Logicalis US Asks College CIOs: What Do Prospective Students See on Your College Tour?

Solution Provider Shows IT Pros How Digital Technology Directly Impacts Their University’s Image

NEW YORK, June 20, 2017 – Summer is traditionally the time of year students and their parents jump headlong into college tours.  While meandering through lecture halls, laboratories and dorm rooms, visitors to college campuses nationwide are assessing the school’s value based on what they hear and see during those critical few hours. What makes one college rise above the rest? According to Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), it’s all about image – and that image can be dramatically impacted by fully embracing modern digital technologies.

“Everyone knows that our children’s future is going to have a digital component to it,” says Adam Petrovsky, GovEd Practice Leader, Logicalis US. “And that’s why a university’s digital transformation is inextricably linked to its future success. A school’s digital footprint impacts its students’ learning options, the campus’ security strategies, its students’ ability to engage professors electronically, and their ability to quickly and easily navigate the school’s online learning environment. These are the kinds of things that, whether consciously or unconsciously, are noted by students and parents alike.  They are the kinds of things that form the foundation for the school’s image as a progressive, advanced institution.  All of that plays into the image the university projects, which in turn helps it attract and retain the best students and professors and command premium tuitions and donations.”

Four Digital Strategies that Project the Right Image

When prospects and their families take college tours, they talk to current students on campus, and they ask a lot of questions: How much homework is assigned? How easy is it to navigate the online learning system? Do they feel safe on campus? Is distance learning an option? Are professors accessible? These are just a few of the questions that families use to compare institutions as they search for the perfect fit. And, often, digital technologies provide the foundation for students’ positive experiences in each of these critical areas.

  1. Ease of Navigation: If you ask college students today how easy it is to find the information they need to navigate their coursework and college life online, some will unfortunately say they need to log in to a number of separate sites to check grades, to find homework assignments and feedback, to register for classes and pay tuition or housing fees, or to explore sporting and other upcoming social events. How much more satisfied would students be with the university’s online capabilities if the dozen or so apps they interface with on a regular basis could be seamlessly integrated, allowing them to manage their entire student life from a single screen via computer or smart phone? To give students this single-pane-of-glass experience, you’ll need to prep your data center, install automated IT service management tools, and integrate applications – a definite boon to your image if you don’t already provide this.
  2. Physical Security: Today, more than ever before, parents are especially interested in the safety measures on college campuses. When families take a college tour, they’re looking for video surveillance cameras and access control measures, and they’re asking about emergency notification systems. Some of the more advanced schools in the nation are even piloting innovative digital security programs that use each student’s cell phone as a personal safety device, allowing them to press an emergency button to summon campus safety to their exact location, pinpointed via wi-fi and GPS.  Others are experimenting with biometric capabilities in newer smart phones that could potentially be used as secure student IDs for entering access controlled areas such as dorms. If your campus security measures aren’t this digitized, it may be time to talk tech with an experienced solution provider partner.
  3. Campus Extension: Students and parents want the most advanced educational experience their money can buy, which means they have expectations for the technology they see available as they explore your campus. At least some of the lecture halls they visit should have significant audio-visual support – not just a single camera that records the professor with a grainy picture and an indecipherable audio – but advanced AV equipment that includes multiple cameras positioned throughout the hall to simultaneously capture the professor, student interactions and critical whiteboard information. While this level of AV sophistication may not be present in every classroom, it’s important to have some digital learning capabilities available and to talk about what those include.  Can the professor invite guest lecturers from other countries to speak digitally to the class? Can students review a recorded class lecture if they’re out sick, away from campus, or prepping for an exam? Are you providing deaf or foreign language translations digitally? If not, it’s time to determine which needs to prioritize and how to implement them to gain the most bang for your budgetary buck.
  4. Online Collaboration: Ask most students how easy it is to visit their professor in person during posted office hours and you’ll quickly see why some form of online collaboration is needed. Through immersive online video collaboration environments, students can see the professor’s available hours and schedule their own 15- or 30-minute sessions, or simply text the professor and meet in a digital collaboration room. Both student and professor can log in via VOIP from anywhere, at any time to see each other face-to-face, share screens and whiteboards, and even view recorded lectures. These kinds of online collaborative environments are the tools students and professors rave about for their flexibility and efficiency – and that kind of information quickly makes its way to the forefront of conversations with prospective students and their families.

Want to Learn More?

About Logicalis

Logicalis is an international multi-skilled solution provider providing digital enablement services to help customers harness digital technology and innovative services to deliver powerful business outcomes.

Our customers cross industries and geographical regions; our focus is to engage in the dynamics of our customers’ vertical markets including financial services, TMT (telecommunications, media and technology), education, healthcare, retail, government, manufacturing and professional services, and to apply the skills of our 4,000 employees in modernizing key digital pillars, data center and cloud services, security and network infrastructure, workspace communications and collaboration, data and information strategies, and IT operation modernization.

We are the advocates for our customers for some of the world’s leading technology companies including Cisco, HPE, IBM, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow.

The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of over $1.5 billion from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa. It is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the AIM market of the LSE, with revenues of over $6.5 billion.

For more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com.

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