• September 5, 2019

Attend the Communications Infrastructure and Applications Pre-Conference Workshop at EDUCAUSE 2019

Attend the Communications Infrastructure and Applications Pre-Conference Workshop at EDUCAUSE 2019

Attend the Communications Infrastructure and Applications Pre-Conference Workshop at EDUCAUSE 2019 1024 683 Vantage Technology Consulting Group

COMMTECH, a consolidation of the former ACUTA group and the EDUCAUSE Communications Infrastructure and Applications Community Group, will be hosting a pre-conference workshop again at the EDUCAUSE 2019 Annual Conference on Monday October 14th. The pre-conference workshop includes topics that will be of interest to anyone involved with communications infrastructure in higher education and includes two separate sessions by Vantage consultants.  While we encourage you to attend the full conference, the pre-conference is a separate registration and attendance for the full conference is optional.

There will also be a reception from 6:00 to 8:30pm at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in the Jackson Park room (CC10 A) hosted by Vantage, Mitel, NEC, PCR 360, Connectivity Wireless, Avistar, and Alcatel-Lucent.  You do not need to be registered for any part of the conference to attend the reception.

Communications Infrastructure in a Cloudy World: Second Annual Update

Agenda Overview

  • 8:00am Welcome and Introductions
  • 8:15am Journey toward Hosted Voice Solutions
  • 9:00am A Vision for a Modernized Network: Visionary or Vision-Impaired
  • 10:00am The Future of Indoor Cellular Technologies
  • 10:45am Technology Funding
  • 12:45pm Quick Round – Analog Service in VoIP World for Life Safety and Robocalls
  • 2:30pm Campus Mass Notification System on a Budget
  • 3:15pm WHAMP: What’s Happening at My Place
  • 6:00pm Reception

Agenda Details

8:15 AM Journey toward Hosted Voice Solutions

Cloud has been a hot topic on our campuses for many years. We’ve seen Amazon, Google, and Microsoft disrupt various segments of our IT service offerings and many of our IT organizations have a cloud strategy, as we recognize the benefits and limitations associated with hosting our things off premise. More recently, we’ve observed cloud disrupting the telephony services provided to our campuses. There seems to be an uptick among colleges and universities adopting Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), Call Center as a Service (CCaaS), and/or Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS).

Panelists include:
9:00 AM A Vision for a Modernized Network: visionary or vision-impaired?

Vantage recently completed the vision for an advanced enterprise fabric-based network as a brownfield replacement at an Ivy League institution. In this session, we’ll start by briefly outlining our original project goals and vision, and then continue with a spirited interactive discussion regarding our project lessons learned, challenges and successes. As a bonus, we’ll discuss the peer reviews we conducted with other higher-ed institutions, and the shared opportunities and challenges identified through those reviews. Key network modernization objectives determined through active discussions with campus stakeholders include: micro-segmentation through role-based access control (RBAC) for WiFi and wired networks, network-as-lab and campus-as-lab, automation and orchestration, multi-vendor designs (playing nice in the sandbox), and compliance zones. This session will move beyond a “sage on the stage” format by using live polling and facilitated discussion between the presenters and the audience. Participants will learn how the institution is modernizing and transforming its campus network from a flat network architecture that has not been significantly improved in many years to a fabric-based network architecture that is poised to meet and exceed institutional network demands for years to come. Participants will leave this session with a series of concrete steps that they can take to improve the enterprise network on their own campuses.

9:45 AM Morning Break


10:00 AM The Future of Indoor Cellular Technologies

This session will cover a myriad of cellular topics that many colleges and universities are wrestling with.  With the hype around 5G and a growing marketing spin that 5G will negate the need for WiFi, what does this mean for colleges and universities?  What should colleges and universities do to better position themselves as the cellular industry moves from LTE to 5G?  There’s also a perception that carriers are moving away from macros toward small cells, are there opportunities to move beyond athletic venues and provide better coverage in academic building and residence halls?  What are the emerging possibilities with CBRS (3.5Ghz) and what can universities do to leverage these possibilities?

  • Bryce Bergen, Connectivity Wireless
10:45 AM Technology Funding

Most institutions are still struggling with the need for a predictable and controllable IT funding model that will keep pace with new applications, rapidly rising demands for technology services, changing revenue sources, and the trends toward fiscal accountability. This has necessitated the need to move away from outdated funding models, cross-subsidization, and unreliable one-time capital allocations and toward approaches which are based on the true cost of services, differentiated service levels, and life-cycle funding. This discussion is based on a case study of one university who thought they had the matter in hand — that is until the new CIO brought with her a new mandate – ‘wireless first’. Cost recovery of the resulting major wireless expansion no longer worked with the transport-based funding model developed to recover VoIP and wired network expansion costs. A new approach was required. While the specifics of this case may not directly apply to your organization, the problems, exploration, and lessons learned are very much applicable. Open discussion will follow the brief presentation.

11:30 AM Lunch


12:45 PM Quick Round

This session will include two topics for general discussion.  The first is on the topic of how to provide analog service in a VoIP world for life safety. Ed Rogers, North Carolina State University, will describe how they had to pull new copper and install new analog to SIP gateways to continue serving elevators, fire alarm dialers, blue lights, etc.  The second session is on the nuisance of robocalls. Andrew Gallo, George Washington University, will provide an update on the state of STIR/SHAKEN implementation activities and how this protocol is posed to address robocalls in an enterprise telephony environment.

1:30 PM IT Service Management for Communications and Collaboration Services

This session will provide a broad overview of ITSM and foster a discussion around the applicability of it to our specialized paradigm of providing communication and collaboration services within higher education. This session will also include a dive into the latest version of ITIL (v4), and the potential this latest version can help us to better manage the services and products we support in today’s higher education technology environments.

2:15 PM Afternoon Break


2:30 PM Campus Mass Notification System on a Budget

In December 2016, Biola University’s IT department was asked to build, test, and deploy a single “proof-of-concept” outdoor public address system to be used as part of a campus-wide lockdown/active shooter drill scheduled for March 8, 2017. Lessons gleaned from other institutions and input from partners led us to believe that we could meet our requirements in a scalable, cost-effective way by leveraging our existing infrastructure: layering Singlewire Software’s InformaCast on top of our Cisco Unified Communications Manager VoIP phone system. In close partnership with Biola’s Campus Safety and Facilities Management teams, as well as external partners, IT finished the project early and came in well under our $25,000 budget, allowing the PA system to be an integral part of Biola’s campus-wide lockdown/active shooter drill in March 2017. Shortly thereafter IT was asked to expand the outdoor PA system to cover the entire campus, and in 2018 Biola added 4 more buildings along with over 100 Cisco phones across campus to broadcast audible alerts. Since then, Campus Safety and IT have partnered to replace Biola’s aging “panic button” system using Cisco phones and InformaCast, and are presently in the process of integrating Early Warning Labs earthquake alert system into our InformaCast infrastructure. This presentation will tell our story from concept to completion including the partners and infrastructure used, a breakdown of our budget and expenses, how we built, tested, and deployed the system, future anticipated uses for this system, and some of the lessons we learned along the way.

3:15 PM WHAMP: What’s Happening at My Place

This session is specifically designed for workshop attendees to contribute to the content of the workshop. If an attendee has a perplexing challenge, an interesting application developed, or simply has a question they’d like others to weigh in on, this is the opportunity to leverage the insight and experiences of everyone attending. This interactive session is typically an attendee favorite and an excellent way to close out the workshop.