As it sprints toward its milestone 150th anniversary, Alabama A&M University is planning for the future with investment in cutting-edge Wi-Fi across its campus to facilitate student learning, research capabilities, collaboration, and security.
The university has named Apogee, the only managed-services provider focused solely on higher education, to provide wireless service for more than 6,900 students and faculty throughout every academic building and area, including the 972-acre Winifred Thomas Agricultural Research Station in Hazel Green.
Founded in 1875 by a former slave, Alabama A&M is a Historical Black College and University and a traditional 1890 land-grant institution. A dynamic and progressive institution committed to academic excellence, AAMU prepares students not only to excel in their careers, but also to succeed at life.
“One of our 2021 strategic goals was to drastically improve our Wi-Fi offering to meet the needs of the university in a world that is more connected than ever before,” said Alabama A&M President Dr. Andrew Hugine. “Our mobility dependence has increased exponentially over the past decade. With the average number of wireless devices jumping from 1.5 to five or more per user, keeping up with this demand in-house has become impractical given our staff and budgets.”
By partnering with Apogee for managed services, A&M will be able to improve connectivity, reliability, performance, IT service and support, and financial predictability, while freeing administrators from the hassles of equipment and network refreshes and giving them the gift of time and energy to focus on important strategic campus initiatives.
Students, faculty, and researchers will return to campus in Spring 2021 to a significantly improved digital experience with the new, state-of-the-art, high-speed, and reliable Wi-Fi network in all four colleges and at the research station.
AAMU’s new Wi-Fi network, which will connect seamlessly with the existing residential network, will provide blended learning opportunities for students to connect to live lectures remotely and view recorded lecture material online. It will foster increased collaboration between peers and teachers for better student outcomes and higher student satisfaction ratings.
And it will let AAMU students feel connected whether in a classroom, studying remotely or elsewhere on campus. They will also have instant access to Apogee’s 24/7/365 support via phone, chat, text, and email. In addition, it will provide real-time location analytics to understand facility utilization and ensure campus safety.
“In response to COVID-19 and growing parental concerns over school-related emergencies, we needed to have the system be able to accurately locate users and devices across the campus as part of our life safety planning and contact tracing strategies,” said Dr. Damian Clarke, Chief Information Officer.
The new managed campus network provides a predictable funding model, comprehensive support, SLA-driven performance metrics, and regular equipment refreshes and to ensure the network is always up-to-date and modernized.
AAMU’s search for a technology partner led them to choose Apogee because of the company’s experience and track record delivering high-speed, cutting edge Wi-Fi to so many universities across the nation.
“Apogee’s proposal met or exceeded AAMU’s expectations across technical requirements, service and response times, and fiscally,” said Clarke. “We look forward to a mutually-beneficial partnership.”
“One of the foundations of our business is helping colleges and universities harness technology to drive their strategic initiatives,” said Matt Loecke, executive vice president of Sales at Apogee. “We are honored to welcome this prestigious school amongst our established HBCU partnerships, and believe that like their peers, AAMU will come to rely on Apogee’s commitment to technological and operational excellence to lay the foundation for their students’ academic success and quality of life.”