Higher Ed’s IT Trends Reveal Challenges for “Going it Alone”

AUSTIN, TX – March 24, 2015 – Recent media articles that showed up in EDUCAUSE Review, EdTech and Inside Higher Ed revealed that college and university IT departments are experiencing increased challenges in 2015 that range from adaptability, funding, support and talent scarcity. Even as schools face an increasing pace of change and unprecedented technology demands, they find themselves needing to do more with fewer resources.

Apogee agrees with EDUCAUSE’s vice president Susan Grajek’s comment in Inside Higher Ed that “the notion of going it alone and creating your own IT solutions is one that is something people will have to put behind them.” Apogee believes that colleges and universities will increasingly leverage outsourcing to stay competitive and relevant. As higher ed’s largest residential network (ResNet) provider and pioneer, Apogee today serves a fast-growing number of savvy universities and colleges who are no longer “going it alone.” Below are the top four benefits of ResNet outsourcing that some of our partner schools are experiencing:

1. Cost-savings: With conflicting demands to focus on daily operations and yet be anticipating growth and trends like bring-your-own-device (BYOD), many administrators struggle to stay within allotted budgets. The Centenary College of Louisiana, however, has found a way to save money. Because of an early decision to outsource their ResNet to Apogee, Centenary has saved approximately $1.4 million over the life of their contract. As Apogee assumed the initial investment for both equipment and installation, Centenary was able to defer up-front capital expenditures, yet promptly set up a network that scales as technologies and student needs evolve.

Scalable technology to meet wired and Wi-Fi demands: The Edtech article titled “Dorm Wi-Fi a Selling Point for Many Universities” cited a 2012 survey by the University of Montana that found that the main reason students chose not to enroll was the lack of wireless in its residence halls. Ithaca College takes it a step further. Having had success with Apogee in providing seamless Wi-Fi connectivity in the residence halls, Ithaca has partnered with the company to roll out campus-wide Wi-Fi throughout its 670 acres. Outsourcing enabled Ithaca to tap on Apogee’s deep expertise to efficiently provide students with the Wi-Fi access and bandwidth they need.

2. Solves talent scarcity problem: Acquiring and retaining IT talent remains one of the biggest challenges for institutions. Many schools search extensively for the right talent to support new technology initiatives and core services, but often struggle with finding the right fit. By outsourcing the network, Ithaca College solves a staffing problem too. According to Gerald Hector, Ithaca College’s vice president for finance and administration, “By tapping into Apogee’s higher education wireless expertise, instead of handling this major overhaul in-house, we estimate saving three years of staff time.”

3. 24/7 support, superior student service: Students today expect 24/7 support when connectivity issues arise. As most staff members keep regular work hours, most schools do not have around-the-clock support. For the students living at Birmingham-Southern College’s 36 residential buildings, however, the school provides 24/7 support for an unlimited number of devices, security monitoring, as well as boots-on-the-ground support from a dedicated full-time Apogee-trained campus coordinator.

“As IT departments at colleges and universities continue to navigate a challenging environment from both a budget and talent viewpoint, outsourcing has become a proven panacea,” said Chuck Brady, Apogee’s founder and CEO. “Since our founding almost two decades ago, Apogee has today become the trusted ResNet partner for universities large and small, public and private. For future university partners in the decade to come, we look forward to applying our best practices in cost-management, scalable technologies and 24/7 support to ensure their success.”

About Apogee
Apogee is the largest, most innovative provider of on-campus residential networks (ResNet) in higher education. Partnering with Apogee for ResNet services allows colleges and universities to enhance their network infrastructure while offloading the growing volume of administrative responsibilities associated with managing a student network. This partnership allows IT, Business and Housing to focus on the mission-critical tasks of the university. Find out why nine out of 10 schools that outsource their ResNet choose Apogee at apogee.us.

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SUNY Buffalo State Lauds the Many Benefits of Outsourcing ResNet in Campus Technology Magazine

Austin, TX and Buffalo, NY, March 9, 2015 – Apogee, higher education’s largest ResNet provider, today announced that recent partner SUNY Buffalo State has been featured in leading higher
ed media outlet, Campus Technology, in an article titled “Why we Outsourced our ResNet.”
This article, written by SUNY Buffalo State’s director of housing Kris Kaufman, recounts the university’s successful transition from an old, in-house network struggling to keep up with rising student demand to one of higher ed’s most advanced 100 percent Wi-Fied residential networks managed by Apogee.

“Our existing infrastructure simply couldn’t keep up,” Kaufman writes. “We ultimately chose ResNet provider Apogee because the company met all [our] criteria and could offer a better service 24/7 than we could in-house.”

Before partnering with Apogee, only two of SUNY Buffalo’s 11 residential halls featured wireless connectivity, and the school could only provide technical support on weekdays. According to the article, outsourcing has allowed SUNY Buffalo State to deliver a new and comprehensive student network weeks before students arrived. Since then, Kaufman writes that this new network has provided the university with a multitude of improvements, including:

• A dramatic increase in bandwidth
• An increase to 100 percent wireless connectivity in all student rooms and
common areas
• A decrease of burden on the staff, who no longer have to monitor RIAA/DMCA violations
• 24/7 technical support

In order for a university to remain competitive, Kaufman says that a well-functioning network is essential. “Housing is a major part of a student’s decision process in choosing a school,” Kaufman writes, “and reliable Internet connectivity is now an expectation.”

Kaufman also provides some advice on how to organize the implementation of a university-wide overhaul, urging among other things to start early and reach out to departments beyond housing.

To read more on SUNY Buffalo State’s ResNet outsourcing process, visit: http://campustechnology.com/Articles/2015/02/12/Why-We-Outsourced-Our-ResNet.aspx?Page=1

About SUNY Buffalo State
The largest comprehensive four-year college in the SUNY system, Buffalo State educates more than 10,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year and has an alumni population of 100,000. The college is known for its strong community connections and a continuing commitment to providing high-quality lifelong learning opportunities. For more information about SUNY Buffalo State, visit http://suny.buffalostate.edu/

About Apogee
Apogee is the nation’s largest, most innovative provider of on-campus residential networks (ResNet) in higher education. Partnering with Apogee for ResNet services allows colleges and universities to enhance their network infrastructure while offloading the growing volume of administrative responsibilities associated with managing a student network. This partnership allows IT to focus on the mission-critical tasks of the university, such as growing the enterprise network and facilitating the development and use of e-learning tools and content. For more information about Apogee and its services, visit www.apogee.us.

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Three Essential 2015 ResNet Trends

The ResNet Comes of Age as Apogee Celebrates 15 Successful Years as Higher Ed’s ResNet Leader

AUSTIN, TX – Jan 14, 2015 – As the holiday season fizzes into 2015, the beginnings of an era of change are budding. In the last year, the Bring-Your-Own-Everything (BYOE) trend and the explosion of devices are transforming not only the way students are learning and seeking entertainment, but also the way Business, IT and Housing departments in higher ed institutions work together to strategize and service student expectations.

Although many of the trends from previous years continue to dominate the discussion of what’s next, the need to find and implement solutions to existing issues became more pressing in 2014, and will continue into 2015.

Apogee’s Key ResNet trends for the year include:

1. The beginning of the Internet of Things (IoT): As devices tripled at Apogee’s partner universities in 2014, schools are bracing for the next round of smart objects this year, starting with the introduction of wearables such as Google Glass and smartwatches. In the coming year, the IoT is predicted to be the biggest grower of bandwidth consumption and will require dynamic networks that can adapt to deliver added security and meet quality of service expectations. To help cope with the continuous streaming of machine-to-machine data and rapidly-evolving technologies, schools should consider outsourcing the residential network to help offset the capital risk needed to scale the network. Working with a dedicated ResNet specialist will help offset the additional manpower needed for always-on network monitoring and tackle other issues such as latency.

2. The Race for Wi-Fi: More schools are improving their wireless connectivity, with the 2014 ACUTA/NACUBO/ACUHO-I State of the ResNet Study reporting a jump of 16% in schools offering robust wireless coverage (four bars or more) throughout 81 to 100 percent of their campuses. Despite these efforts, more work needs to be done to keep up with student needs, as the study also noted that residential networks lagged behind the administrative and academic networks in wireless coverage. This year, Apogee anticipates that more schools will take action to boost Wi-Fi coverage, which has now become an expected amenity and not a luxury, in an increasingly- competitive housing landscape. EDUCAUSE also noted a greater need than ever for schools to find funding models and source technologies at scale to reduce costs, sustain core service and support innovation.

3. Building a New Tech Ecosystem: As school functions become more heavily dependent on technology, two things have happened: IT infrastructure and technology budgets have become of interest to institutional leaders; and CIOs are now playing a greater role in both strategy and implementation of campus-wide initiatives. A hot topic in 2014 was the realization that there was a need for better communication and collaboration across departments, and this dialog is expected to continue this year. In fact, one in five business officers does not meet with their housing or IT counterparts to discuss their ResNet (2014 State of ResNet Report). In an interview with EDUCAUSE, John Walda, President of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), called on officers to work together to make data-informed decisions, to “better understand the total cost of ownership and the measurable cost savings, revenue enhancements, and service improvements for any technology project”, in order to better predict return on investment.

“As we stand at the dawn of 2015 and reflect on the challenges of 2014, we encourage schools to find a true partner that can work with key stakeholders to design and implement the appropriate strategy and scalable solution, and give students a residential experience that meets or exceeds what they have at home,” said Chuck Brady, CEO of Apogee. “Partnering with Apogee unlocks the full potential of ResNet – by not only helping students to access online content seamlessly; but also helps institutions reduce risk, derive greater value from capital investments and stay competitive.”

About Apogee

Apogee is the largest, most innovative provider of on-campus residential networks (ResNet) in higher education. Partnering with Apogee for ResNet services allows colleges and universities to enhance their network infrastructure while offloading the growing volume of administrative responsibilities associated with managing a student network. This partnership allows IT, Business and Housing to focus on the mission-critical tasks of the university. Find out why nine out of 10 schools that outsource their ResNet choose Apogee at apogee.us.

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Apogee Marks 15 Years of Growth with 100 Percent Renewal Rate

Year After Year, Renewals Prove Universities are Reaping Benefits of Outsourced ResNet

AUSTIN, TX – Nov 12, 2014 – After more than 15 years of successful deployments and accelerated growth, Apogee, higher education’s leading residential network (ResNet) provider, crosses another milestone as the company caps its fiscal year with a 100 percent service renewal rate. This success rate is a testament to the value proposition provided by outsourced ResNet services and by Apogee. Founded in 1998 to serve a handful of university partners, Apogee is today the largest ResNet provider with a broad higher education customer base spanning all 50 states. The company serves thousands of students from a diverse range of schools, from large public institutions to small private colleges.

With a track record for planning and deploying high-speed internet, comprehensive Wi-Fi and providing 24/7 support, Apogee has set the benchmark in the higher education industry for network services that are built around students and administrators’ needs now and in the future. Of the many universities that have recognized Apogee’s high level of innovation and value, Birmingham-Southern College, The College at Brockport (SUNY), University of Mary Washington, Tarleton State University and Upper Iowa University join their growing cohort as Apogee’s most recent university partner service renewals.

“Our exceptionally high contract renewal rate throughout our 15 years in the business is testament to our enduring commitment to excellent service,” said Chuck Brady, chief executive officer, Apogee. “We are pleased that our partner schools have continued to put their faith in us to provide unsurpassed access to the best in education and entertainment for their students.”

According to Anthony Hambey, Vice President of Information Technology, Birmingham-Southern College, “A reliable and robust residential network is the foundation on which true learning thrives. Bandwidth usage trends – such as the advent of video streaming apps and blended learning – will continue to evolve rapidly now and into the future. We are proud to have a proven and trusted partner in Apogee to help Birmingham-Southern navigate and stay ahead of the technological curve, to support us in creating budgetary and manpower efficiencies, and to reduce our capital risk. We look forward to continuing our strategic partnership with the Apogee team.”

About Apogee

Apogee is the largest, most innovative provider of on-campus residential networks (ResNet) in higher education. Partnering with Apogee for ResNet services allows colleges and universities to enhance their network infrastructure while offloading the growing volume of administrative responsibilities associated with managing a student network. This partnership allows IT, Business and Housing to focus on the mission-critical tasks of the university. Find out why nine out of 10 schools that outsource their ResNet choose Apogee at apogee.us.

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Ithaca College Expands Partnership with Apogee to Provide Campus-Wide Wi-Fi Service

Selects Proven Leader for Turn-Key Deployment of Next-Generation AC Wireless Network

ITHACA, NY – October 22, 2014 – Ithaca College today announced it has selected Apogee, higher education’s leading network provider, to deliver turn-key design and deployment of an advanced and comprehensive campus-wide wireless network to better serve its students, faculty and staff. Apogee, already Ithaca’s trusted ResNet partner for the school’s residence halls, has begun Wi-Fi deployment to the rest of campus, including 29 academic and administrative buildings.

With the most advanced technologies and the latest Wi-Fi standards in place, Ithaca College will be able to deliver seamless and reliable wireless coverage throughout its 670 acres; including high-density areas such as lecture halls, auditoriums and dining facilities. Full roaming support and higher bandwidth will also ensure that students and faculty enjoy uninterrupted internet access as they move about the campus or connect multiple devices at one time.

“To achieve our vision of fostering learning in a student-centered community, Ithaca College is committed to delivering a wireless network befitting a modern campus with speed and efficiency,” said Gerald Hector, Vice President for Finance and Administration. “By tapping into Apogee’s higher education wireless expertise, instead of handling this major overhaul in-house, we estimate saving three years of staff time. Additionally, we can now deliver the best Wi-Fi in higher education while providing an efficient solution at a reasonable price.”

Dramatic increases in usage and the number of Wi-Fi enabled devices brought to campus by faculty and staff are creating new demands outside the ResNet. In the past, students, faculty and staff have voiced concerns about spotty connectivity and dropped connections in academic and administrative areas. Students asked for the same Wi-Fi capabilities on the campus networks that they were already experiencing on the residential network, which is operated by Apogee.

“As higher education’s Wi-Fi leader, Apogee is pleased to collaborate with Ithaca College to provide a wireless experience that meets increasing student expectations,” said Chuck Brady, Apogee’s Chief Executive Officer. “Together, we will ensure that the network continues to support the applications needed for a 21st century education, and will ensure it seamlessly scales with exponential growth in devices and technological advances.”

About Ithaca College
From day one, Ithaca College prepares students for personal and professional success through hands-on experience with internships, research and study abroad. Its integrative curriculum builds bridges across disciplines and uniquely blends liberal arts and professional study. Located in New York’s Finger Lakes region, the college is home to 6,100 undergraduate and 460 graduate students and offers over 100 degree programs in its schools of Business, Communications, Humanities and Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Performance, and Music.

About Apogee

Apogee is the largest, most innovative provider of on-campus residential networks (ResNet) in higher education. Partnering with Apogee for ResNet services allows colleges and universities to enhance their network infrastructure while offloading the growing volume of administrative responsibilities associated with managing a student network. This partnership allows IT, Business and Housing to focus on the mission-critical tasks of the university. Find out why nine out of ten schools that outsource their ResNet choose Apogee at apogee.us.

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