Lincoln University looks to expand BYOD capabilities

The university will also work to enable live streaming of lectures in the near future, says its IT director, Stuart Reilly

Lincoln University will look to expand bring-your-own-device (BYOD) options, and work to enable capabilities to the staff in 2014. According to Stuart Reilly, IT director at the university, this is part of a drive to improve efficiencies in the campus.

“We are looking to provide a bit more opportunity and freedom in the kind of devices that are brought to the campus,” Reilly told Computerworld.

“At the moment we have a very traditional approach to service delivery. We are currently supporting 500 apps and that position is no longer tenable.

“We are looking to flip that model, and maybe support 30 apps on different devices. We already have BYOD at the student level In fact, we are seeing continued growth in wireless, and there are more devices that I don’t manage than I do in campus because students bring multiple devices of their own. What we are looking to do will extend that same capability to the rest of the campus.”

He added that rollout plans for BYOD will depend on government funding, as well as pending insurance payments. Meanwhile, Lincoln University will work on extending its CRM and developing its curriculum delivery methods.

“The Christchurch earthquake changed the way we spent money on IT,” says Reilly.

“We moved from more capital-intensive projects and increased our operational budget, so that we could move to a service model more easily. We run entirely on the infrastructure-as-a-service model now. All our infrastructure is virtualized, and that includes our telephony system.”

Besides implementing Microsoft’s Lync earlier this year, the university has also upgraded its learning management system.

“The upgrade allows us to deliver and archive more of the lecture content and the curriculum itself. We have the ability to capture content and deliver it retrospectively. It also makes it easier for the teaching staff to build content and pull it into the system,” adds Reilly.

The next stage would be to enable live, video streaming from the lecture halls of the university, so students can tune in wherever they are. Reilly says that the university is currently looking at options to enable this, but warns that it might not be available even by 2014.

“We want to leverage what we are specialists of, in order to deliver the best value to our students. We want to work to make content valuable and viable for people now and into the future,” concludes Reilly.

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