University of Illinois Chicago

Network Strategic Plan


The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) requires a world-class, agile and secure communications platform that will support both traditional and emerging IT services to meet the university’s educational and research missions. Our project was to deliver a buildable design to transform and modernize their network with the following goals:

  • Ensure clinical environments are reliable and secure
  • Facilitate world-class research and education using the network as transport as well as to directly perform research and develop technologies on and with the network
  • Enhance wireless as the primary consumer network for IT
  • Support highly available critical academic, administrative, facilities and research systems
  • Support and provide collaboration services
  • Replace the phone system with a modern unified communications system
  • Ensure tactical and long-term network agility to support dynamic IT needs and evolving technology trends
  • Reduce deferred maintenance and technical debt moving to a supportable continuous improvement model with sustainable funding

After defining their high-level network vision, Vantage partnered with UIC’s technical staff and provided expert guidance for the detailed design, costing and implementation strategies, including:

  • Benchmark UIC IT versus its peer group
  • Create a coherent design ready for implementation
  • Integrate automation and orchestration
  • Secure by design including role-based access controls, and compliance enclaves/ zones
  • Support research including elephant flows
  • Develop an accelerated deployment strategy to successfully modernize the entire enterprise network, Internet/WAN border and WiFi over an accelerated timeline
  • Innovative ideas to improve operations and reduce costs
  • Provide estimates of the life-cycle costs for selected options for capital costs of equipment and services, ongoing maintenance and operational costs and implementation costs
  • Challenge assumptions and conventional wisdom in support of innovation, risk-informed objectives and stretch goals


  • Realistic and implementable design for a best-in-class network
  • Benchmark the existing network and future vision with peers
  • Modernized network capable of meeting compliance objectives when competing for grants and research funding
  • Continuous improvement plan ensuring the network will always be ready to enable the institutional mission


  • Infrastructure Design
  • IT Costs + Financial
  • Peer Review
  • Strategic Planning
  • Transition Planning
  • Information Security


  • IT Infrastructure
  • IT Systems
  • Network
  • Automation/orchestration
  • Wireless Network
  • Unified Communications
  • Client: University of Illinois Chicago
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Market: Education
  • Project: Network Strategic Plan