With over 16,500 enrolled students, 4,000 of which being full time, Highline College is an example of one of the larger organizations in higher education. Serving this many students and users all of their software consistently and with a good user experience carries some challenges unique to organizations of this size.
Established in 1961 as a community college, Highline college has grown rapidly to support 16,607 enrolled students. Now the most diverse college in Washington, and based in Des Moines, Highline represents more than 120 cultures within its student base, and with this incredible growth in enrolment has come a number of challenges common to colleges of 10,000 students plus. Particularly in the context of IT and software delivery. These challenges may also be accentuated by a strong proportion of part-time enrolled students.
The challenges without AppsAnywhere
Like many organizations we encounter, large or small, Highline college was using a combination of VDI and imaged lab machines to deliver their software estate to students and faculty. Splitting delivery over two methods has its benefits; it solves the issue and an inordinately high workload and resource cost to solely image physical machines. The combination of the two technologies also helps to circumvent the extreme expenditure required to deliver every app launch request via VDI, which also carries with it a significant staff resource overhead due to highly specialized staff being required. Despite providing solutions to various issues raised by using either solution in exclusivity, utilizing VID and physical imaging together raises its own problems, the primary being the necessity to work inside two different environments to deploy software to students, resulting in duplication of work.
"We are excited for the possibilities AppsAnywhere brings to reduce our overall IT Staff workloads and efficiencies related to deploying images and applications to our campus. "
Laurinda Bellinger, IT Project Manager
AppsAnywhere as a solution
Highline College's decided upon AppsAnywhere as a solution and their roadmap details full campus implementation by 2020 and BYOD rollout as a project goal. AppsAnywhere will address key challenges by facilitating the reduction of multiple, physical images and multiple VDI pools, leading to much more efficient use of staff time. With staff resources demanded by imaging and VDI management greatly decreased, more time is liberated to be spent upon key strategic goals and providing support, though support requirements are themselves reduced thanks to AppsAnywhere's seamless user experience and smart prioritization and contextual delivery options.
Similarly, for other large higher education organizations, it is imperative in solving Highline's key software delivery challenges, that students of all situations are considered and served by the changes to IT's systems and processes. AppsAnywhere enables Highline to cater to all students regardless of the non-organization resources available to them by making managed machines much more readily available. Following site-wide implementation, project completion will be defined by BYOD rollout. This will provide a method for software to be executed on non-managed machines without needing to rely upon that machine's hardware capabilities, but with the option to utilize end-user hardware if appropriate. Those relying on the college's resources are awarded more options and more flexibility when it comes to machine/software availability. Furthermore, Highline has a significant representation of part-time students who are on campus less frequently and so require more access to software and machines when they are in attendance. This group of users' requirements can be provided for and both their user experience and student experience will be improved with this boost in availability and versatility.
Whilst enabling student BYOD can provide a route to solving Highline College's challenges, it is in itself, a coveted solution and element of the contemporary student experience. Giving students the freedom and flexibility to complete their coursework in their own time, wherever they like and on their own machines is invaluable to most students and yet, despite its complexity to implement, is all but an expectation of the modern higher education organization. We are excited to measure the success of Highline’s campus implementation and to continue with them on their journey to enabling student BYOD!