Around Apogee hallways – I mean Zoom meetings nowadays – nothing gets us as excited or generates more buzz than the launch of a new service or feature that will improve the customer experience. While Apogee ResNet and Apogee Managed Campus are a well-entrenched part of our services arsenal, today we’re announcing new capabilities for both that significantly ratchet up the user experience for our customers, IT teams, and, of course, students.
The most rewarding part of introducing new features is that they’re inspired by customer input and feedback. As a technology company, it’s easy to fall into the trap of creating things just because we can. This is a poor strategy for creating things that solve real-world problems. At Apogee, we pride ourselves on routinely seeking to understand customer needs and then building services and solutions to address them.
It’s a sign of the times we’re living in, but it’s difficult to talk about the role of your residential network without acknowledging the impact of COVID-19. At this time last year, residence hall Wi-Fi connectivity was about staying ahead of device technology and streaming content trends. Phones and tablets, Netflix and YouTube, Xbox, and PlayStation. All of these ruled your network infrastructure strategy.
None of this has changed, of course. But as schools across the country pivoted to remote and blended learning in the wake of COVID-19, a significant change did take shape: the dorm room became the classroom. Enabling remote synchronous and asynchronous study for students physically on campus has been essential to reopening plans. As a result, students are experiencing first-hand the (likely to be long term) benefits of blended learning to their individual learning styles.
At home, Gen Zers that have broadband connectivity take their Wi-Fi experience for granted. It just works. All the time. No matter what they throw at it. Their expectations are no different once they arrive on campus. In a synchronous learning environment, a dropped connection can have an immediate and lasting negative effect on teaching and learning, never mind overall student satisfaction. The stakes can’t get much higher.
Apogee ResNet makes sense on several fronts. With more than 20 years of exclusive higher education focus, no other provider comes close to Apogee when it comes to knowledge and expertise of student technology trends. Apogee ResNet is quite literally built to exceed student connectivity demands. And our predictable funding model, with regular refreshes built in, ensures it stays that way.
Our new ResNet Student App takes performance and reliability a step further, mimicking the at-home experience for students as they connect and take advantage of your ResNet capabilities. Students can more easily and securely connect to Wi-Fi, manage and share devices among roommates and friends, and reach 24/7/365 support with a simple tap of their screen.
The new app relies on the personal area network (PAN) feature to create a sort of dorm room network. This allows student devices to communicate with each other and be shareable (sharing a printer with a residence hall neighbor on a project deadline is a good example). A simple dashboard makes it easy to see devices and their connectivity status. And single sign-on (SSO) simplifies getting connected, as students don’t have to remember multiple passwords.
In a blended learning world, network infrastructure, learning management systems (LMS), and related technologies are becoming pedagogically mission critical. IT leaders and their teams may have once been a cost center for administration, staff, and student support, but no longer. IT has a new seat at the leadership table – and a new charter to go along with it: to innovate.
But “innovating” is easier said than done.
On top of the technology challenges associated with blended learning, IT departments are already stretched trying to manage the disparate needs of their campus populations. From scientific research to school administrative offices and everything in between, each have their own unique needs and technology requirements. Now the internet of things (IoT), with its accelerating proliferation of connected devices, is creating device management and security headaches.
Apogee Managed Campus Services gets IT teams out of the day-to-day, treadmill-like management of your campus network. Apogee upgrades, installs, and manages your core, wired and wireless infrastructure, supports helpful authentication protocols like SSO and eduroam, enables network segmentation to wall off vulnerable devices from your network servers and data, and can even offload support (offered 24/7), if desired.
Our new Managed Campus Admin portal provides single-pane visibility and manageability of all of your school-owned connected devices. Accessing the portal, you can add, view, edit or delete devices, view connection status, or place flags on missing or damaged devices. The portal also provides an intuitive and easy-to-use tool for assigning devices to specific groups or sub-networks if you want to, say, group devices by building or department. Lastly, you can easily access your ServiceNow dashboard from the portal to create trouble tickets or review status.
In the end, new services and features are a tangible expression of our passion for higher education and our dedication to improving the educational experience. No one understands student wants and desires better than you. No one understands how technology can be used to dramatically enhance the college experience better than Apogee. Our partnership is one of infinite possibility and the reason we show up for work every day.
If you’d like to learn more about how Apogee ResNet or Apogee Managed Campus Services can help you and your institution reach your goals, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about the future impact of blended learning, be sure to read Transform the Educational Experience through Blended Learning. Or, for more on rightsizing your IT operations through outsourcing, check out Rightsize Your Campus Network Infrastructure to Win.