As budgets tighten, our state’s higher education institutions often have to do more with less. Through partnerships with Oklahoma colleges and universities, OneNet can often step in to help alleviate this challenge with expert assistance and cost-savings solutions. This was the case when OneNet teamed up with Langston University earlier this year.
Langston University’s IT team knew it was time for a network upgrade, because they were experiencing challenges such as network bottlenecking and Internet and equipment failures. In addition, the IT team had deemed a majority of their equipment at end-of-life.
With a limited budget, Langston’s Chief Information Officer, Pritchard Moncriffe, knew he would have to be creative in finding a solution for this extensive job, so he sought extra help.
“I knew just who to call when we wanted to go through these network upgrades,” Moncriffe said. “My team and I know that we can call OneNet anytime and receive the best customer service from them.”
OneNet jumped on the opportunity to team up with Langston University. OneNet’s network engineers partnered with the university’s IT team to redesign Langston’s network, make plans for implementation and coordinate a vendor.
“Our team was excited to receive the call from Langston for help on their network refresh,” said OneNet’s Director of Network Services Robert Nordmark. “Many of our colleges and universities are unaware that our engineering team is available to assist with design and implementation of campus networks.
OneNet assisted the university with a much-needed network refresh, including new core routing, firewall and switches. OneNet’s engineers also helped with installing a Wi-Fi network in campus housing. OneNet’s entire network operations center team assisted Langston’s IT staff and the vendor over a weekend to make sure that everything was set up and working correctly.
Langston’s IT staff appreciated the expertise OneNet’s team brought to the project.
“It is always nice to be able to talk with someone at OneNet who understands what we are talking about,” said Lenard Smith III, system administrator at Langston University. “It saves a lot of time not having to explain things over and over again.”
“We appreciate that the OneNet team always tries their hardest to find solutions to problems, as well as staying as late as needed to make sure we are happy,” Moncriffe said.
According to Moncriffe, without OneNet’s assistance, his IT team would have faced a much more challenging task.
“If we did not have the assistance of OneNet, it would have been much more difficult, costly and time-consuming to complete a network upgrade,” he said.
Cutting costs and saving time for university IT staff is important to OneNet’s mission, Nordmark said.
“Our team is willing to step in and do anything we can to make their work easier and maximize use of their budget.”
Moncriffe shared that since the network refresh Langston University has seen an upward rise in school spirit. They currently have a total enrollment of approximately 2,950 students, with 675 of those being first-year freshman.
Thanks to the updated wireless throughout the university, the IT team saw tickets requesting help with Wi-Fi decrease from 90 percent to a mere 5 percent. Langston University has also seen network speeds improve to 10 times faster than before the refresh. A fast, reliable network is vital to the success of not only the campus but also its students, and Moncriffe said he is thankful to OneNet for making this possible.
“I don’t know where Langston University would be without OneNet’s network operations center and everyone at OneNet,” he said.
OneNet offers our assistance with network design and implementation to other colleges and universities. If you would like to discuss a project, please feel free to contact Nordmark or any member of the OneNet team.
Story by Britton Stowell, Strategic Planning and Communications Intern Fall 2015