Tag Archives: ACUTA

ACUTA 2017 in Chicago: ASPIRE to Excellence!

Be sure to visit WTC Consulting, Inc. in Booth #407 during the ACUTA 2017 46th Annual Conference & Exhibition.  The event takes place March 19-22, 2017 in the Hilton Chicago.

The theme for the event is ASPIRE to Excellence!  In 30+ educational breakout sessions campus speakers will share their experience and expertise on topics in six critical areas:

  1. Wireless, cellular, and mobility issues
  2. New technology applications
  3. Emergency Management and disaster recovery
  4. VoIP & SIP case studies
  5. Campus regulations
  6. Campus safety

ACUTA, the Association for College and University Technology Advancement, is an international non-profit educational association serving colleges and universities.  ACUTA represents over 1700 individuals at nearly 500 institutions of higher education with members ranging from small schools and community colleges to the largest institutions.

WTC delivers fact based consulting services to higher education and healthcare clients.  Since 1983, WTC has helped organizations solve their most complex financial, technical, operational, and organizational issues related to information technology, facilities, networking, and telecommunications.  WTC has completed over 1,200 engagements for 265 clients.

To learn more about ACUTA and the annual meeting go to www.acuta.org.

To learn more about WTC Consulting, Inc. visit www.wtc-inc.net and our blog www.wtcconsulting.info.  WTC has been a member of ACUTA since 1988.

Posted in About WTC | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Road Show 2017

Posted in About WTC, EDUCAUSE | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTC Celebrating 34 Years

Posted in About WTC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

EDUCAUSE Connect: Denver

WTC Consulting, Inc. will exhibit at the EDUCAUSE Connect event, held March 2-4, 2016 at the Denver Marriot City Center.  The theme of the event is “Solve, Network, Grow.”  EDUCAUSE Connect creates highly interactive, action-driven professional development experiences focused on finding workable solutions, connecting people’s experiences, building professional networks, and growing individual and collective understanding of higher education issues.

During the event, the 250 participants will select one of four learning themes drawn from the Top-Ten IT ISSUES.

2016 Program Learning Themes:

  • Enterprise Services Delivery
  • Leveraging Technology and Data
  • Partnerships and Collaborations
  • Staffing and Talent Development

Additional event opportunities for the attendees include Corporate Displays, The CIO Experience, and two new EDUCAUSE programs:  Management Boot Camp and New IT Managers Program.

EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information.  EDUCAUSE helps those who lead, manage, and use information resources to shape strategic IT decisions at every level.  More than 1,800 colleges and universities and more than 300 corporations create a network where valuable perspectives on IT strategies are shared.

WTC delivers fact based consulting services to higher education and healthcare clients.  Since 1983, WTC has helped organizations solve their complex financial, technical, operational, and organizational issues related to information technology, networking, and telecommunications.  The success of the WTC approach is based on four characteristics:  Structure, Understanding, Simplicity, Experience.

To learn more about EDUCAUSE visit www.educause.edu.

To learn more about WTC Consulting, Inc. visit www.wtc-inc.net and our blog www.wtcconsulting.info.

Posted in About WTC, EDUCAUSE | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTC Celebrating 33 Years

Posted in About WTC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ACUTA 2015 Winter Seminar

WTC Consulting, Inc. is pleased to be an exhibitor at the ACUTA 2015 Winter Seminar held on January 25-28 at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.  The theme for the seminar is Aspire to Shine.  Held at “The Happiest Place on Earth,” this seminar offers attendees two different session tracks to choose from:

Track 1:  Exploring Identity and Access Management Strategies

Authentication and authorization are  functions that touch almost every system and solution leveraged by universities.  Faculty, students, and staff often juggle multiple access credentials for services that have become a vital part of their daily activities.  This track will examine various elements associated with moving to a unifying identity solution for access, roles, and rules enforcement.  The track will highlight federated approaches to include resources outside institutional data centers.

Track 2:  The Ever-Evolving Realm of Mobility

Mobility is in a constant state of change.  Devices, WiFi network standards, and cellular networks have experienced multiple generational changes over the last five years, and this rate of change doesn’t appear to be waning anytime soon.  This track will explore the implications of this constant state of change that influences budgets, projects, teaching practices, staffing requirements, learning outcomes, and strategic plans.

For more information on this event and the full list of educational sessions, please visit www.acuta.org.

WTC Consulting, Inc. has been a member and sponsor of ACUTA since 1988.

To learn more about WTC, visit www.wtc-inc.net and our blog at www.wtcconsulting.info.

Posted in About WTC | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Announcing our 2014 “Road Show”

Take a look at what WTC has in store for 2014.  We are looking forward to all the new shows this year, as well as returning to previously attended events and catching up with old friends.  Hopefully we will see you at one, or many shows this year!

 

Check our website and blog for additional shows in 2014.

 

Posted in About WTC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTC Celebrating 30 Years

Posted in About WTC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

42nd Annual ACUTA Conference & Exhibition

42nd Annual ACUTA Conference & Exhibition
April 14-17, 2013
Manchester Grand Hyatt
San Diego, California
www.acuta.org
Posted in Events | Tagged | Leave a comment

Announcing our 2013 “Road Show”

Take a look below at what WTC has in store for 2013.  We are looking forward to all the new shows this year , as well as returning to previously attended events and catching up with old friends.  Hopefully we will see you at one, or many, shows this year!

EDUCAUSE
West/Southwest Regional Conference
February 12-14, 2013
Sheraton Austin Hotel
Austin, TX
www.educause.edu

HIMSS13
Annual Conference & Exhibition
March 3-7, 2013
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
New Orleans, LA
www.himss.org

CISOA 2013 with ELLUCIAN
March 10-12, 2013
Hyatt Regency Monterey
Monterey, CA
www.cisoa.com

EDUCAUSE
NERCOMP 2013
March 11-13, 2013
Rhode Island Convention Center
Providence, RI
www.educause.edu

CCISDA Spring Conference
March 17-20, 2013
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
Burlingame, CA
www.ccisda.org

EDUCAUSE
Midwest Regional Conference
March 18-20, 2013
Swissotel Chicago
Chicago, IL
www.educause.edu

42nd Annual ACUTA Conference & Exhibition
April  14-17, 2013
Manchester Grand Hyatt
San Diego, CA
www.acuta.org

EDUCAUSE
Southeast Regional Conference
May 29-31, 2013
Westin Buckhead Atlanta
Atlanta, GA
www.educause.edu

ACUHO-I Annual Conference & Exposition
June 15-18, 2013
Minneapolis Convention Center
Minneapolis, MN
www.acuho-i.org

NACUBO 2013 Annual Meeting
July 13-16, 2013
Indiana Convention Center
Indianapolis, IN
www.nacuboannualmeeting.org

EDUCAUSE 2013 Annual Conference
October 15-18, 2013
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, CA
www.educause.edu

Posted in About WTC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making Dollars and Sense out of Cloud Computing- An Article by Phillip Beidelman

“Making Dollars and Sense out of Cloud Computing” – how does one do that?  Although here are many examples of economic advantages associated with some cloud-based applications such as email, document sharing, and some forms of data storage, I cannot report experientially that the cloud is always a sure bet for enterprise services based on cost performance.

The popular wisdom says that using the cloud is cheaper, but lower cost turns out not to be the compelling reason for cloud adoption at the enterprise level.  While the expectation
of lower cost may catch everyone’s attention, accelerating delivery of services and allowing us to do things we otherwise cannot do are often the more compelling reasons for adoption.

To make some sense of the current state of cloud computing with an emphasis on the financial aspects, I will establish a context for my comments by first introducing basic concepts and vocabulary peculiar to cloud technologies.  Next, I will report what WTC as a consulting firm has observed in higher education regarding the cloud including what is driving interest in this area.  I will close with comments about the potential role of the cloud within our institutions along with some cautions.

Basic Concepts and Vocabulary

Using a cloud to characterize access to an undefined set of computing resources finds its roots in many early technologies.  I recall in the late 1970s and early 1980s using cloud symbols with telecommunication engineers to denote the idea of large networks using cloud images to show then-emerging virtual private network (VPN) technology.  The underlying cloud concept dates back to the 1950s with large‑scale mainframes.  It was common to share physical computer access from multiple terminals to drive down the cost of cycle time.  The thought was then – as it is today – to depict pooled technology resources as an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure.  The use of a cloud showed where the dividing line was between the provider and the user.  Cloud computing now extends this boundary to cover servers as well as the network infrastructure commonly found in the Internet.

A good contemporary definition is the one used by the Educause Center for Applied Research (ECAR) describing “. . . a style of computing where massively scalable IT‑enabled capabilities are delivered as a service via the Internet.”  (Source = Attributed to Gartner, “Demystifying the Cloud” ECAR Research Bulletin 4, 2010).

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) goes a bit further and gives us more structure by defining the cloud as “. . . a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on‑demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”  (Source = NIST Special Publication 800‑145).

So much for definitions. What matters is that all cloud services are not created equal and that NIST establishes that all cloud models share five essential characteristics, have three service models, and four deployment models.  Let’s start with the essential
characteristics.

Essential Characteristics

Cloud services have five characteristics: 1) On‑demand self‑service- you can easily access the service from just about anywhere at any time;  2) Broad network access – access can be both fixed and wired, slow and fast, and again, ubiquitous;  3) Resource pooling – there must be a common set of resources shared by many users; 4) Rapid elasticity – growing and shrinking on demand so that you get what you need when you need it, and  5)
Measured service – ideally you will only pay for what you use.

Service Models

These five characteristics are applied against three broad service models. 1) Software as a service (SaaS), 2) Platform as a service (PaaS), and 3) Infrastructure as a service (IaaS).  Following is a little on each of these.  I acknowledge my generous use of NIST sources in defining these ideas.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is the capability for consumers to use the provider’s applications running on a cloud infrastructure.  Facebook, Salesforce, Hotmail, Gmail, Pandora, and Garmin are examples of SaaS.  The software is delivered over a browser and eliminates the need to install and run applications on the customer’s own computers/servers.  Customers do not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even individual application capabilities, with the possible exception of limited user‑specific application configuration settings.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is the capability for consumers to deploy consumer‑created
or acquired applications onto the cloud infrastructure and to use programming languages and tools supported by the provider.  Google App Engine, Force.com, Windows Azure, WOLF,  AppFog, and Parse are examples of PaaS.  This approach is primarily for software development to facilitate development and deploy applications without buying, managing and configuring hardware, middleware and software layers.  The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but does have control over the deployed applications and possibly application hosting environment configurations.

Infrastructure as a Service
(IaaS)
is the capability for consumers to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources including operating systems and applications.  Amazon, Rackspace, GoGrid, CloudSigman, and Nervanix are examples of service providers offering IaaS.  The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure, but has control over operating systems, storage, deployed applications, and possibly limited control of select networking components such as host firewalls.  The computing infrastructure is typically billed on a utility basis with the amount of resources consumed usually reflecting the level of activity.

Deployment Models

Finally, there are four deployment models: 1) Private ‑ operated solely for an organization; 2) Community ‑provisioned for exclusive use by a specific community of consumers with shared concerns; 3) Public ‑ available to the general public; and 4) Hybrid ‑ composition of two or more clouds bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability.

The idea of private cloud deployment models turns out to be a big deal in higher education with the developments in I2 demonstrating the potential for services such as IP Centrex
offered by CENIC in California.

What WTC Sees Going On

Tactically: There is no question that cloud services are off and running, but our experience leads us to believe the actual rate of adoption is most likely slower than the market and some surveys might have us believe.  Here are some facts to back up that idea.

Public cloud workloads have had a 50% Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the last 3 years and server growth has shifted to the cloud with server shipments into public clouds expected to grow at a 60% CAGR through 2013.  On‑premise server growth is expected to decline.  (Source = Morgan Stanley Research May 23, 2011, Cloud Computing Takes off Global survey of IT managers on cloud migration).  Curiously, in that
same study only 8.6% of cloud users cited server hardware as the primary area of savings from the migration to cloud computing and only 1% cited decrease in storage spending.  No compelling financial argument there.

Meanwhile in higher education, there is a different story.  A tracking poll of 150 schools conducted by CDW-G in 2011 shows 29% of higher education institutions have written strategic plans for cloud computing and institutions expect to spend 15% of their IT budgets on the cloud within two years.  Additional information from that poll shows
cloud adoption in higher education to be in the following phases:  32% in discovery; 29% in planning; 28% in implementation; 6% in maintenance, and 5% not considering anything.  Our experience with client engagements that examine applications run in large higher education IT organizations and the full cost of IT services does not match the CDW-G tracking poll.  While we recognize it is possible our clients simply do not mirror the poll, we believe that what is actually happening is a pursuit of the easier targets because they are either completely or virtually free.  This situation is borne out from other results showing that Gmail and Google Docs are both reported as adopted by 50% of respondents, MS Office Live Meeting by 22%, and Salesforce by only 2%.  18% of
respondents indicated no adoption.  We believe this means that once free services are off the table, the rate of adoption in higher education will be slower.

Strategically: So, what is pushing the cloud?  At a technical level, convergence improvements have made the cloud possible.  Leading the pack of key innovations are 1)
virtualization software to run multiple organizations on common physical infrastructure as if independent, 2) the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) to have a standard way to interchange data between providers and users, 3) Web 2.0 technologies to allow web‑based applications to have better user interfaces using standards‑compliant browsers, and 4) cheap commodity internet bandwidth reducing the cost of access.  But the real story is just emerging.

What we see as the big drivers for cloud adoption at an enterprise level will be accelerated-time-to-market for new services, increased access to resources, improved functionality, and getting more done with less.  We think cost reduction will be a secondary motivation.

Compelling evidence for this point of view is found in a set of statistics published by IBM regarding one of their PaaS offerings summarizing experiences of 2,000 of their engagements in the first 6 months of 2011 with 4.5 million daily client transactions, and 1
million managed virtual machines.  The results look to us as a portent for the real message of the cloud.

If the IBM results are anywhere near correct, then we can see the future now.
These results are not about saving money directly, rather they are about improving operations and potentially bringing teaching and learning and research to new levels not formerly available.

Where the Cloud Fits in and Some Cautions

Where to look. So we know the various flavors of cloud services available and can get enthusiastic about their potential role.  Now the question is where do they fit.  It is
useful to acknowledge that not all applications are a good fit for the cloud.  At this point in cloud development, the decision to consider the cloud is driven by a few things: 1) the importance of the application, 2) institutional risk, and 3) economics.  We know that most IT organizations use about 400 different applications, not counting new applications being considered, those on a wish list, or anything involved with special research needs.  Following is our suggestion about how to determine which applications might be cloud
candidates.

First, consider the level of sensitivity associated with the data.  The higher the sensitivity the less likely the cloud is suitable because it is difficult to ensure treatment of data when you do not know where it is and who might have access to it.  Second, consider the degree of importance of the data.  If data is critical to the institution, then again the cloud is a
questionable place for it.  Third, if the operating system you need is not available, then your options are limited.  Fourth, since many pricing mechanisms are data and usage sensitive, applications requiring large uploads or down loads may not be a good choice.  The fifth consideration is licensing.  Some license schemes do not move well to the cloud.
Finally, if data retention is important, then the cloud may not be a good choice.  In summary, filters to determine cloud candidacy would be sensitivity, criticality, OS restrictions, frequency of access and file up and down load size, licensing, and data
retention.

Some Cautions. The advantages of the cloud also have some gotchas.  We suggest you consider some of the trickier decision points: 1) Ownership – how do you secure ownership, 2) Governing law – which state law governs (e.g., where you are, where the provider is, or where the data is), 3) Service Level Agreements – can you really make one that is enforceable, 4) Failure – what to do if and when things go wrong, 5) Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity – what happens when your side or the provider side of the technology fails?  6) Single Point of Failure – is the cloud provider really just that?
When you are ready for a full list of things to think about, you will find “Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View of Cloud Computing” Feb 10, 2009 a useful document.

Summary

The cloud has a solid foothold in higher education in commodity services such as email.  The continued expanded use of the I2 infrastructure will provide a national and global private cloud capable of being used effectively in teaching and learning and research.  Having said that, caution is still a good thing when it comes to enterprise IT.  We believe the rate of adoption will be slower and less financially motivated than some would think.  But the next five years will tell the tale.

 

This article was published in the Fall 2012 ACUTA Journal Volume 16, No.3.

Posted in About WTC, Trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ACUTA 2012 Fall Seminar

WTC Consulting, Inc. is proud to be a sponsor and exhibitor at the ACUTA 2012 Fall Seminar held October 14-17 at the Hilton Americas in Houston, Texas.  This seminar offers attendees two different session tracks to choose from:

Track 1: Voice Communication Trends

This track will explore ideas for leveraging and integrating voice and video technologies in new ways.  Sessions will focus on such issues as SIP and how it’s advancing unified communications, different ways universities are deploying VoIP, how to utilize outsourced and cloud services in the voice and video areas, and what policy and service model changes are needed to effectively remove desk phones.

Track 2: ICT Supporting the Campus- Facilities, Safety, and Instruction

This track will explore how campuses are leveraging technology to make their campus’ physical infrastructure more responsive to its community’s needs.  Sessions are designed to target issues such as the impact of smart grids on intelligent buildings, the use of mapping technologies to aid emergency planning and first-response efforts, multidisciplinary integration of information technologies, multimedia systems, and building management systems into classroom design, and how campus IT units support the use of video as a critical instructional tool.

For more information on this event and the full list of the educational sessions, please visit  www.acuta.org/fs12

WTC Consulting, Inc. has been a member and sponsor of ACUTA since 1988.

Posted in About WTC | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

ACUTA 2011 Fall Seminar

WTC Consulting, Inc. is proud to be a sponsor and exhibitor at the ACUTA 2011 Fall Seminar held October 9–12 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts.  This seminar offers attendees two different session tracks to choose from:

Track 1: Emergency Communications Management

This track will showcase innovative technologies and techniques to coordinate multiple notification systems and social media.  Participants will pick up ideas about collaborating with public safety and emergency coordinators and complying with E911 and other emergency regulations.

Track 2: Supporting Users Communicating on the Move

This track will examine how campuses are utilizing mobile devices and social media as tech support and emergency communications.  Sessions will describe the technical details and collaboration involved in supporting and securing mobile users and integrating mobile devices in curricular and co-curricular activities.

For more information on this event visit the Events & Education tab on www.acuta.org

*Make sure to stop by WTC Consulting, Inc. in booth #22 for your chance to enter and win a free Kindle 3G Wireless!!!

Posted in About WTC | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ACUTA Webinar with Presenter Phillip Beidelman

Thursday, September 22, 2011, from 1:30-2:30 pm EDT, WTC President, Phillip Beildelman, will be presenting the ACUTA Webinar, titled “8 Small Schools Face the Future to Manage Technology.”  This presentation will describe strategic approaches taken by several small institutions to manage and fund technology needs over the next five years.  Topics to be covered will  include strategic technical and financial considerations involving 1) reinvesting in wire to support wireless, 2) strategic hardening of the data network, 3) the role of carrier-neutral DAS and in-building penetration for cellular, 4) increased network resiliency, and 5) identifying the true cost for all of IT.

This webinar will be of special interest to members at small- to medium-sized colleges or universities.  The content is also relevant to  larger universities, but the examples are all taken from different types of smaller institutions.  It is a very special opportunity for those who have limited travel  funds.

What You Need to Participate

  • A computer with a standard browser.
  • Computer speakers or a phone line (for the audio portion of the webinar).
  • Your unique GoToWebinar access link – You will also be required to ‘register’ with GoToWebinar in order to participate.  You will receive a confirmation from ACUTA via e-mail that will include detailed instructions on how to register with GoToWebinar and obtain your unique access link.

The webinar technology integrates the presenter’s slides on the Web with a computer-based or phone-based audio seminar.  The presenter will take your questions via the Web. For more details about system requirements, go to GoToMeeting.com/fec/webinar/webinar_support.

Registration
Payment of your webinar fee ($89 for ACUTA members; $129 for non-members) allows an unlimited number of people from your institution to participate by sharing one Internet and  phone connection.  Webinar slides will be available on the ACUTA website prior to the webinar.

Go to www.acuta.org to reserve your spot now.  (Please register with ACUTA no later than Tuesday, September 20.)

For more information visit www.acuta.org

Posted in About WTC | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Phillip Beidelman to speak at the ACUTA 2011 Summer Seminar

Phillip Beidelman, President of WTC Consulting, Inc. has 42 years of networking and telecommunications experience.  He specializes in higher education and has worked with more than 225 major institutions throughout the country.  Mr. Beidelman is a nationally recognized speaker addressing major organizations in higher education, state and local government, and the private sector.

Mr. Beidelman will speak on “Eight Small Schools Face the Future to Manage Technology.”  This speech will describe strategic approaches taken by several small institutions to manage and fund technology needs over the next five years.  Topics to be covered will include strategic technical and financial considerations involving 1) reinvesting in wire to support wireless, 2) strategic hardening of the data network, 3) the role of carrier-neutral DAS and in-building penetration for cellular, 4) increased network resiliency, and 5) identifying the true cost for all of IT.

“Eight Small Schools Face the Future to Manage Technology” will be presented in Track 1 of the 2011 ACUTA Summer Seminar, in Baltimore on Monday July 18 at 9:15am.  For more information visit www.acuta.org

Posted in About WTC | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ACUTA Summer 2011 Seminar

WTC is proud to be a sponsor of the ACUTA 2011 Summer Seminar held July 17 – 20 at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore, Maryland.  This seminar offers attendees two different session tracks to choose from: Track 1: To Eternity and Beyond—Emerging ICT Technologies, with focuses on emerging technologies and strategies for implementation within your environment; and Track 2: Funding ICT Services, concentrated on economic challenges and how to work around and manage budget cuts and other financial management issues.  As a part of Track 1, on July 18, Phillip Beidelman, president of WTC Consulting, will be speaking on “Eight Small Schools Face the Future To Manage Technology. ”

For more information on this event visit the Events & Education tab on www.acuta.org

Posted in About WTC | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

ACUTA Annual Conference

WTC Consulting, Inc. will be attending the annual ACUTA conference April 3-6, 2011.  The conference is held at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Florida.

For more information or to register visit www.acuta.org

Posted in Events | Tagged | Leave a comment

Dean Oyama and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to Present at 40th Annual ACUTA Conference

The Challenge of a New Rate and Funding Model at Illinois” will be presented by Beth Scheid and Dean Oyama on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, at the 40th Annual ACUTA Conference, held in Orlando, Florida.  Beth Scheid, Associate Director, CITES-University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Dean Oyama, WTC Consulting, Inc.  This presentation will describe how Illinois worked with WTC to create an FTE-based funding model based on bundling services, how they determined what was included in the service bundle, and how they acquired buy-in from the campus community to implement this new rate plan in a research university environment. 

For more information and to register for the 2011 ACUTA Conference visit www.acuta.org

Posted in Rate and Funding Models | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments