Communications Infrastructure and Applications Community Group

The EDUCAUSE Communications Infrastructure and Applications (CIA) Community Group (CG) focuses on the challenges that higher-education institutions face with respect to enterprise communication, collaboration, mobility, and networking. Communications infrastructure and applications are the underpinnings of today's higher-education enterprise. In today's networked world, IT support for communication and collaboration — whether it be in the cloud or on-premises, hosted or self-supported — goes far beyond basic data networking, telephony, and video in order to provide essential services to the institution. Topics of discussion and exploration in this space revolve around:

  1. Telecommunications, including IP telephony, fixed-mobile convergence, and contact centers
  2. Unified communications, including presence awareness, multi-point desktop videoconferencing, application sharing, unified messaging, and collaboration platforms
  3. Immersive telepresence
  4. Communication with the public cloud, stand-alone and hybrid models, subnetting, L2 vs. L3, VPN
  5. Specific communications-related/-enhancing technologies and protocols, including VoIP, SIP, campus LAN/Wi-Fi, WiFi cellular, GPS, GIS, and in-building navigation technology
  6. New and emerging wireless technologies (e.g., TV whitespace, software-defined radio, etc.)
  7. Emergency communications management and notification (e.g., NG911, E911, fire, intrusion, panic, campus video surveillance systems, monitoring)
  8. All things data networking: LAN, WAN, datacenter networking, research networking, SDN, white-box/open switches, and network function virtualization
  9. Networking to international campuses
  10. Social networking
  11. Cellular technology and support (including DAS, Firstnet, GPS, etc.)

The CIA CG provides an opportunity for organizational decision-makers (senior IT managers, CIOs, CTOs, COOs, CFOs, provosts, engineers, etc.) to discuss important communication, collaboration, mobility, and network technology issues: emerging and evolving technologies; operational challenges; peer benchmarking; policies and procedures; regulatory compliance and risk; staffing and service management 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/interoperability of multiple vended — as well as locally developed — solutions become even more of a necessity and challenge. This group meets at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference and uses the electronic discussion list to converse on issues throughout the year. In addition, the group may suggest projects that spawn EDUCAUSE Working Groups, which 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.

Group Leaders

Arthur Brant

Abilene Christian University
Committee Member: 2020-Present

Mark Wehrle

University of Pennsylvania
Committee Member: 2022-Present