UCCS improved the student orientation experience by replacing slow, bulky laptops with lightweight Chromebooks. The team was delighted to see a 200% increase in equipment battery life – coupled with cost savings in purchase and time savings in set-up – that quickly made their Chromebook solution a win-win-win. Student registrations benefit from quicker logons, better data security, and fewer delays.
Orientation registers new UCCS students for classes several times a year. For several years, we have used laptop carts to transport standard-sized laptops to registration locations. As registration numbers increased, this approach became problematic. The laptops were bulky and slow, and lacked the battery power to last through each orientation and registration session, making for a challenging student experience. In addition, maintenance of these laptops had become costly and time-consuming. When the time came to refresh the equipment, at an estimated cost of $1500 per laptop (130 needed), OIT and Orientation worked together to do a comparative analysis of the technologies available. After examining our options, we determined that the solution lay in replacing not only the hardware (laptops), but also the underlying operating and software management systems (Windows and Chrome Enterprise, respectively). Analysis showed that Chromebooks were less expensive and better suited to our student orientation and registration needs because they:
- Are 95% faster from power-on to portal login.
- Are lightweight and portable.
- Are easier to deploy, update and maintain.
- Have a 200% increase in battery life.
- Support kiosk-type logons for added data security.
How does this benefit the University?
The new technology implementation resulted in a cost-savings of approximately $150k for Orientation, as well as a significant reduction in time needed for hardware setup and maintenance. The lighter, more streamlined Chromebooks are easier to transport, more reliable and require only minimal maintenance. More importantly, the student registration experience has been enhanced with quicker logons, better data security, and fewer delays encountered during the registration process.
The initial deployment happened in the Spring of 2018. Because the implementation went so well, we have expanded the technology to several more departments that require similar solutions. Chemistry, STEM programs, Emergency Management, Student Life and Disability Services have all implemented the new Chromebook technology and we have plans to deploy the solution to other areas on campus soon.