Adaptive learning through a strong and secure network

Better student, faculty and staff experiences from the network up

From supporting enhanced e-learning capabilities to enabling educators and administrators to collaborate, the WAN plays a vital role in today’s dynamic education environment. Education IT leaders face increasing network complexity, rising demand for anywhere-anytime access to learning and the need to control costs. To protect and future-proof their institutions while delivering the experiences students, faculty and staff increasingly expect, leaders must shift their network thinking.

Windstream Enterprise commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate driving factors and results for organizations transitioning from legacy networks to next-generation SD-WAN. The study confirms that education IT leaders are prioritizing security, reliability and secure remote access to enable adaptive learning in an increasingly interconnected—yet dispersed—educational environment. And for that, they choose high-performing solutions backed by trusted technology partners.

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Mounting pressure on the WAN

From maintaining a familiar learning cadence and engaging students regardless of their location to powering seamless collaboration between educators, the education ecosystem has never been more connected. Or more complex.

Today’s education IT leaders see their network as a critical component of their organization’s success. Their networks must be resilient and secure to power an adaptive, learn-from-anywhere environment that maximizes an institution’s return on technology spend, while protecting it—and the students—from mounting cyberthreats.


Legacy networks are holding back flexible learning

Digital transformation requires a strong and healthy network, and yesterday’s MPLS networks don’t offer the flexibility, resilience or capacity to support new cloud-based learning applications that need to be accessible anytime, anywhere from a variety of devices and connectivity types. What’s more, they can’t prevent malicious security breaches that can compromise institutional data and student privacy.

Top 3 issues with current WANs, according to education IT leaders1


Securing remote sites with Internet connectivity


Ensuring broad network availability across locations


Time to deploy new WAN services, connectivity or hardware to new sites


Securing the WAN remains a challenge

Like the large-scale movement to working from home, learning from home has become more common. As a result, school districts and higher learning institutions have made improving network security a strategic priority.1  With a greater number of students accessing school resources using personal devices, institutions are challenged to extend security beyond the physical network perimeter.


SD-WAN drivers and roadblocks to change

Many school districts and higher education institutions are moving away from legacy networks in favor of secure, high-performing solutions like SD-WAN. According to education IT leaders, the leading motivator for shifting to SD-WAN is the need to improve application performance and availability.1

The industry’s biggest challenge to SD-WAN implementation is the difficulty of designing and distributing firewalls, which complicates SD-WAN implementation. Thankfully, a trusted managed technology partner can make the transition from legacy to leading-edge smooth and sustainable.

#1 driver
Improving network security for remote locations1

#1 barrier to implementation
Designing, deploying and managing dispersed firewalls, IDS/IPS and other security services to protect all Internet traffic1


What education IT leaders look for in an SD-WAN partner

Institutions seek network solutions that are secure, compliant and reliable—delivered by providers with an array of cost-effective solution offerings to suit their needs.1

1. Consistent service-level agreements and availability
2. A large array of pricing options
3. An ability to offer and support multiple types of links at remote locations
4. Integrated WAN and network security
5. Service certifications, such as SOC2 and FedRAMP

Accelerate your WAN transformation with Windstream Enterprise

Windstream Enterprise offers network and security solutions that meet the needs of today’s educational institutions.


Leading network and security solutions

Optimize your network for cloud-based applications and leverage unified, secure connectivity anywhere.

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Award-winning digital experience

Customize and configure your services with centralized management and real-time visibility through our single pane of glass, WE Connect portal.

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Unrivaled experience and service guarantees*

Benefit from an industry-leading focus on innovation and commitment to your success along with no-risk solution guarantees.

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Education customer spotlight

Bryant & Stratton College (BSC) has a rich history of educational excellence. But with a long history and 19 campuses to support, their back-end systems failed to meet changing organizational needs.

Windstream Enterprise implemented SD-WAN in an active/active configuration, along with the WE Connect customer portal, to deliver the additional bandwidth and reliability needed to support cloud-based applications and prevent further network outages—along with the visibility and control needed to monitor bandwidth utilization, troubleshoot any quality of experience issues and identify anomalies.

BSC has since experienced zero outages across their extensive network. What’s more, the college can support high-performing cloud-based apps both for their well-attended online programs and their on-campus students. Fewer network issues have led to significantly fewer IT help desk calls, and the team reports that they can count on the second circuit to keep a location connected if the first circuit fails. 

Customer: 19 campuses across 4 states, nationwide online program
Challenges: Frequent network outages, limited app support, overrun IT team
Solutions: SD-WAN, WE Connect portal
Results: Zero network outages, single pane of glass management, significantly fewer calls to help desk

‘‘ Windstream Enterprise SD-WAN has provided the platform to enable Bryant & Stratton College to be an innovator in delivering online higher education to the students we serve.”

- Mark Morgado, Systems Director, IT Infrastructure, Bryant & Stratton College


Cloud-enabled connectivity, communications and security. Guaranteed.

Windstream Enterprise delivers proven outcomes through the convergence of our proprietary software and cloud-optimized network, enabling education institutions to deliver an adaptive learning environment that maximizes return on technology spend. Our managed services empower a learn-from-anywhere environment, enhance security and elevate the experience of faculty, staff and students while safeguarding personal data and institutional integrity. Analysts certify Windstream Enterprise as a market leader for our product innovation, and clients rely on our unrivaled service guarantees and best-in-class management portal. Institutions trust Windstream Enterprise as their single source for a high-performance network and award-winning suite of connectivity, collaboration and security solutions—delivered by a team of technology experts whose success is directly tied to fulfilling each institution’s mission.

To learn more about Windstream Enterprise network and security solutions, visit windstreamenterprise.com

1. “Shift Your Network Thinking to SD-WAN and Security.” A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper. Commissioned by Windstream Enterprise, March 2022.

* Required services include OfficeSuite UC® and SD-WAN Concierge™ for all Windstream Enterprise guarantees.

About the Author

Windstream Enterprise

Windstream Enterprise believes people should expect more from their service provider. Our mission: as network, security and application performance become continuously more critical, WE will be the partner that responds to unique customer needs—a pathfinder to help lead them through technology transformation. A trusted advisor to help them connect, transform and elevate their businesses.

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