The Software Define Network (SDN) Fx technology and engagement development platforms are elements that put together to make Internet of Things (IoT) relevant for education sector. With the prime need to bring innovations in the education sector, Satish Murthy, Senior Director and Bangalore Site Leader at Avaya India talks to Bhawna Satsangi of Elets News Network (ENN) about the need to upscale skills among students
What are the smart solutions Avaya offers for smart education?
Avaya’s focus has been to create platforms that make it really easy for any vertical to operate. We have education solutions that are very simple. We need our educators to focus on education and not on technology elements. We need them to focus on creating content, focus on better ways to communicate to students as more and more best practices exists world over so we need to be able to use those things as India is moving towards an innovation based economy, students are expected to move beyond learning and develop critical thinking.
The demand for teachers and educational institutions is so high that it will take some time for every teacher and educational institute to reach the level of maturity that we expect from students in our country.
How do you make sure that best practices that are available are easily used by teachers in different school environments?
For that we have put on creating infrastructure that is extremely resilient, and secure. That is the foundation based on which we have build SDN Fx technology, engagement development platforms. These are sort of elements if we put it all together with self search like Internet of Things (IoT) it is possible to create highly useful solutions for the education sector.
We have worked with our partners to create a solution where inside a classroom it aids the teacher, basically speeding up the process of day to today class attendance, allow teachers to share content with the students and can do a quick test with them to make sure students have understood the content. We have focused a lot on simplicity. For example, what if a student decides to access content that is prohibited by the school and what if somebody hack from outside, that’s a security breach. These become an issue only after they become public.
The reputation gets tarnished. So creating a system, which gives that confidence to school administrator just because they are not deep into technology that doesn’t mean that the technology elements in the school can misused for anything. We are working with our partners to make sure that solutions are created that educational institutions can use it with confidence.
What is the framework you have developed for delivering these solutions?
We are talking about foundational technologies like networking, communication technologies. The technologies that we have developed on networking is called fabric and SDN Fx effect. Typically when you have a network which is basically cabling, internet cabling, wireless networking they are connected to common data centers inside of schools. It takes a lot of time to trouble shoot these things, to set up these things. Even a minor glitch will hamper the hours of productive time. What we have done from the infrastructure perspective is to make these things resilient and simple. From an educational perspective, we put element that we bring in with education specific component that they bring in and put it together as a solution that can be deployed at customer location.
How much potential does Avaya sees in education sector?
Avaya is a leader in education vertical in US and it’s an area where Avaya has a pedigree and a long history of success.
What are the opportunities does Avaya sees while deploying smart solutions for smart education?
The prime need for innovation based economy such as ours is to upscale our skills. Some of the government initiatives like Skill India, there’s more demand than supply. There’s huge number of people who needs to be trained into newer technology.
What is the rate of adoption of your solutions in education sector?
Some of the large institutions and government educational institutions have deployed our product.
What are the features of the smart campus?
Principally, any smart campus needs to have mechanism for educating students in a better way that enhances their basic capabilities. So moving away from bored, rigid classroom to an environment which supports globalisation, which is critical thinking. Any smart campus must really provide mechanism for innovative ways for education to happen.
The second area is increasingly the type of students who attend particular institution needs to be addressed in more student specific ways. For example, students with special needs who need specific type of education or children who have different aptitude, institutes have to create mechanism where education is targeted to students that would be an example of a smart campus.
Currently our focus is to make Internet of- Things as an area which in the next 5-10 years and beyond will play a significant role in our life
We live in a hyper connected world, so school security has become paramount. Schools in terms of real estate cost, manpower cost everything is going up. Improving efficiency, removing redundancy in terms of energy, one of the key reasons where smart campuses can make a big difference. Smart campuses would leverage smart devices that we already have.
How will smart schools play an important role in improving the performance of the students?
Significantly it will play an important role. I think every student has a specific requirement and we typically treat group of students, which really not helps in targeting that particular student to upskill herself. In a smart campus, a benefit to the student is to get tailored information. The entire best practices from institutions can be used to educate the students.
How Avaya is supporting the Make in India initiative in developing the solution?
Avaya India has R&D centres in Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad. India centres are most important locations for innovations happening for Avaya. Some areas like SDN Fx effect technology has happened in Bangalore offices. Lot of work has been done from Bangalore and Pune. From make in India perspective we are shifting gears towards the country.
What are your future plans?
Currently our focus is to make internet of things as an area which in the next 5-10 years and beyond will play a significant role in our life. That’s the area of innovation on which we are working on. Other areas we are working on creating technologies that make it irrelevant where you are sitting in terms of location. Even if you have campus spread across multiple locations, or to rural areas, creating more mechanism for certification and resilience that’s what we are focusing right now.