Fierce Education Editor-in-Chief and Director of Content Elliot Markowitz recently interviewed Roger Sands, co-founder and CEO of Wyebot Inc. regarding the impact artificial intelligence is having on the higher education industry and how Wyebot is working with colleges and universities.
Sands has more than 20 years of executive management experience with both successful networking startups and Fortune 500 companies such as Hewlett-Packard’s WW WLAN business, Colubris Networks, Accton Technology, 3com, USRobotics, and Bytex Corporation.
Fierce Education: What do you see as some of the biggest challenges facing higher education in terms of student accessibility?
Roger Sands: Students within higher education are leveraging WiFi as the primary method for connectivity to the internet. WiFi networks are extremely dynamic given the explosion of IoT devices, unlicensed spectrum and increase in real time (voice/video) applications. Delivering a high performance, reliable WiFi infrastructure across the campus is a challenging task.
Fierce Education: Are colleges and universities currently well prepared for the demand needed to seamlessly and securely connect all students and faculty to materials as well as each other?
Sands: The challenge with the demand for seamlessly and securely connecting students and faculty to their materials and each other is the requirements are constantly changing. So, being prepared today does not mean the university will be ready for tomorrow. As mentioned in the previous answer, the number of connected devices and user applications (educational and personal) are changing rapidly. The important element of success is the ability to monitor telemetry data pertaining to these key end user attributes and model what this will look like over the next few years. Depending on the university, they are in various stages of preparedness.
Fierce Education: How has Wyebot worked with higher education institutions to increase their bandwidth, connectivity and accessibility to ensure all students are able to receive the same engagement levels?
Sands: Given the critical importance of the WiFi network, AI based automation technology is required to keep up with the dynamic nature of these networks. Wyebot is the leader in AI-driven WiFi Automation shifting IT from a manual/reactive operation to an automated/proactive operation. This increases the overall performance and reliability of these networks ensuring consistent engagement levels/user experience for all users. We recently teamed up with Suffolk University, where student living was impacted by a building automation issue. Wyebot implemented a WIP (Wireless Intelligence Platform) sensor into the dorm that captured when the thermostats disconnected in real time, automatically alerting the Network team. WIP then provided the Network team with the exact data needed to solve the interoperability issue.
Fierce Education: What is Wyebot doing moving forward to help colleges and universities bridge the digital divide to ensure equal accessibility?
Sands: Wyebot continues to innovate and provide solutions for network automation (supporting next generation WiFi technologies for increased bandwidth and security, support for network services beyond WiFi for optimizing the internet connectivity experience and solutions for mobile devices to deliver optimized learning independent of location). This level of automation delivers best in class user experience while reducing OPEX and enabling IT to support the growing demand for mobile connectivity."
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