Of Universities and Technology

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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Of Universities and Technology

I head back from Paetec World today and I have had a number of very good meetings so far. I have a busy morning planned but before I head off to the day's festivities it is worth pointing out that yesterday I met with a large university in the Midwest who will soon be deploying VoIP.

One of the directors at the university wanted to deploy Cisco because he liked the the phones. Once the test network was up they learned that the Cisco phone system didn't do many of the things they need.

So now they are looking to other vendors.

I could see that the people I met with wanted to have a Cisco solution because much of their network equipment was made by Cisco and they figured it made sense to use the same vendor for everything.

In my subsequent discussions I did learn that there are many times that universities pick a vendor without a formal RFP process. Especially private institutions. For example if the founder of a particular company makes a donation to a college, you can bet that this will in many cases ensure there is not a fair and open RFP process. (I won't give a specific example to protect the innocent)

What is worth mentioning is that universities are now looking to upgrade their networks as a competitive differentiator. In other words a state of the art communications system ensures you can compete effectively for incoming students.

Apparently this wasn't the case when I went to the University of Connecticut in 1985 and they made me use a computer punch card to change one of my courses. It was almost enough to get me to leave the engineering school.

This discussion shows just how important technology has become to attracting the best students. I suspect this will only continue as time goes on.

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