Creating a Flexible and Scalable Network Foundation to Drive Experiences and Innovation

Wednesday, October 27 | 2:15PM–3:00PM ET
Viewing Location: Online
Session Type: Industry Led
Delivery Format: Facilitated Discussion
Innovation starts with a flexible foundation. Without it, it becomes difficult to focus on modern student experiences or new instructional models and learning modalities that involve constant iteration and creative exploration. We believe that a good technology solution starts with the alignment of three things: the voice of the customer, the mission of the organization, and the aspirational goals of the academic, research, and administrative division. But that is just the start. It is important to understand what is possible and consider different approaches of industry leaders to map out a strategy for optimal outcomes. The approach to first focus on the network infrastructure foundation allows us to be more proactive and extend more innovation at the edge. With the student always at the center of our efforts, our researchers spend much time exploring network of networks, and system of systems, and how they correlate. However, transformation never starts with technology—it begins with a need for new and better experiences, business improvements, and/or enhanced functional outcomes. John will review the recent transformation at Kent State, which didn’t start with “let’s replace old technology” but rather with the planned intent and required architecture to support desired experiences and innovations. John will also explore the process of transformation and how an institution can achieve a “future-forward” infrastructure design that is effectively ready for anything.


  • Michael Geist

    Manager Network and Telecommunication Services, Kent State University
  • James Raber

    Associate CIO, Kent State University
  • John Rathje

    Vice President/CIO, Kent State University