to deliver secure, scalable wireless network access to a diversity of devices and users
Wireless networks should be capable of enabling one-click self provisioning of client devices for secure 802.1x connectivity.
BYOD Guest Access Management Requirements:
- Easy-to-use, one-click self-provisioning capabilities
- Centralised, customisable portals for guest authentication
- Automatic notification services by email or SMS message
- Powerful reporting, auditing and customisation capabilities
- Secure role-based access with granular policy management enabling differentiated levels of access
Network Access Control (NAC)
Educational institutions have security demands that are unique. K-12 school districts with shared computers and visiting laptops; boarding schools with resident students and faculty. colleges and universities with a multitude of resident and commuter students associated with computers, smart phones and game consoles - all need secure access to the network.
Add the visiting guests, faculty, lecturers and parents, as well as a myriad of IP-enabled devices and the need for Network Security becomes a necessity
- Register computers, game consoles, PDAs, and other networked devices.
- Check computers for up-to-date OS patches, anti-virus and anti-spyware protection, and restricted applications such as P2P.
- Allow users to remediate any compliance issues without having to engage IT staff.
- Add access security to your wireless deployments.
- Track all network access and usage. Broadcast important messages and emergency notifications instantaneously to all network users.
Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems (WIPS)
Wireless also introduces new risks and vulnerabilities to a campus network. As wireless technology proliferates, "wired" network security and strong WLAN encryption are insufficient protection from emerging wireless threats. The usage of wireless devices creates a new challenge for school administrators and IT managers trying to maintain control over Internet usage. Students connecting wirelessly to a neighbouring home, business network, or municipal wireless network can surf the Internet bypassing the schools content controls and monitoring.
Without the right tools to understand what is happening in the air, confidential student information may be exposed. Misconfigured access points, a rogue (unauthorised) access point, an employee connecting to a neighbour's network or a hacker sitting in your parking lot - all these can open a back door into a network and compromise data. In order to protect sensitive data, an effective wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS) needs to protect networks by monitoring and defending airspace, 24/7 without adding administrative burdens.
- Visibility into Wi-Fi security risks at HQ and remote offices
- Understanding which wireless connections pose a genuine threat
- Ability to block, locate & remove unauthorised Wi-Fi devices with pinpoint precision
- Real-time troubleshooting and analysis for maximum uptime and optimal throughput
- Integration with Cisco WLAN infrastructure to reduce complexity and lower costs
- Automated reporting for both regulatory compliance standards and internal security audits