Cloud Networking: The Vital Part of the Equation for Universities and Colleges [Article]

Cloud Networking: The Vital Part of the Equation for Universities and Colleges [Article]

Andy Riley, Sales Director at Daisy explores the benefits of cloud networking for this new generation of hybrid learning…

Eyes to the front, reader. It’s March 2020 and in a quite literal overnight transformation, UK colleges and universities have made the switch to online teaching and learning. For some it’s an entirely new ball game, for others it’s a simple pivot, either way, one thing has become clear – technology has raised its hand to answer the sector’s most pressing question: “How are we going to do this?” and in answering, goes on to be the shining star of its class; the first-class honours student of education of which IT managers and CIOs can be proud.

As lecture theatres and classrooms sat empty, their virtual counterparts filled to the e-rafters as the likes of Zoom, Teams, Skype and other such alternatives were brought to the fore. Together, teaching staff adapted and students adjusted in order to embrace new systems that would help them sit out a global emergency.

Fast forward an entire school year (and then some), it’s clear that online learning is here for the duration. But, now that the global emergency shows signs of waning, how will technology answer the next question of “What now?”

Education has been progressing steadily in becoming smarter for a while now. For example, the use of WiFi can now be used to interpret patterns between dwindling attendance to concentrated location hotspots to help identify students who may not otherwise be speaking up and may otherwise fall under the radar – a major advantage in tackling mental health struggles. Similarly, managed cloud solutions have been adopted to mitigate the costly and labour-intensive process of installing additional hardware throughout the busy Clearing process. But pressures also existed before COVID, such as the delivering of more enriched, personalised learning experiences and increased operational efficiencies. So as great as the progress is, it was progress for a time when education was carried out purely on-site. Today, those pressures still need to be addressed, but must now also work alongside the new, more hybrid learning challenges posed by the pandemic. As a result, there is now also a need for the provision of pro-active infrastructure strategies that can focus students and empower staff when away from campus.

Attempting to solve this equation can often lead to an increasingly complex and distributed IT environment. One that needs to remain secure and robust in a sector battling with limited resources yet needs to be fast, agile and scalable in order to support the needs of today and those – whatever they may be in whatever the circumstances – of the future.

Luckily, solutions do exist out there that can help reduce the need to mix many different technologies into a solution that just isn’t quite right. ExtremeCloud IQ delivered by Daisy, is an end-to-end cloud-driven networking technology that delivers the flexible, agile, scalable, and intelligent solutions to support the unique and complex needs of your institution. From driving a more enriched and personalised learning experience in order to improve learning outcomes, to allowing administrators to protect student information and satisfy compliance requirements, you can accelerate your digital transformation project with confidence.

This article was originally published in Public Sector Focus Magazine July/August 2021 Issue

How to Graduate to a First Class Smart Campus [Infographic]

Daisy and Extreme Networks can help you graduate to a smart campus and improve learning outcomes

Having instant access to everything is now the standard expectation for today’s students. Be it accessing course materials, submitting a piece of work or supporting external visitors, if they can’t connect to a reliable network, your campus connectivity needs to work harder.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a genius to work out a solution – that’s what we’re here for.

Take a look at the infographic below to see how Daisy and Extreme Networks can help you graduate to a smart campus by simplifying and transforming your infrastructure to help nurture top-of-the-class digital learning environments.

 

Daisy Corporate Services Presents ExtremeCloud IQ [Webinar]

Daisy Corporate Services Presents Cloud Networking with ExtremeCloud™ IQ Webinar

Daisy and Extreme Networks host a webinar about the benefits of cloud networking for the public sector.

All public sector organisations operate differently and have different networking needs. But with innovative solutions from Daisy and our partner Extreme Networks, you can deploy and consume cloud networking in whatever way suits you best, while enjoying the benefits it brings in terms of business efficiency, reduced complexity, and intelligence from actionable business and IT insights, to name but a few.

Watch our webinar on-demand to learn how easily you can transform your organisation’s efficiency and costs by making the switch to cloud-managed networks. This webinar also gives a high-level demo of ExtremeCloud™ IQ to show how this end-to-end cloud network management tool is helping public sector organisations.

Protecting and Monitoring Student Safety [Video]

Daisy and Extreme Networks make security in education easier to achieve by minimising or mitigating any potential risks

Today’s education networks face unique challenges, from having a secure infrastructure capable of supporting modern classroom technology to limited or no visibility of network usage. Additionally, these challenges can create risks for both student and staff safety.

Together, Daisy and Extreme Networks provide campuses with open, software-driven educational networking solutions that are agile, adaptive and secure. Extreme Management Centre technologies give a granular view into student activity and enable IT departments to reduce their risk profile and create a more efficient educational environment.

Watch our video to see how you can maximise network security, student safety, and network performance.

Overcoming public sector cybersecurity challenges

Don’t Make It Easier For The ‘Dark Side’: Overcoming Public Sector Cybersecurity Challenges

Andy Riley, Director of Public Sector Sales offers advice on how the public sector can mitigate cybersecurity risk.

Public sector organisations face an ongoing battle to fend off cyberattacks – you only need to read the news headlines to see the latest cybersecurity incident. Hackney Council found out the hard way towards the end of last year, when its IT systems and services were the target of a serious cyberattack. There are no signs that cybersecurity challenges are getting easier either; in October the National Cyber Security Centre revealed a 20% increase in the number of major cyberattacks it blocked in the last year. The financial cost of successful cyberattacks is huge, with figures from the Ponemon Institute revealing the cost to large organisations is on average, £5.3m.
Continue reading “Don’t Make It Easier For The ‘Dark Side’: Overcoming Public Sector Cybersecurity Challenges”

Care and Connectivity Must Rule UK Campuses

WiFi: Why a connection shared can be a problem halved.

In its 2020 strategy, The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) outlined, unsurprisingly, that “digital advances are changing the ways students want to explore their options and engage with universities and colleges”.

But 2020, as we all know, has turned many strategies on their heads and for the education sector it’s now the universities and colleges who have had to change the way they engage with their students. But, institutions could, and will, use crisis situations to sharpen strategies as thoughts are already turning to the outbreak’s longer-term implications for beyond the 2020-21 academic year.

The lesson here is that it’s now not the most technologically advanced colleges or campuses that will outrun the competition, it will be the most caring – and it’s time we stopped treating those two things separately.

Rewind only 10 years and lectures up and down the country were being delivered via PowerPoint – or something like it – to students avidly taking notes in good old fashioned notebooks. While over in the halls of residence, students were connecting one laptop to a LAN cable – things have changed fast, so yes, the need for fast, secure and reliable WiFi within the education environment is unprecedented. But what’s the real cost?

Futureproofing campuses by installing hyper-fast Internet connectivity will only take success so far. Yes, it means course content can be delivered – from anywhere – via Teams, yes it means student support or bursary allowances can be processed quickly, and yes, it does mean greater collaboration between faculty staff, students, support, and administrative departments. But what good is this when there is still potential to fail students?

University life is one of the biggest transitions our young adults are going to make. The distance from home, the sudden fending for one’s self, the shift from being financially dependent to financially responsible can in some cases be too heavy a pressure on someone not yet 20. So care – as well as connectivity – must be rule of thumb. And if we start with the latter, the former will follow.

Gone are the days of the one student, one laptop trend. This generation is coming from homes where they’ve had the luxury of private networks allowing unlimited streaming of multiple devices without lag or falter. These students want an always-on, home-from-home experience the second they unlock their dorms. Give them that, and you’re getting them off to the best start. You’re providing access to course materials, social media, Skype for ringing home, campus intranet and all on-site support services from student unions to accommodations services and financial aid.

Beyond that, you’re developing infrastructure with care at its core. Once in place, there are myriad ways of enhancing that network so that it can start interpreting data; start noticing patterns between dwindling attendance to concentrated location hotspots to help identify students – at any point in their further or higher education career – who may not otherwise be speaking up and may otherwise fall under the radar…

So you see networks really are important. Digitally transform one with tech, and you develop another with care.

Richard Beeston is Product Director at Daisy Corporate Services.

This article was originally published in Public Sector Focus March/April 2020

Public Sector Focus: COVID-19, Continuity & Resilience

As the UK’s business continuity industry leader, we’ve produced a must-have booklet to help the public sector identify and maximise the learning opportunities of COVID-19 from a contingency planning and resilience perspective.

The content will benefit anyone involved in supporting your civil contingency obligations as well as those involved in maintaining the continuity and resilience internally across your IT infrastructure and working practices. The content includes:

  • COVID-19: What’s the business continuity difference?
  • Keeping the basics covered: Assess, Plan, Advise
  • Post COVID-19 planning pointers
  • Finding the positive outcomes from COVID-19
  • New research: Key challenges for local and central government, NHS, education and emergency services

WiFi: Why a Connection Shared Can Be a Problem Halved

Richard Beeston, Director of Product, explains why true digital transformation in the education sector isn’t about caring about the technology, but ensuring that the technology cares.

In its 2020 strategy, The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) outlined, unsurprisingly, that “digital advances are changing the ways students want to explore their options and engage with universities and colleges”.

By now, there aren’t many of us left who don’t know this. Indeed, one of the prominent buzz phrases of the day is digital transformation and at its simplest level, it means transforming an organisation’s core business to better meet customer needs by leveraging technology and data. In education, that target customer is largely students, though it also includes faculty staff, alumni, and others.

Almost every college and university in the UK has already either embarked on or at least identified its own need for a digital transformation strategy; understanding that in order to be competitive in a period of unprecedented change, they need to be providing “smarter campuses” to better attract and serve both staff and students alike. But while understanding the need to transform is great, how many of us actually understand why they’re doing it and how they can do it in order to make a real difference?

Beating the competition

Curveball: It’s not the most technologically advanced colleges or campuses that will outrun the competition, it will be the most caring – and the lesson here is that it’s time we stopped treating those two things as being mutually exclusive.

Rewind only 10 years and lectures up and down the country were being delivered via PowerPoint – or something like it – to students avidly taking notes down in good old fashioned notebooks. While over in the halls of residence, students were connecting one laptop to a LAN cable – things have changed fast, so yes, the need for fast, secure and reliable WiFi within the education environment is unprecedented. But what’s the real cost?

Futureproofing campuses by installing hyper-fast Internet connectivity will only take success so far. Yes, it means course content can be delivered via Teams, yes it means student support or bursary allowances can be processed quickly, and yes, it does mean greater collaboration between faculty staff, students, support, and administrative departments. But what good is this when there is still potential to fail students?

Connecting your campus with care at its core

University life is one of the biggest transitions our young adults are going to make. The distance from home, the sudden fending for one’s self, the shift from being financially dependent to financially responsible can in some cases be too heavy a pressure on someone not yet 20. So care – as well as connectivity – must be rule of thumb. And if we start with the latter, the former will follow.

Gone are the days of the one student, one laptop trend. This generation is coming from homes where they’ve had the luxury of their own personal network allowing unlimited streaming of multiple devices without lag or falter. These students want an always-on, home from home experience the second they unlock their dorms. Give them that, and you’re getting them off to the best start. You’re providing access to course materials, social media, Skype for ringing home, campus intranet and all on-site support services from student unions to accommodations services and financial aid.

Beyond that, you’re developing infrastructure with care at its core. Once in place, there are myriad ways of enhancing that network so that it can start interpreting data; start noticing patterns between dwindling attendance to concentrated location hotspots to help identify students – at any point in their further or higher education career – who may not otherwise be speaking up and may otherwise fall under the radar…

So you see networks really are important. Digitally transform one with tech, and you develop another with care.

This article was originally published in Education Technology Magazine April 2020

Daisy’s CloudBridge Portal | Cloud Management Made Simple

The simple way to manage your cloud estate

Check out our 60 second video and find out how CloudBridge portal can save you time and give you the visibility and control you need to easily manage your cloud estate.

Manage your cloud services from a single dashboard

With the Daisy CloudBridge Portal, you can easily control your cloud estate from a single dashboard. Add Microsoft 365 licences, allocate them to users, view event logs, analyse billing and reporting, view usage of compute, storage, and network, plus get complete cost visibility including forecasts giving you a view into the future.

Self-serve Microsoft 365 subscriptions at the click of a button

No more requests and time spent waiting for Microsoft 365 subscriptions. With the Daisy CloudBridge Portal, you can add licences in just a few clicks with complete cost visibility, and quickly assign them to users.

Easily add and subtract users and simply allocate licences to each user

You can add users to Microsoft 365 quickly and easily, saving you time and making you more efficient and productive.

View event logs including user history, subscriptions information and subscription changes

View a historical list of events and approval requests, so you are never in the dark and always have an unrestricted view of what’s going on in your cloud estate.

Manage Azure subscriptions and usage

View your Azure usage, costs and reporting as well as all of your subscriptions and users.

Take control with complete cost visibility

The Cloudbridge Portal offers you complete transparency and visibility of your costs. View and export all of your invoices, billing and reporting from one easy to manage location.

View billing and reporting for each service

Dive into each service area for a more granular look at the billing and reporting for each service

View usage of compute, storage, and virtual network

You can easily stay on top of compute, storage, and network to ensure everything runs smoothly and there are no nasty surprises.

See into the future. Forecast future usage and costs

Use predictive forecasting to see into the future to help you make informed decisions without any guesswork.

To find out more about CloudBridge, visit our CloudBridge page or get in touch with one of our cloud experts.