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ECAR Working Groups: Communications

Communication and collaboration are the underpinnings of the higher education enterprise. In today's networked world, IT support for communications goes far beyond basic telephony in order to provide essential services to the institution. Investigations in this space revolve around:

  • Telecommunications, including IP telephony, dual-mode phones, wireless, mobile infrastructures, and fixed-mobile convergence
  • Unified communications
  • Collaborative communications, including presence awareness, videoconferencing, telepresence, application sharing, and collaboration platforms
  • Communication in the cloud
  • Support for specific communications technologies, such as VoIP, SIP, campus LAN/Wi-Fi, cellular, GPS, and GIS
  • Emergency communications management and notification
  • Social networking

Risk Management for Communications Technology in Higher Education

ECAR Communications Infrastructure and Applications Working Group (ECAR-CIA)
Working Group Co-chairs:

Work is expected to begin in January 2015.

Project Description:
We have worked with and managed risks in a world of traditional communications, where voice and traditional telephone service are primary, for many decades. But in a unified/converged communications world, the risks change; understanding what the risks are, who is responsible for them, and planning for them will help ensure a successful transition. This paper will discuss issues such as survivability, privacy, discoverability, and emergency communications in a converged communications environment.

Expected Completion: June 2015

See the detailed project proposal for more information.


ECAR Communications Infrastructure and Applications Working Group (ECAR-CIA)

Co-chairs: Jim Jokl, University of Virginia, and Mark Katsouros, The Pennsylvania State University

The ECAR Communications Infrastructure and Applications (ECAR-CIA) Working Group focuses on the challenges that higher-education institutions face with respect to enterprise communication, collaboration, and mobility. Group participants pool their collective resources, time, and energy towards investigating specific challenges and opportunities in this space, sharing individual solutions, and developing effective practices for the higher-education community.

ECAR-CIA aims to help the organizational decision-makers in this space (senior IT managers, CIOs, CTOs, COOs, CFOs, provosts, etc.) focus on the important communication technology issues: emerging and evolving technologies, operational challenges, peer benchmarking, policies and procedures, federal and state regulations, staffing and service structures, strategic planning, sustainable funding models, and other relevant topics. In addition, we believe it is crucial to provide a forum for meeting with vendors, especially as more core IT services are potentially commoditized and/or cast into the cloud, and as the seamless integration and interoperability of multiple vended and locally-developed solutions becomes even more of a necessity and challenge.

The working group welcomes input, ideas, and participation from the higher education community. Contact us at

See all ECAR Working Group Resources. Visit the EDUCAUSE library.


New Publications!

Learn about the differences between legacy and unified communications, approaches to this paradigm shift, and several themes that have emerged in this area.

Software-defined networking (SDN) isn’t just an add-on: it’s a whole new way of networking. Understanding it better now will help us to prepare for it in the near future.

Learn More

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ECAR working groups welcome input, ideas, and participation from the higher ed community.To get involved, contact us.


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