ComSource took the stage at this year's SUNY Residence Life & Housing Administrators (RLHA) conference to discuss modern Residential Networks and their impact on students, community, classroom and budgets. SUNY RLHA is the largest organization of higher education housing officers in New York. This year's conference was hosted at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY and welcomed Residence Life professionals from over thirty SUNY campuses.
Below are the key takeaways from the ComSource team's presentation and ways which you can learn more about ComSource ResNet services.
Connected Students need Connected Campuses
Students are bringing more internet-connected devices to campus each and every year - currently averaging 4-6 per student, but with the growing adoption of new technologies (such as IoT via Voice Assistants, Virtual Reality and wearables), that number is expected to grow at a much faster clip in years to come.
And yes, students rely on, and do more with, these devices than ever before. Underperforming networks struggle to keep up with the demands put on them by video streaming services, cloud, gaming consoles and music streaming. The days of plug-and-play are done... students expect high quality internet to access these platforms in their dorms, common areas, outdoors, and everywhere in between.
University officials agree that ResNet is critical for attracting and retaining students, yet 50% have voiced concerns over their network's ability to meet expectations and general manageability and 68% are concerned over rising costs to support (let alone, improve) residential networks.
Insights for Support and Investment
The rate at which new technology is coming to market far outpaces the cycle of planning, budgeting and executing ResNet infrastructure strategies. As colleges struggle to support legacy networks, or fund basic IT services such as live Help Desks, evaluating next-gen solutions such as WiFi 6 or even 5G mobile connectivity has become an increasingly daunting task.
Half of all Residence Life officials believe rising support costs will prevent new investment in ResNet, and 61% don't think they have access to quality insights and analytics to tell the story of what their campus and students actually need. This has a direct impact on student happiness and academic success, but more importantly, becomes a competitive disadvantage for the university as a whole.
What to Look For in a ResNet Partner
To help reign in costs while maintaining a modern ResNet infrastructure, it is no surprise that outsourced ResNet solutions have grown 2.5x since 2016. Partnering with dedicated ResNet solution providers, like ComSource, lets schools reclaim their valuable IT resources while remaining confident their networks are being monitored and students receive the support they need. Most of all, schools transitioning to outsourced Resnet services have seen an increase in student happiness, retention, and above all - reduced costs.
Mapping out a multi-year, multi-phased refresh strategy is the first step that ComSource takes with our ResNet customers. Understanding the university's mission and strategic goals is priority - and helps align technical requirements with a financial strategy that ensures a modern, high-performing and reliable network that enables students, the campus and classroom for many years to come.