“It was important to the developer for the resident students of Progressive College Living to have consistent and reliable WiFi access to the Internet,” said PCL Property Director Starr Hall. “However, we acknowledged early in the project that we were not IT experts. Our ability to meet this critical business objective was beyond the scope and limits of our capability.”
Today’s generation of college-age students have grown up in a digital society, and they now live, work, and play in an on-line society. Wireless Internet access is no longer something “nice to have” for this generation, it’s a necessity! However, the ability to provide a consistent and reliable wireless Internet solution across a multi-resident property such as PCL can be a huge challenge. From various sources of RF interference that affect wireless signals to controlling bandwidth usage for each individual user, providing a consistent and reliable WiFi solution is difficult at best. “In addition, one of our biggest fears was the security of this solution for our student residents. We are making sure that our WiFi solution protected our student residents from the dangers of on-line access as much as possible,” said Hall.
Progressive College Living & RESNET
To meet these challenges, PCL turned to RESNET and their innovative technology solutions and services to help meet the business objectives of the property management team. “RESNET not only worked with us to design a solution to meet our needs, but more importantly, they provided the 24/7 monitoring and management of the solution that we desperately needed to provide the on-going technical expertise we did not otherwise have,” said Hall.
“This request was not unique,” said Terry Pealor, CTO of RESNET. “We have been hearing this from our customer base for a while now. These property owners care deeply about their residents and they really want to improve the living experience of their residents who live on their property, and they understand that wireless Internet access is an important element to meet that goal. At the same time, they realize this requires a skill set far different than most have as part of their normal property management team.”
Even when property managers have IT expertise on staff, the service they provide is mostly in a reactive mode. In other words, when the WiFi becomes unavailable, the residents call and complain, and the IT person jumps into action and attempts to identify and fix the problem. However, at this point, the WiFi is down and the end users are already negatively impacted. “Unfortunately, this is the standard for technology support in our industry,” said Pealor. “But, we take a very different approach.”
Through real-time monitoring and management, RESNET’s 24/7 operations team has the ability to identify problems and issues early in their development, and this can help the team react and intervene before the performance of WiFi solution is affected and the residents impacted. Pealor describes it as a “utility like service,” where customers consume the WiFi like a utility service without all the stress, hassle, and headache of knowing how it works and requiring the knowledge to maintain it. “Just like a light switch, when you flip it, you expect the lights to come on,” Terry explains. “You don’t care what actually happens to make the light come on, you just expect it to work. We take that same approach with WiFi.”
“Their website says that RESNET ‘Keeps your residents connected and happy’ and that is exactly what they do!” says Hall. “That is one huge burden off our shoulders and allows us to focus our time and energy on all the other aspects of providing our student residents with a wonderful living experience and not have to worry about the technology in use.”
Additional information about Progressive College Living can be found at: http://www.progressivecollegeliving.com/