Interview of Dr Walt Magnussen, Director of Texas A&M ITEC.
By Graham Bevington.
Thank you, Rich. Now last week I was in another kind of campus. I was in Cincinnati, at a large manufacturing campus, and I was getting them very excited about mobile enterprise and all the good things that Mitel does. But they were really clear on reminding to me that they're environment's changing. As we bring a mobile environment in, seamlessly blend wireless applications, the next generation kind of technologies, and applications that are coming forward, they still need to sustain a very professional voice and collaboration infrastructure. So what I'm really delighted to announce today is that we have two new products, an advance performance monitoring and analytics.
A mass notification tool will really help clients prevent problems in the future. Mitel performance analytics manages advanced performance for both enterprise and cloud environments. It proactively detects and addresses performance problems before they impact the user. With real time views on network topology and constant alerts, it allows customers to drive service quality and really, better business outcomes. On mass notification you may think that a simple text message is enough. But in today's communication world with so many other medium, mass notification is the only way you can be confident of getting your message across to over 90% of the key clients. Whether that be a critical communication as result of an outage or an emergency.
Or a day to day activity by bringing people up-to-date with the agenda of the day or a simple appointment reminder. Talking about campus environments, I'm delighted to say I have a very special guest today. It's my honor to invite on the stage from one of the largest universities in the United States, Dr. Walt Magnussen. So, Walt, great to see you here. Could you please tell us a little bit about your role at Texas A&M? Sure, Graham. First of all, by the way, I'd like to start off by saying it's a real honor to be here with my tale and obviously my esteemed colleagues and friends here from the community.
I've been with A&M University for approximately 30 years now where I direct one of the leading research communication centers in the United States. And also provide support services for the core information technology group, primarily in vendor relationships and carrier relationships and things like that. Wow. So, I know you've got a huge compass and I understand that a massive stadium there. What kind of communication challenges does that give you? Well I think as Ray indicated here a few minutes ago, really, when we've got 17,000 faculty staff, about 65,000 students, and on any given Saturday we'll have 103,000 students in the stadium. Most students today, most people that are in the stands will carry anywhere from two to four devices.
And they have high expectations that everything will work, everything will be seamless. And of course most all of them, if not all of them are operating in a mobile environment. Wow. I guess we see such a large population and such a diverse environment You really do need to communicate important messages to those people quickly and easily. How do you do that? Yeah, I mean, things like emergency communications and, as you said, really kind of sending any kind of information out. We adopted early on kind of a multifaceted system. We call it Code Maroon. Most universities have branded their emergency notification systems. We call ours Code Maroon.
But the concept is we send information out in several, several, different ways. No one system is infallible. No one system is gonna provide 100% delivery. But we feel pretty confident that we're getting 100% delivery through the use of text messaging, through the use of SIP-based speakers in ceilings by integrating with annunciation panels and fire alarm systems. And then the 5% that don't get the message directly, we refer to that basically as the Paul Revere effect. So if you didn't hear it directly, you're probably gonna hear it someone that has. That's great, and again, what's great is there's so many devices that you can connect to in one time.
So you've heard us talk today a lot about Millenials, I guess your world is literally surrounded by them. So, how do you see technology evolving in that environment? Well that's actually, working with the Millenials it is the most rewarding, it is the funnest part of my job. It even keeps old guys like me a little bit younger, but what really ends up happening is they come to the campus environment. They bring new ideas, new concepts and they come with a pretty high level of expectations. So, in this day and age if you're gonna remain relevant you've got to really stay ahead of the curve.
You have to anticipate what they're gonna want and provide it. Because they're used to an environment where If they don't get it from you, they're gonna get it from someone else, so it's pretty important. Wow, and I'm told you're one of the founding fathers of internet, too. So, could you tell us a little bit about how you see that evolving, and the communication challenges that go with that? Yeah, I mean be one of the founding fathers from anything basically. Then you get to talking about feeling old. In about another month we're going to be in Chicago celebrating the 20th anniversary of the internet two network organization.
20 years ago it was formed, but you know the concept of internet two is community organization. So, the idea is It's the leading 229 research universities in the United States that are direct members and actually most higher education entities in the entire U.S., and there are global affiliates that operate are currently members. It's a community, so we're able to take ideas, we're able to take concepts, we're able to work together. We're able to share information. We're able to, when we want a service, when we need a service, often we're able to help design it rather than wait for the service providers to come to us and say, this is what we're gonna do.
And of course, one of the projects that we're working on right now with Mitel is we're very honored to be working with Mitel on doing work in the lab that I direct. It really focuses on a non IMS, the IP Multimedia Subsystem. IMS is an architecture that has been used by the major service providers AT&T and Verizon, has spent billions of dollars in the last few years integrating and implementing internally. Now what we're gonna do is when we want to allow the enterprise networks to be able to go ahead and seamlessly integrate with the wireless service providers. So that, in essence, our land based networks on our campus, our Wi-Fi networks, and the cellular networks all operate as one.
And it's gonna be a challenge to be able to integrate with the server provided. We feel that using the community approach, in other words, it's all of Higher Ed working together. All of Higher Ed saying, hey this is important to us, we can get there. And again, we're very glad that Mitel's blazing the trail and leading the way. Well what would you actually tell the partnership whether, as you say you've been a thought leader in the IMSPVX and the IMS feature. Sounds really exciting. Thank you so much for your time today. Thank you.