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Universities of 10,000+ students

Universities of 10,000+ students

A large, distributed IT structure can present a range of problems for large organizations, such as overspending on software licenses and duplication of effort and other expenditures. Universities and higher education institutions with over 10,000 students require a software deployment solution that can be centrally managed and report back on application usage.

Large organizations often look to AppsAnywhere as the catalyst to streamline operations, break down inefficient IT silos, and unify decentralized IT departments.

AppsAnywhere's value to universities of 10,000 students plus

The challenges of application delivery for universities with 10,000+ students

As universities grow to 10,000+ students, so do their IT departments scale, often evolving into several decentralized entities with the requirement of serving smaller groups of users on either a department-by-department or location-by-location basis. While this division of responsibility allows for more focused and attentive IT service to students and faculty, it also results in budgets being divided between those decentralized IT departments. While the total budget often remains the same, or may even exceed a single budget in some cases, this introduces a number of challenges unique to universities of this size.

Firstly, with each branch of a decentralized IT department controlling its own budget, it is often time-consuming, costly or completely non-viable for those budgets to be brought together and used to purchase leading delivery technologies. What makes this so difficult is the impracticality of calculating the weighting of budgets per-department based upon their IT needs and uses. If one department uses more seats of a license should they contribute more? What if another department uses fewer seats of a more expensive license? And how about if two departments are sharing the same pool of concurrent licenses?

Licenses for software delivery tools may also be purchased and implemented separately. IT teams acting entirely independently of each other can result in their employing the same solutions as small to medium-sized universities, only several times over in each faculty's IT team. Along with the increased costs of this, required staff resources may also be duplicated over each faculty along with the high workload of imaging and VDI solutions. Furthermore, if each IT team is delivering software in a slightly different way, it is likely that the user experience will not remain uniform across faculties. For students studying combined or dual discipline courses, this could diminish the digital experience they receive and even cause confusion in areas such as submission of work or file access/saving in certain software titles.

License overlap due to several different departments purchasing their own software licenses can be the largest drain on resources for decentralized IT. Given that faculty IT teams often operate separately in all aspects, it may even be that this drain on resources is not at all evident! For example, for two faculties making use of the same software title, each of them might purchase their own pool of licenses. 500 students for each department results in 1,000 licenses being purchased. Though, perhaps with some reporting tools, it would be exposed that peak concurrent use of these licenses is 600 users. That's 400 surplus licenses which can be multiplied over tens of departments and hundreds or even thousands of software titles; it is easy to see just how much unnecessary expenditure results form this. Imagine what could be done with this wasted budget!

AppsAnywhere's value to universities of 10,000 students plus

The problems AppsAnywhere solve for large universities

AppsAnywhere provides a method of unifying decentralized IT and its delivery methods. The admin portal allows for a central access point for deploying and managing delivery methods as well as manual setup of contextual delivery options based upon a number of parameters, such as app being accessed, location, hardware capabilities, device, operating system, etc. The direct result of this, as well as gaining a better insight into high-level and detailed usage statistics enables more efficient use of budget and, by extension, provides a route to better delivery tools and processes.

With a consolidated delivery estate, the workload for delivery can be greatly reduced. Each IT team may work on a single, much smaller image each, usually for key, common apps. It may even be that many departments have the same requirements when it comes to their key apps and so are able to make use of the same image. Using AppsAnywhere to deploy the rest of their faculty-specific apps through application virtualization or VDI minimizes the timely process of image building and deployment alongside shrinking the support demands coming from their users.

AppsAnywhere provides a method of leveraging non-managed machines, by detecting where this is contextually possible and responding to that by delivering in the respectively appropriate manner. This empowers consolidation of lab machines and university-owned hardware, removing the necessity for periodic hardware upgrades, diminishes the support requirements of these machines and creating more versatile working spaces.

Another significant benefit of using AppsAnywhere in extremely large higher education organizations is the ability to expose where licenses are over or under-subscribed. AppsAnywhere Analytics provides a wide variety of metrics, organizable into custom dashboards. These metrics generate key insight into the use of different delivery tools, the contexts of users, specific information on users' sessions and the usage statistics of each software title delivered through AppsAnywhere. Utilizing this insight to make relevant alterations enables large HE institutions to save money on all aspects of delivery and provide more consistent access to software, therefore providing the best student experience possible from an IT perspective.


Case studies: universities with 10,000+ students