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Posted: 10/26/2012
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Seton Hall University University Uses Latest Operating System to Provide Advanced Learning Opportunities

Seton Hall University wanted to advance its Mobile Computing Program, which provides incoming students with a computer for use throughout their enrollment. After comparing several technologies, it adopted the Windows 8 operating system. By incorporating Windows 8 into its operations, the school benefits from increased student productivity and tighter network security, and is better equipped to prepare students for future success.

Business Needs
Founded in 1856, Seton Hall University is the oldest diocesan-sponsored Catholic institution of higher learning in the United States. The leadership team at Seton Hall University has long promoted incorporating the latest technology into the classroom. “We are committed to providing students with the technology that they need to excel and to become leaders in whatever field they choose,” says Dr. Gabriel Esteban, President of Seton Hall University.

In 1995, the school’s Board of Regents approved an ambitious and forward-thinking strategic IT plan. One major outgrowth of that plan was the development of the university’s Mobile Computing Program. Since 1996, every incoming, full-time student and faculty member at Seton Hall has received a laptop computer through this program. “A major success of this initiative, and certainly one of the challenges we’ve faced in supporting it, has been our effort to keep up with the pace of change in the technology industry over the past two decades,” says Esteban.

Stephen Landry, Chief Information Officer at Seton Hall, agrees. “When we started the program, ‘mobile’ meant a laptop computer. Nowadays, students take their smartphones wherever they go and are much more accustomed to using tablet PCs. They expect a seamless experience across these different devices.”

In 2011, Seton Hall began evaluating ways to update the technology it provides through its Mobile Computing Program. Administrators and IT leaders emphasized the need to ensure straightforward manageability and the highest levels of data protection. They also prioritized ease of use, as well as mobile productivity and collaboration across multiple devices.

Solution
After investigating the market and comparing devices that run varying operating systems, Seton Hall chose to adopt Windows 8 and Windows Phone for its Mobile Computing Program. The university also decided to standardize its desktop computing environment on the Windows 8 operating system to help trim operating costs through simplified IT management.

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* Windows 8 ties everything together. It facilitates students’ ability to consume and create content and collaborate across multiple devices—basically to extend the learning process far beyond the classroom. *

Dr. Gabriel Esteban
President, Seton Hall University

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As part of its involvement in an early adoption program, the university has already begun using Windows 8 on Samsung Series 7 Tablets and Samsung Series 5 laptops, while providing a Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone. Beginning in fall 2012, all first-year students at Seton Hall will receive a tablet device powered by Windows 8 and a Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone when they arrive on campus.

The school’s decision to embrace Windows 8 was based on rigorous comparative testing and input from hundreds of students and faculty. In the fall of 2011, Seton Hall distributed 50 iPads and 400 tablet devices running on Google Android to members of the university community. “We received consistent feedback that people generally liked those consumer devices,” says Landry. “But they missed the familiarity of the Windows interface and the Microsoft Office environment that enables them to be as productive as possible. They wanted a tighter connection between the tablet and desktop experience.” Landry also noted that he appreciates the enterprise-grade security and manageability offered by Microsoft technology. “The more consumer-oriented devices that we tested do not offer the same management and security infrastructure as the Windows 8 operating system.”

In the spring of 2012, the university tested a prerelease version of Windows 8. “With my Windows 8 tablet, I can instantly access my favorite apps to connect with friends and family and stay up-to-date on current events,” explains Deirdre Kane, a junior in the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall. “I can easily transition to work on documents, or follow a presentation that a professor is giving in Microsoft PowerPoint.”

Benefits
By adopting Windows 8, Seton Hall University is experiencing the following benefits:

  • Increased student productivity, expanded learning opportunities.Through its use of Windows 8 on tablet PCs and on Windows Phone-based devices, Seton Hall can help students be more productive from practically anywhere. “Windows 8 ties everything together,” says Esteban. “It facilitates students’ ability to consume and create content and collaborate across multiple devices—basically to extend the learning process far beyond the classroom. This is really the central purpose of our Mobile Computing Program.”

  • Improved network security. By standardizing on Windows 8, the university is able to provide the flexibility and mobility that staff and students want while ensuring that its network infrastructure is rigorously protected from malicious software and other threats. And, IT administrators can use a familiar set of management tools to standardize device configurations. “When other CIOs ask me about the advantages of using Windows 8, I always highlight security,” says Landry. “There are a lot of devices on the market, but none of them are enterprise-ready in terms of security. Windows 8 comes with all the tools I need to make sure that I’m providing a secure and safe environment.”

  • Better equipped to empower future leaders. As a result of its adoption of Windows 8 and Windows Phone, Seton Hall University, which has pioneered the integration of technology in higher education curricula, is able to take its Mobile Computing Program to the next level. “We have a responsibility to give all our students access to the technology that they need to be successful learners today and future leaders in the workplace,” says Esteban. “By putting the most advanced mobile computing system in the hands of our students, regardless of prior experience or socio-economic background, we are leveling the playing field and creating opportunities for tomorrow’s servant leaders.”

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Solution Overview



Organization Size: 10000 employees

Organization Profile
Located in South Orange, New Jersey, the 58-acre campus of Seton Hall University is home to 5,300 undergraduate students. The school’s graduate programs are attended by an additional 4,500 students.

Hardware
  • Samsung Series 7 Tablet PC
  • Samsung Series 5 Laptop
  • Nokia Lumia 900 with Windows Phone

Software and Services
  • Windows 8
  • Windows Phone
  • Microsoft Consulting Services
  • Client Solutions - Flexible Workstyle

Vertical Industries
Higher Education

Country/Region
United States

Languages
English

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