Flinders University Invests in Next-Generation Campus Network Deliver World-Class Learning Experience
Cisco and Dimension Data Support the Digital Transformation of the University
ADELAIDE, Australia – July 9, 2013 — Flinders University, a leading Adelaide-based academic institution with almost 22,000 students and nearly 2,000 staff, is partnering with Cisco and Dimension Data to build a next-generation campus network that will deliver a world-class learning experience for students, researchers and staff.
"The Cisco platform represents a transformational leap in Flinders' ICT capability, giving the University's staff and students easy and secure access to a high-performance system that also has the capacity to meet the University's demands well into the future," said Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber, at Flinders University.
Flinders University is partnering with Cisco and Dimension Data to implement an intelligent network based on Cisco® Unified Access combined with advanced mobility and video technologies. In making this $14 million IT investment, Flinders University also took advantage of financing from Cisco Capital®, which helps ease the pressure on budgets and enables the University to invest valuable cash in other areas. It will provide a platform for innovation, collaboration and efficiency and will deliver the following benefits for the University's students and staff:
- Interactive student experience on campus: The next-generation network will enable Flinders University to support bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. Once on campus, students will automatically connect to high-density, high-speed wireless, up to gigabit speeds on IEEE 802.11a/c.
- Enriched learning experience outside of the lecture hall: In line with offering students the best learning experience, the new intelligent network will enable students to stream content, such as high-definition video, onto their tablets that the lecturer has posted onto the University's Learning Management System. Students will also be able to utilise social collaboration to discuss assignments, post questions, locate experts and fellow students, and engage with the tutors to clarify expectations.
- Real-time collaboration between students, staff and other institutions: The high performance Wi-Fi environment and immersive Cisco TelePresence® video conferencing will support high-definition (HD) video and real-time collaboration between colleagues and staff cross-campus. As a member of AARNet, Flinders University will also use the TelePresence Exchange to connect with other member academic institutions and researchers based in Australia and abroad. In particular, Cisco TelePresence will support the University's goal to deepen its engagement with Charles Darwin University and the Northern Territory to help build the regional economic corridor between South Australia and the Northern Territory.
- High-performance research network: The Cisco Unified Access network will support Flinders University in attracting and retaining the best talent. For example, researchers will have access to up to 10 Gbps speeds and can set up a "sandbox environment" to run analytics for a research project. The researcher can then self-provision the necessary number of virtual servers and storage on demand, all the while not impacting the performance of other users on the campus network.
Professor Richard Constantine, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Information Services and CIO, Flinders University, added: "The significant investment that we are making in our next-generation campus network is transforming the way we teach, learn and deliver education at the University. From an IT perspective, it also means that we will spend less time running the network, and more time delivering innovative solutions to our staff and students, so that they are empowered to work their way."
Rodd Cunico, chief executive officer of Dimension Data, said, "Innovation is going to be paramount to the successful deployment at Flinders University in that we are creating something that is very distinct from any other campus. The solution will bring the University to the forefront of technology and lay the foundation for the best possible student experience."
In support of the future Tonsley precinct, Flinders and Cisco are committed to creating a pathway to ICT employment for students that includes "hands-on" learning, industry work experience and technical and business skill development. The company will also provide financial support for a Chair in ICT.
Ken Boal, managing director of Cisco Australia and New Zealand, said: "We have an established relationship with Flinders University and through this latest implementation of our next-generation network, the University will become a global showcase for the digital transformation of higher education."
"Flinders University is leading the education sector in the implementation of a next-generation network of this scale that will offer students a more engaging and interactive experience on campus, while also delivering an enriched learning experience outside of the lecture theatre using social collaboration tools," Mr. Boal said.
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About Dimension Data
Founded in 1983, Dimension Data plc is an ICT services and solutions provider that uses its technology expertise, global service delivery capability, and entrepreneurial spirit to accelerate the business ambitions of its clients. Dimension Data is a member of the NTT Group. www.dimensiondata.com
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