Campus network

The critical need for managed campus networks

Campuses are changing rapidly. In every campus – be it a university, a large hospital, a stadium or even a large manufacturing plant, bandwidth utilization is exploding. From streaming media to sensors monitoring equipment, every campus needs a robust and scalable network to ensure the best performance. For example, in the case of a sector like education, this is no longer an option, but a vital necessity. Interactive whiteboards, anywhere learning requirements and virtual campuses demand scalable and intelligent networks. As user demands accelerate, many campus network administrators are evaluating upgrading their network capacity requirements and in many cases, are even looking at redesigning the network to suit current scenarios. 

Today, traditional campus networks are struggling to ensure optimum performance. This is challenging, as it means that campus network administrators need visibility into the types of devices, the applications accessed by the devices, and the key areas witnessing the most traction. If the existing networks have to handle the demands of today’s campus environments, then they have to be redesigned completely. This is because most campus networks currently are designed with the premise that a key activity takes place in a central location, and accessed by users situated in the campus at fixed locations. But today, as we have seen in the case of education, a significant percentage of users are based in remote locations, and hence campus network administrators have to design a network that addresses the accessibility needs of mobile users and cloud-based applications – which can be accessed from anyplace in the world. Today, every piece of content can be stored on the cloud, and served on demand as per need. Most campus network administrators addressed this challenge by upgrading bandwidth or device capacity. But, this is an inefficient approach and can often lead to poor utilization and expensive TCO.  

Today, traditional campus networks can no longer meet expectations, as they are designed on old industry requirements that are not relevant today. Today’s networks can also not take advantage of emerging technologies and network operating models. Networks cannot scale at the pace that the user wants them, leaving network administrators frustrated with the need for ever increasing growth in data and unified communications traffic. Additionally, all business locations do not have the same connectivity, reliability, speed, service and user experience. Most of the times, users are frustrated by poor quality of experience when connecting to the network. As bandwidth costs go through the roof, network administrators are constrained to contain escalating costs, in addition to provisioning new services and bringing about changes to existing networks.

The benefits of Managed Campus Networks

An enterprise’s infrastructure and operations need to keep pace with rapid business shifts and demands. This can be done by leveraging a Managed Campus Networks service from a managed service provider. The service provider can provide a managed services platform that includes automation, AIOps and predictive analytics capabilities, resulting in an efficient network operations service to suit the most demanding requirements. 

Similar to the approach by managed service providers in improving the performance and efficiency of enterprises, a managed campus network provider can offer a suite of services that helps in improving network health and accessibility. Most managed campus network service providers also have highly skilled and certified people that are available globally to help in provisioning the best network from an accessibility and performance perspective. These service providers also have the requisite processes and governance frameworks that are certified by industry bodies (ISO, ITIL) to deliver services with qualify, assurance and governance. The major managed campus network service providers also have strategic partnerships with the leading network equipment manufacturers with service integrations for ensuring fast incident resolution.  Service providers also follow the secure by design approach to ensure robust controls and governance, which help in ensuring a good security posture.

By adopting a managed campus network service, enterprises can move to a standardized and platform delivered service, which ensures a far more efficient network operational model. An improvement in security posture is also ensured as the service provider follows best practices and processes to ensure secure connectivity. The enterprise also gains access to modern management tools and platforms which help in delivering automation, AIOps and predictive analytics services that ultimately improves network quality. Efficiencies and cost savings are assured, as the enterprise benefits from economies of scale. More importantly, specialist skills and huge experience in managed network services delivery, helps in delivering the required improvements in service quality and higher levels of availability. The enterprise gains due to improved business agility which is due to a resilient and high performance network infrastructure that more effectivity delivers for modern business operations. This also helps enterprises keep pace with skills transformation to service current and future technology needs.

Today, campuses are a hot bed of innovation. A managed campus network service provider can help in removing complexity, simplifying operations and embracing the latest technologies to create a highly responsive network ecosystem, that helps these enterprises use technology to boost collaboration and productivity and take innovation to a different level!

This article has been written by Manoj Chitgopeker, Senior Director – Managed Network and Collaboration Services, NTT Ltd. in India

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