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Lenovo solutions are helping CSN empower its higher education community with faster, more flexible ways to work and learn, on campus and online.
The College of Southern Nevada (CSN) is a public community college based in Clark County, Nevada. It is the state’s largest higher education institution, with more than 35,000 students and 2,500 teaching and non-teaching staff. CSN offers hundreds of degrees and certificates in 70 academic programs—with 26 degrees and certificates available entirely online.
Rising to the challenge
When the COVID-19 outbreak hit, higher education institutions like CSN found themselves at an inflection point. Almost overnight, the college had to transition to remote learning and working. With tens of thousands of students, faculty, and staff all needing to connect from home, it created an explosion in demand for digital services, putting IT under pressure like never before.
The challenge confronting CSN’s IT team was considerable—but it also provided a chance to accelerate much-needed digital transformation. Mugunth Vaithylingam, Chief Digital Experience Officer at CSN, elaborates: “Having to move classes online literally overnight forced the college to see how much we needed to centralize technology operations and enable more flexible working, teaching, and learning for the entire college community. The obvious need to digitize the business became crystal clear to those who otherwise may have been hesitant.”
Vaithylingam and his team knew they had a unique opportunity to reshape the role of technology at CSN. They were determined to solidify IT as a core partner for driving change and delivering on the college’s mission. The first step in realizing that ambition? Delivering the digital tools that empowered both students and staff to remain connected, engaged, and supported.
With Lenovo we get predictable service, hardware, and software that help our faculty, staff, and students get work done. Lenovo provides us with something that we can support well with often lean resources.”
Mugunth Vaithylingam, Chief Digital Experience Officer, College of Southern Nevada
Transformed ways of operating
CSN had already been using Lenovo hardware and software to support day-to-day operations and learning across its three campuses for many years. When the pandemic shifted activities online, it was a natural choice for the college to turn to Lenovo to support its new demands.
“We have always gotten incredible value for our investment with Lenovo,” says Vaithylingam. “Whether we need simple laptops for administrative staff or high-end workstations for systems engineers and developers, we have always been able to get something that works well at a good price point.”
Building on a sizeable estate of Lenovo ThinkCentre and ThinkStation desktop PCs, CSN has equipped faculty and administrative staff with the latest Lenovo ThinkPad laptops. Today, there are more than 7,000 Lenovo devices in use across the college, giving teams the resources they need to work and teach effectively, wherever they are.
Vaithylingam notes: “We deployed Lenovo laptops as part of our digital transformation strategy, allowing our workforce to be flexible with their work environment. With modern Lenovo laptops, docking stations, and monitors, we can provide hardware that is highly portable, powerful, robust, and reliable.”
Alongside the new hardware, the college has expanded its collaboration solutions, including LanSchool and Microsoft Teams, to give students, faculty, and administrative staff more ways to collaborate. Meanwhile, Lenovo Unified Workspace provides a single point of control for managing access to these applications and content. It offers secure, browser-based access to files and applications from any device with a single password to connect users to the resources they need in a quick, easy, and consistent way.
Now, the IT team is already looking ahead to a highly digitized future, where IT services come together seamlessly to shape a first-class environment for learning and working.
“We will have a more centralized student experience with fewer touchpoints and faster, multi-device access to key resources,” confirms Vaithylingam. “This will be coupled with a new Customer Relationship Management system that seamlessly integrates with our Microsoft collaboration solutions and other digital experience platforms. It will be a true digital transformation, not merely more technology."
CSN’s investment in digital transformation provided a lifeline during the height of the pandemic, allowing classes and working life at the college to continue with less disruption. Now, as it adapts to a new reality, these same capabilities are helping the college shape a flexible hybrid learning and working environment that meets the ongoing needs of students and staff, both on and off campus.
“With Lenovo we get predictable service, hardware, and software that help our faculty, staff, and students get work done,” notes Vaithylingam. “Whether stocking classrooms and computer labs or providing devices to our faculty and staff, Lenovo provides us with something that we can support well with often lean resources.”
Indeed, with Lenovo providing reliable hardware and well-integrated software, along with end-to-end support services, CSN’s IT team is free to focus on driving the transformation strategy, instead of managing and maintaining technology.
“As we’ve pivoted to more remote working and cloud-based platforms, it has created fresh demands for our team, including supporting more wireless connections, increased bandwidth, and new security requirements. This makes it more important than ever for us to have infrastructure solutions that we can rely on to get the job done. Lenovo has allowed that, keeping the team focused on ramping up solutions they know will work and transform the business with streamlined processes and improved services.”
With this renewed focus digital experience, CSN is shaping an environment where people have the resources and support to perform at their best.
Vaithylingam concludes: “We know that the future of business and education are found by creating robust digital infrastructures that allow faculty, staff, and students to work, learn, and get assistance anywhere, anytime, and on any device. We can count on Lenovo platforms to keep up with our demands and support us in shaping a community that empowers people to thrive, even in uncertain times.”