Managed IT Services Enable a Public Community College to Transform Programs, Optimize Operations, Empower Faculty, and Drive Greater Student Engagement

June 4, 2021 - by Synoptek

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Customer: A public community college based in Western US Profile: The community college has more than 2,700 teaching and nonteaching staff and is the largest public college in the state of Nevada.
Industry: Non-profit
Services: Managed IT Services

Business Need

Like every other organization, the public community college was greatly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. As countries went under complete lockdowns, education institutions were forced to shift to distance learning – which brought about several challenges for the college. To drive agility and maintain resilience, the community college wanted to adopt tools that could enable them to ensure secure communication and collaboration. Through their Student First initiative, they wanted to provide students with better access to educational opportunities in the workforce. Although their previous provider kept the lights on and provided availability, the services did not take into account initiatives like Student First.

To keep the college running, they wanted an IT partner that could support their Student First initiative, support continuity as well as optimize against lost revenue streams. They also wanted to:

  • Enable remote and home-based workers to continue to pursue their education without interruption
  • Enable timely and secure access to existing resources remotely
  • Ensure governance of the Workspace Experience
  • Provide security awareness training to students and faculty
  • Reduce cost of services for customers experiencing slowdowns, furloughs, and shutdowns
  • Rapidly deploy 50 employees to support the setup and operation of 3 large campuses and 9 satellite learning centers

To meet these business objectives, the college partnered with Managed IT Services expert Synoptek who helped in enabling an exceptional IT Services Experience for students, faculty, and staff.

Solution and Approach

To pursue the community college’s objectives, Synoptek embraced a people- and technology-centric approach focused on specific needs, priorities, and desired outcomes.

Leveraging the scale and capabilities of our organization, we created a Joint Executive Advisory Board, formed a Security Leadership team, and deployed an onsite management team for day-to-day management of activities. We delivered services to meet the level of availability required and drove efficiencies which were invested back into services that directly support the college’s Student First initiative. Because everything had to be done quickly, Synoptek was able to pivot and offer services in an agile and nimble manner.

Our technology experience team along with our digital transformation and infrastructure operations teams delivered following services:

Security Leadership

  • Strategized collaboratively with the college to ensure that tools and procedures are implemented that support overall vision
  • Provided security thought leadership, best practices, and advice in the form of a virtual CISO
  • Reviewed compliance and regulatory requirements as well as security frameworks and provided necessary recommendations for improvement
  • Ensured the highest levels of security in terms of people, process, and technology
  • Created Security Policy, Governance and Training processes to align with the college’s long-term goals and objectives

IT Program and Project Management

  • Understood current processes as well as existing roles and responsibilities
  • Implemented best practices as per PMBOK and tailored our PMO to promote cross-functional mindset
  • Focused on building platforms, enabling digital transformation, and delivering new innovative solutions
  • Implemented a robust Change Management strategy to help faculty realize the vision

IT Service Management

  • Ensured 24/7 delivery across core Operational Centers
  • Enabled continuous improvement around core metrics including customer satisfaction, ticket volume, and SLA
  • Ensured consistent performance of core operational services including Metrics, ITIL processes, and Automation
  • Identified trends and funneled improvement areas back into the larger team

Technology Optimization

Provided end-user Application Support for

  • Operating Systems
  • Office 365
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Webex
  • Canvas
  • Portal and all other supported software

Delivered Workstation Management and Support including

  • Desktop administration
  • Remote control
  • New employee provisioning/reimaging
  • Email and active directory provisioning
  • Software distribution
  • Vendor escalation management
  • Asset tracking
  • Patch management
  • Endpoint configuration and control

Enabled Computer Lab Management including

  • Recruiting, developing, and managing student workers
  • Refreshing systems
  • Monitoring lab activity

Enabled Classroom Technologies including

  • Audio and visual systems
  • Conferencing equipment
  • Smart classrooms and carts
  • Interactive learning environments

Delivered eLearning solutions including

  • Audio and visual systems
  • Smart e Class Room
  • Interactive Distance learning environments

Provided Systems Management and Support for

  • Physical and Virtual Servers
  • VMware
  • Patching/Updates
  • Enterprise Storage, backup and DR
  • Data Management
  • Database Administration
  • Archival Requirements
  • Cloud Storage
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Backup Systems
  • DR Systems

Delivered Cloud and Data Center Support including

  • On Customer Premise Management
  • Collocation
    • CSN Data Center
    • Switch – Las Vegas Data Center
    • Access to Equinix/CoreSite and other data centers globally
  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
    • Private Cloud
    • Hybrid Cloud
    • Public Cloud (MS Azure, AWS, GCP)

Enabled Network Management including

  • 24x7x365 Network administration
  • Threshold and Performance Monitoring
  • LAN
  • Firewall Management
    • Router Management
    • Switch Management
    • Wireless management and Optimization
  • WAN
    • SDwan Topology
    • Circuit Management
    • Load Balancer Management
  • Vender Escalation
  • Monitor/Alert/Remediation

Provided IP Telephony services including

  • Unified Communications
  • Contact Center Applications

Set up Video Systems for

  • Video Conferencing
  • Smart Classroom Systems
  • Digital Signage

Delivered Managed Application Services across

  • Application Support & Maintenance
    • Enterprise Applications – SaaS
    • 3rd Party Apps On-Prem Apps
    • Custom Applications
  • Academic Technologies
  • Database Administration
  • Integration services, APIs
  • Portal and Web Development

Business Benefits

The comprehensive range of Managed IT Services provided by Synoptek has enabled the public community college to respond to the changes brought about the pandemic with increased agility and resilience. Today, the college can:

  • Deliver on the promise of their Student First initiative
  • Engage students via natural and personalized teaching experiences
  • Empower faculty and staff by establishing a multi-style, data-driven workplace culture
  • Optimize operations via intelligent processes and automation
  • Improve skills of the workforce via specialized training
  • Enable value-based education by transforming online programs
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