La Trobe University’s Digital Ecosystem Evolution


Optus has partnered with La Trobe University to help it evolve into a University of the Future, using WiFi, cloud technology and a new Contact Centre of the Future to revolutionise the experience for students and staff.

La Trobe turned to Optus when the pandemic highlighted a need for the university to take a digital-first approach and modernise its business processes.

David Coventry, Vice President of Business and Enterprise Customers at Optus, said, “We are delighted to be working closely with La Trobe University to execute their ambitious digital strategy.

“Optus, together with our strategic partnership ecosystem, provided the solutions to make La Trobe University one of the most innovative universities in Australia.”

Optus and La Trobe worked on three key initiatives:

  • Optus engaged Amazon Web Services (AWS) to transfer 80 percent of the universities core server and storage infrastructure to a VMware Cloud.
  • Optus partnered with Cisco to deploy a wireless-first approach using more than 4000 WiFi 6 wireless access points across all seven campuses.
  • Optus and NICE created a new ‘Contact Centre of the Future’, allowing users to engage via voice, email, chat, social, outbound or SMS.

Jason Smith, Acting Chief Information Officer, La Trobe University said: “The partnership with Optus has enabled transformational change; through infrastructure and networks upgrades, but also through investing in technology that supports a seamless user experience, improving the outcomes for our students, staff and the community who are engaging with these platforms.

“By continuing a digital-first approach, we create a more integrated, elevated and digitally-connected campus, that touches and transcends across our core activities, teaching and learning, research and innovation,” Mr Smith said.

The Digital Ecosystem Evolution involves the following considerations:

  • Cloud
    • The university had end-of-life data centres and infrastructure, which posed a significant risk and needed considerable capital investments.
    • There was a desire to move to a software-defined data centre with improved business continuity that could respond more rapidly to changing needs.
    • In addition to the 80 percent of data on VMware Cloud, over 500 VMs were seamlessly moved to the cloud, significantly reducing risks to the university.
    • A Backup as a Service platform was implemented in AWS to back up VMC onto AWS for the remaining on-premises infrastructure and future public cloud workloads.
  • Network
    • The underlying infrastructure could no longer meet the university’s requirements and required future investment.
    • The legacy network caused complexities and limited forward-thinking Architecture creating siloed teams resulting in an environment that was difficult to secure, manage and control, which restricted rapid and secure onboarding of students, staff, external entities and systems.
    • Varying levels of connectivity, particularly in regional campuses, result in inconsistent user experience.
    • In addition to the 4,000 WiFi 6 wireless access points, there was an uplift to a modern software-defined network architecture with state-of-the-art security from Cisco.
    • A secure by design philosophy that centralises and automates the deployment of security policies based on a user’s identity.
    • Real-time insight and visibility across all network infrastructure to assist with network management
    • Extending security beyond the physical bricks-and-mortar environment to support the university’s research and learning beyond the physical campus.
  • Contact Centre
    • Through the Optus Cloud Contact solution (OCC) powered by NICE’s CX One award-winning digital interaction platform, the university can deploy an agent anywhere they can access a PC or laptop and the internet. Employees are now empowered to work through any channel regardless of where they are, supporting La Trobe University’s One University ethos.
    • Improve student engagement through proactive outbound calling campaigns and multi-channel communication while continuously improving the experience through quality management, data and analytics.

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