Published: September 8, 2023
You already know this: connectivity is a must for colleges and universities around the world. Students want to be connected wherever they are and expect to remain connected. But did you know there’s a kind of learning experience that brings an edge to higher education and brings bottom-line benefits to universities?
Here’s the secret: the network is key.
Your campus network can actually be a profit center. It might sound strange, but let's explore the idea together.
What do you mean, profit center?
We’re all well aware of the gaps in the campus experience. What about using the network to fill them? Take these underperforming or problem areas in organizational operations and transform them into differentiators or positive elements. Think of digital touches that students will tell their friends about – and will bring an enviable return on investment for the institute as a whole.
How does that look for my college or university?
- Optimized Network Management Brings Education with an Edge: If it starts with the network, then it also starts with IT. And that means adding network elements that make IT’s job significantly easier. Today that means moving things to the cloud to simplify the way you deploy and manage a network to save time and costs.
- Data Insights Lead to More Profitable Decisions: Create a connected campus with a network that gives you ultimate visibility and control. Built-in data analytics, explainable machine learning, and AI automation in the cloud. These powerful elements provide insights, reveal patterns, and recommend proactive actions for risk factors in the network. Result: significantly reduce the high cost of false alarms and major outages. Bonus: more insights about user behavior means you can make informed decisions about where to invest IT dollars so it impacts students the best.
- Drive Enrolment with a Digital-First Brand: Optimizing Wi-Fi connectivity has benefits across the entire campus experience. Digital-first becomes a way of life instead of a bonus option, opening up a myriad of possibilities for onboarding cutting-edge curricula like virtual reality robotics, medical programs, or a new-wave fan experience at the campus stadium. A better school brand justifies enrolment costs and demonstrates value that attracts more students and teachers.
What about the students?
With a network built for the future of education, you can easily support and invest in:
- Cutting-edge learning experiences like virtual reality surgery practice and self-directed learning platforms
- Uncompromising connectivity that they can rely on. (If no one’s complaining, then IT is in the good books.)
- A smart campus that anticipates and attunes to student needs and trends. When the school can naturally accommodate the two or three devices each student brings on campus, it builds trust and satisfaction. And also lends itself to adopting more sophisticated experiences and programs, like eSports and augmented reality.
- Student safety and security is a given. They can trust that their data is protected and their physical security is sound.
- Digital-first is the campus culture overall rather than isolated to certain places. Living the student life and learning is as natural as breathing; the campus network should support the full digital-first lifestyle that they expect – and set the example for how to use it to advance in the real world.
All of this ultimately leads to better student outcomes and student impressions. Which translates into more favorable college rankings and higher enrolment rates. When your school can be trusted and relied on to bring greater value to students, the brand speaks for itself.
How do I even get there?
With a complex campus to run, it would be safe to assume that the solution would also be complex. But in actuality, the best network solution is one that functions with simplicity. One network to bring together the disparate elements of your campus under your full control ultimately becomes dollars back into the organization’s pocket. But it does mean a shift in perspective, bringing the network into the forefront and viewing it as the starting point and the central part of the college or university’s bottom-line strategy.
How to develop your network as a strategic asset
The first step is a mind shift towards the network. Start seeing it as the solution to the primary challenges in your school. Think about how it can be used to transform those lemons into lemonade-worth differentiators.
Explore network vendors like Extreme Networks 😊 Find out why they stand out and whether they have what it takes to meet your vision and walk with you on this journey to build a connected campus.
Don’t miss your opportunity to explore more about how Extreme puts the edge in higher education.
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