Lone Star College System Transforms IT with EMC to Drive Classroom Innovation and Improve Quality of Education
Community College System Deploys EMC Technologies in 97% VMware Virtualized Environment to Enable Faster Delivery of Educational Applications—Delivers New IT Services in Just 2-3 Days Compared to Months
EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) today announced that Lone Star College System, the fastest growing community college system in Texas, has transformed its IT infrastructure with EMC® VMAX® 10K storage and EMC Avamar®, EMC NetWorker® and EMC RecoverPoint™. The college system also uses VMware virtualization and cloud infrastructure technologies for its 97% virtualized infrastructure. As part of its transformation, Lone Star has realigned its IT organization and processes to better support the college system's strategic objectives by providing faster, more reliable access to next-generation classroom technologies. By leveraging Private, Public and Hybrid Clouds for their core infrastructure with help from EMC Global Services, Lone Star achieved enterprise agility, enhanced flexibility, and increased performance.
- Improved Agility—Lone Star has reduced the time to deliver new services to its internal clients from months to just 2-3 days, enabling enhanced learning opportunities in the classroom.
- Increased Efficiency—Lone Star has tripled their storage capacity, while at the same time they reduced the time it spends on storage administration by 20%, enabling its IT staff to collaborate more closely with campus leadership to identify new IT solutions that meet the college system's strategic objectives of improved student learning.
- Top Performance—With increased agility, Lone Star has helped its nursing program, among others, achieve a 100% pass rate on qualifying exams as a result of the state-of-the-art technologies, such as life-like infant simulators, that Lone Star was able to deploy.
Customer Challenges and Solution:
In just three years, Lone Star saw its student population surge from 63,000 to more than 85,000 as the need for a degree in a tough economy and critical workforce training was necessary to compete. As a result, demands of a larger student population were straining performance and reliability of its IT infrastructure. Registration processing would slow down and even halt during peak periods. Delivery of IT resources to support new classes, instructional applications, fundraising systems and other critical systems required weeks or even months of lead time. In addition, Lone Star was seeing increasing demands from the community to offer new courses on technologies and skill sets, such as Oracle databases, that require additional flexibility and scalability.
By consolidating its infrastructure onto the highly trusted, smart and efficient VMAX 10K, Lone Star has dramatically improved its ability to provide students with the latest educational technologies and tools, respond more quickly to the needs of local employers, and increase overall efficiency and reliability of operational systems. To enhance data availability, Lone Star has implemented EMC Avamar, EMC NetWorker and EMC RecoverPoint.
Link Alander, Chief Information Officer, Lone Star College System
Transforming our Business
"Our job is to make sure our IT infrastructure is available around-the-clock. Students need to be able to work at anytime of the day or night to facilitate their learning. The end product is having students graduate, become successful, and improve their lives. Anytime IT can support that instructional mission of the college system, we’re doing the right thing."
"We have transformed the way we operate, looking at the value of the business more than the nuts and bolts of IT. We ask ourselves, 'how do we reduce risk, enable the strategic initiatives of the college system, and provide a new level of service that our users are demanding?' That is the evolution. Any IT department that can help their companies or organizations succeed needs to focus on providing IT-as-a-Service to its clients."
"IT used to focus on what we thought were the hottest technologies and most important projects. Now we spend more resources and time talking to campus presidents on what's needed to enable Lone Star to achieve its mission."
"To stay close to what's happening on campus, I sit on both an IT advisory and business advisory board. We also have a campus executive director in IT who participates in various advisory boards at the individual campuses. This is a shift so we can plan and align our resources better with new requirements coming out of the schools and across the whole college system."
"For example, when our nursing program acquired three life-like infant simulators, there was lot of interest in getting these tools into practice as soon as possible. We provisioned all the necessary back-end equipment so the simulators were running in the classrooms in a matter of days. And because our infrastructure is managed centrally and so flexible, we can regularly move the robots across different campuses so more students can benefit from the use of the technology, without impacting our IT environment. With innovative technologies like these along with high-caliber instructors, it's no surprise that nursing and several other programs at Lone Star are reporting that students have achieved 100% pass rates in their qualifying exams."
"In addition, now that we have the performance to support business intelligence, we can run constant, real-time reports on which classes students are registering for during peak periods. As long we have the staff and classroom space, we can leverage this business intelligence to see the hotspots and open up new sections of our highest-demand classes. So instead of students getting shut out, we're improving their chances of getting into the classes they need and staying engaged."
"We've become a true service organization by listening closely to our customers and proactively working with them to identify their challenges and solutions. It's been a major philosophical change. We're now problem solvers and solution enablers instead of strictly implementers."
"Before we devoted 100% of our time just running our IT infrastructure. Our infrastructure is more efficient and automated now, enabling about one-third of Lone Star's staff to work on adapting our processes and choosing the technologies that will enable us to transform and grow."
"As part of our IT transformation, we have created a new group in IT that evaluates if a Private Cloud, Public Cloud or Hybrid mix should be used to deliver a new service. No longer does everything have to be done in-house. We leverage the scenario that's best for our customers so we can get their services running faster and more cost-efficiently and with the security and availability they need. And with the scalability of our VMAX 10K storage, we have the capacity and shooting power to grow with the business. For example, we used the Hybrid Cloud to deliver a very well-received student orientation service that was customized from an employee orientation program."
"We've significantly reduced the time it takes to roll out a new service because we've built this incredibly dynamic infrastructure. When there's a curriculum or textbook change that requires a new software application, we identify the solution with the business unit, and then can provision the infrastructure in 2-3 days. With 400 applications supporting our classrooms and new ones popping up all the time, our infrastructure's agility is critical to student learning. It's changed the way we do business completely."
EMC Corporation is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. Fundamental to this transformation is cloud computing. Through innovative products and services, EMC accelerates the journey to cloud computing, helping IT departments to store, manage, protect and analyze their most valuable asset — information — in a more agile, trusted and cost-efficient way. Additional information about EMC can be found at www.EMC.com.
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