Cybernet and University of Western Ontario:
Bringing Portability and Performance to Higher Education
Cybernet’s all-in-one keyboard PC, the ZPC-GX31, was the solution to University of Western Ontario’s problem of deploying and managing an inventory of bulky PC towers across the campus. The space saving footprint and ultimate portability made it easy to deploy the ZPC-GX31s wherever needed and moved again to their next destination. This all-in-one PC saved money and time for the University, and their IT maintenance staff can more readily respond to the constantly changing requests of the university’s staff.
University of Western Ontario, located in London, Ontario, is a distinguished institution of higher learning offering over 200 different educational programs. Currently, its student population is about 30,000. The university registrar’s office is responsible for tracking the constantly evolving student population.
The Business Challenge
It happens by the hundreds. Students with a variety of backgrounds, personalities and objectives enroll in colleges and universities to achieve a broad spectrum of educational goals. As can be imagined, the sheer number of candidates presents a monumental challenge to personnel charged with the responsibility of keeping track of the incoming students. Clearly, a system for monitoring the vast data flow is necessary to ensure efficiency and accuracy in this often daunting process.
Nobody understands this need better than Lucas Black. He proudly serves as the Technical Support Coordinator for the registrar's office. Lucas was faced with implementing a solution uniquely capable of managing a rapid proliferation of student information.
The Cybernet Solution
Lucas looked at Cybernet’s ZPC-GX31
during an initial evaluation process. Realizing that the university required a high-performance computer that was both compact and durable, Lucas and his team began by exploring the vast array of PC choices. Seeing a number of interesting possibilities in the Cybernet ZPC-GX31
, the university acquired a single unit for assessment. The team subjected the ZPC-GX31 to intensive testing, comparing its features with both a laptop and a tower PC. Neither of the ZPC-GX31
's two competitors made the grade. One advantage held by the Cybernet
model was its portability. The tower unit was far too bulky to be practical. As Lucas is quick to point out, “I can carry two towers or I can carry four ZPC-GX31s.” Another edge demonstrated by the ZPC-GX31 was its durability. The laptop simply didn't have what it took in that department.
The university's need for a portable computer becomes apparent when one considers that the ZPC-GX31
must be deployed in a number of different setups established throughout the campus. A setup may be a temporary workstation for staff members, an exam room for special needs students, or a recruitment fair for high school students. Once they have served their purpose, university staff members pull them back and implement them once again for the financial aid season in August. In between this period, the university uses the computers for accommodative exams.
Given the multifunction role a computer must play, portability is necessary to ensure ease of transport from one setup to another. Thanks to the ZPC-GX31
's compactness, university staff members are able to move the units from one destination to the other via pushcart or van. Taking full advantage of the ZPC-GX31's slim physique, each setup utilizes a configuration of PC, monitor, basic software and printer. “The ZPC-GX31 is the only thing that would have gotten us through our setups,” says Lucas. “Rapid deployment is essential, and the ZPC-GX31 delivers admirably.”
In terms of deployment, the Cybernet
unit represents a bold leap forward from what was in prior use on campus. Previously, the university depended on 45 tower PCs. This mass of hardware had required two van loads, as well as two full working days and the intensive labor of three to five people. Now the entire load of ZPC
s fits into half a van and can be transported in just one day.
The entire university staff is more than pleased with the Cybernet
units. The IT group appreciates their ease of transport and flawless reliability. It is also pleased with Cybernet
’s sales and technical support teams. For professors and administrators, the ZPC-GX31 means faster setups. This gives them extra time to focus on education.
Indeed, Lucas and his team see the ZPC-GX31 as the information management solution ideally suited to their needs and objectives. Offering a combination of portability, durability, versatility and flawless performance, the Cybernet
units clearly have provided the university with the perfect setup for success.