CSG Winter 2013 – The Changing Nature of Support #3 – the Cloud and BYOD

Erik Lundberg (Washington), Bill Wrobleski (Michigan), Carol Craig (USC)

Cloud impact on support – our role is changing from provider to broker; support services need to react more quickly as the cloud enables speed to elivery; cloud introduces confusion around boundaries of authority.

Bill notes that they can tell users with issues “google just doesn’t do that”, but executives aren’t willing to hear that. 

Erik says that using cloud providers should save energy somewhere, perhaps in third tier engineering. 

We need people with the skills to program various APIs to integrate cloud and on-campus solutions together. 

User migration to cloud services can take a long time, and if you turn it into a user-run pattern it becomes a support burden. 

BYOD – Steven Sather (Princeton), Russ Kaurloto (USC), Marin Stanek (Colorado)

Embrace the drench!

ERP systems don’t support a lot of heterogeneous devices – how do we address that?

Within higher ed we’ve always embraced students bringing their own devices – unlike industry.

USC – ~2.5 wireless devices per person; number of wifi APs – 4,518; Number of simultaneous connections: 26,751; peak video streaming: 2.9 Gbps (on wireless only).

Devices (one typical day, just registered devices): 13 Roku; 79 Plastation 3; Apple TV 867; iPod 3,068; iPad 5,187

Network architecture considerations: wireless priority over wired – the new norm? should we still do end station wiring? multi-tiered segmented wireless networks? cellular DAS network overlays? SDN (software defined networks).

The time to delivery of support materials is shrinking and the number of devices people are using is huge. 

How do you structure the support organization to very high touch support for a set of VIPs and support BYOD for the masses, and how do you structure funding for that?

It’s now everyone in IT that has to do customer support. We’re consultants more than we are solution providers. 

Even if we can’t resolve the problem with cloud providers, if we communicate around it people understand and may be satisfied – at least for students. Not true for faculty and staff. 

Will the Knowledge Base of the future be forums where the crowd can contribute answers?




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