Criminal elements must not be able to penetrate the network to steal student data and school information. Wireless networks must be more than simply password protected; they must make use of today's strongest encryption and intrusion protection systems. The networks must also be in compliance with industry and governmental education communications and security standards.
To provide the best service and value, educational telecommunications networks must coexist and cooperate with legacy systems that are already in place. Ensuring that the campus network can work seamlessly with other systems assures a reliable connection to off-campus networks, including community-wide residential and business telecommunications systems.
Interoperability with local fire, police, EMT, and other first-responder agencies enhances campus and personal safety. Also, connectivity between schools and educational networks enables more effective and affordable online, remote, and distance learning opportunities.
Administrators and IT departments also look for networks that provide functionality beyond strictly educational capabilities. They want communication networks that can enhance operational efficiency. These include capabilities such as real-time inter- and intra-departmental voice, data, and messaging connectivity that improves both operational communications and employee productivity.
Networks should also provide mobile connectivity for instant access to educational materials, staff resources, and emergency assistance. In addition, they must enable operations-enhancing applications such as Learning Management Systems, VoIP, and video conferencing.
By taking note of these key factors for success, school IT departments can identify the technology vendors who would help them achieve all the goals of their e-learning initiatives. While the list of solutions may seem extensive, only the most innovative vendors and partners offer true market leading technologies that combine enterprise class performance with practical pricing models.