New Mexico State University (NMSU) has been serving the educational needs of their multi-cultural population since 1888. The land-grant university excels in teaching, research and public service, preparing students for careers in agriculture, the sciences, business, education, engineering, the arts, and social services. As part of their commitment to excellence in education, the university decided to modernize their communications platform.
NMSU’s existing analog communication system was approaching end-of-life. The university wanted a refresh and was looking to take advantage of Cisco IP phones and applications to increase efficiency. However, operating in around 100 buildings spread across a 900-acre campus significantly complicated the project. High cost, business disruption, and length of deployment time were major concerns, as the university first needed to upgrade their infrastructure to support the communications system.
With a large focus on agricultural studies, NMSU understands the vital importance of preserving Earth’s precious and limited resources, as well as reducing pollution and waste. By leveraging new Modern LAN design principles, NMSU was able to develop a plan to responsibly modernize to IP. Black Box (the system integrator) discovered the PoLRE® switch, with SmartPathPoE™ technology, capable of transmitting data and power over new or existing telephony infrastructure 4 times farther than standard Ethernet switches. This solution allowed the customer to:
- Eliminate the need to rip/replace/rebuild the existing and reliable infrastructure, greatly reducing material consumption and preventing approximately 21 tons of cables from entering a landfill.
- Use the existing wiring closets, as opposed to equipping 100+ new closets with backup power and cooling, further reducing material and ongoing energy consumption.
- Reduce the deployment time by 90%, minimizing the disruptions and frustrations to students and faculty. This also reduced the amount of travel during the implementation phase, greatly reducing harmful emissions.
IoTG (Internet of Things to the Power of Green) measures and recognizes environmentally responsible IoT projects. New Mexico State University was awarded the highest rating, 5 stars, for their environmentally responsible modernization to IP telephony.
Creating a Secure Network
As companies modernize to the Internet of Things, each additional IP endpoint connected to the network represents a potential access point for malicious activity. In DartTrace’s 2017 Global Threat Report, it was determined that hackers gained unauthorized access to critical company data through various IoT endpoints, including thermometers, smart artboards, and server closets.
Modern LAN principles provide a fundamentally new approach to network design. For New Mexico State University, leveraging the existing and reliable point-to-point network topology created a physically separate but functionally integrated network path for the new IP phones, ensuring the security of the core business network. “[The solution] allowed us to leverage the centralized location and backup capabilities and create a robust IP backbone for our new IP phones,” says Ray Cadena, NMSU’s Manager of Telecommunication Systems.
A Better Return on Investment
New Mexico State University took a pro-active approach to find new and better ways of supporting their IP modernization objectives in a financially and socially responsible manner. By leveraging PoLRE innovation and applying Modern LAN principles, NMSU was able to significantly accelerate their return on investment. The University decreased deployment time by several years and saved over $1 million in infrastructure costs, reallocating more budget to ROI driving applications.
Congratulations to IoT Pioneer Award winner Rick Lucero of Cisco for helping New Mexico State University overcome their barriers to IP!