On-Campus Residential Networks – Six Top Tips For Greater Student Satisfaction

24-Hour Learning Cycle Demands Dependable & Innovative Customer Support

Austin, TX – May 13, 2015 – In a world of on-demand everything and instantaneous communication, students have become sophisticated consumers of both technology and services. Many colleges and universities, while stepping up to provide Wi-Fi and high-speed Internet for students who own a fast-growing number of devices, are also looking for ways to efficiently and effectively support the myriad of student connectivity issues that come with this device explosion.

“The volume and diversity of support requests have grown tremendously,” said Jeff Tobias, Apogee’s director of student services. “Having anticipated this trend, the Apogee team set an industry benchmark for service by building our 24/7 support infrastructure from the ground-up so as to achieve two goals – provide students with a highly-customized and interactive service while maintaining productivity and efficiency for administrators.”

As the nation’s largest ResNet provider serving many thousands of students each day, Apogee understands that dependable ResNet support helps students succeed. Here are the company’s six top tips for greater student satisfaction:

  1. 24/7 Troubleshooting is Essential: In today’s fast paced learning environment, the need for 24/7 customer service support is greater than ever. Running a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. help desk simply no longer works for a typical college student. When students are rushing to get a term paper done at 2 a.m. and their Internet service goes out, they need help immediately. For many schools that do not outsource, this is more the exception for the norm. According to the 2015 ACUTA/NACUBO/ACUHO-i State of ResNet Report, only 9 percent of schools with in-house networks providing 24/7 support, compared with 68 percent of schools that have outsourced their ResNet. Apogee’s 24/7/365 customer service policy ensures that no student gets left behind. Apogee also maintains a state-of-the-art 24/7 NOC (Network Operations Center) in addition to 24/7 support for any outages or major issues.
  1. Building the Right Team is an Everyday Endeavor: Attracting, hiring, and motivating quality support staff to consistently deliver an “awe-inspiring” support experience is vital to delivering excellent service. Apogee empowers our staff and supervisors to make customer service calls and nurture our team to better meet student and administrator needs – every single day.
  1. Timely Case and Resolution Management:  It is important to know when to scale support staff up or down to address student concerns in a timely manner. The average wait time for each student to speak to an Apogee representative is less than 30 seconds per call, even during peak periods. Additional support capabilities outside of just phone support will become increasingly vital as well.
  1. Making Information Easily Available: Enabling customers and service representatives to find the information they need easily and in ways they are familiar with are crucial. To cater to all the different forms of student communication preferences, Apogee provides support across many mediums including text messaging, social media and instant messaging as well as 24/7 phone support. Apogee also provides a comprehensive support portal that was created with the student in mind. The 2015 State of ResNet Report found that of all the support mediums, live chat grew the fastest in the last year (nine percent), although traditional support methods such as email, call center and on-site or walk-in troubleshooting are still the most popular.
  1. More Devices Mean More Support: Although Apple devices are still king, the need for comprehensive help services to troubleshoot other mobile devices still remains. Apogee expects that this trend will continue with new smartwatches and other smart objects making their foray into homes and on campus.
  1. Feedback Mechanisms and Reporting Ensure Happy Students: Monitoring and analyzing data such as call time per student helps improve effectiveness. Apogee has implemented a number of ways to track service levels and customer experience, including transferring students to a post-call survey for timely feedback, and then proactively reaching out to students in response to survey results. The team has also implemented Twitter tracking for complaints.

 
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 www.apogee.us.
 
Media Contact:
Sharon Sim-Krause
sharon@sim-krause.com
415.420.1889

Did you like this? Share it:

University of Kansas Affirms Partnership With Apogee

University of Kansas Affirms Partnership With Apogee to Provide Wi-Fi and Cable TV Services for New State-of-the-Art Residential Communities

LAWRENCE, KS (Marketwired – April 23, 2015)

The University of Kansas (KU) has selected Apogee, higher education’s largest residential network (ResNet) provider, to provide network services for the university’s newest residential communities, set to open for the 2015-2016 school year.
Apogee, already KU’s trusted ResNet partner, will roll-out high-speed wired and Wi-Fi services, cable television and 24/7 support at the McCarthy Hall apartments, the Oswald and Self Halls as well as the new Daisy Hill Commons, a facility that includes academic services, learning spaces, and classroom.

“Housing is not just an adjunct to the University mission, but an integral part of it. Our vision is to bring active learning and support services directly to where students live,” said Diana Robertson, director of Student Housing at the University of Kansas. “Daisy Hill Commons enables students to take core classes in the Commons classroom, utilize academic services and participate in active learning — just steps from where they live. By partnering with the recognized ResNet leader, we’re able to provide the most cutting edge technologies available in higher ed today to make our vision a reality.”

With advanced networking technologies and the latest Wi-Fi standards, KU’s residential communities are geared to the academic success of students. Daisy Hill Commons, which connects the freshmen-only Oswald and Self Halls, will feature dedicated study space, and a 40-seat classroom offering interactive collaboration opportunities with other students and faculty. In addition, on a rotating basis, there will be University 101, supplemental instruction, UAC advisors, Writing Center and potentially math or other core subject tutoring. Plans also call for an interactive board where prospective students and families can view virtual model rooms.

Student residents as well as faculty and administrators will be able to enjoy:
· High-speed wired and wireless Internet access in all residence halls and the Commons
· Cable television with a wide array of channels
· Full-time, on-site support coordinator
· 24/7/365 troubleshooting and support by phone, email, text and chat
· Device support for all network-capable devices

“Apogee is honored to have this opportunity to expand our partnership with KU, Kansas’ flagship university and one of the nation’s major public research institutions, as their managed ResNet partner,” said Chuck Brady, chief executive officer, Apogee. “Working hand-in-hand with KU’s administration, and leveraging our deep expertise as higher ed’s ResNet leader, we are excited to provide the network infrastructure for this ground-breaking living/learning residential complex that is designed to foster academic success and prepare today’s students for the world of tomorrow.”

About the University of Kansas
Opened in 1866, the University of Kansas is a comprehensive public teaching and research institution with 29,272 students and more than 2,100 faculty members. The university offers more than 40 nationally ranked academic programs, including 26 in the top 25 among public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. For more information about the University of Kansas, visit www.ku.edu

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.

Did you like this? Share it:

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.

Did you like this? Share it:

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.

Did you like this? Share it:

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.

Did you like this? Share it: