At a Glance
- Workgroup and network collaboration
- Regular, ad-hoc meetings
- E-Learning delivery and tele-education
- Research and distance education
Malaysian education and research program reaches out to learning institutes throughout and beyond its borders
Geographically dispersed research and education group relies heavily on video communications to achieve its goals of collaboration between educators in Malaysia and beyond.
The Malaysian Research and Education Network (MYREN) is a government-funded programme which provides a dedicated high-speed network for its 88 members across Malaysia. Members of MYREN include tertiary institutes, polytechnics, community colleges, research entities and scientific laboratories. These institutions work together through MYREN to carry out research discussions, run data-intensive applications and share resources within a high-capacity broadband network.
As MYREN is a dedicated research network, the organisation requires extensive communication among its members and with other Research and Education Networks (RENs). As a geographically dispersed group, this can make effective collaboration a challenge. It is also highly technical given its diverse platform and the volume of information exchanged, making regular discussion crucial in meeting its goals in the research and education space.
Establishing a Collaboration Network to Facilitate E-Learning
In an effort to enhance collaboration among its educational network and extend e-learning programmes, whilst also improving network performance and lowering latency, MYREN deployed Polycom RealPresence Platform – the software infrastructure that powers Polycom’s market-leading HD telepresence and video solutions and is the most comprehensive software infrastructure for universal video collaboration – at its main headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and in outposts across Malaysia. The technology is being used by members to facilitate e-learning, develop an extended programme for its 88 stakeholders as well as hold project discussions with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
“The Polycom technology enables us to provide a flaw-free infrastructure to our members, helping them to deliver their promises in the field of research and education. We’ve had a very positive response and institutions have reported an increase in demand for the broadcast of live lectures and other e-learning facilities. We’ve also increased the participation rate for our Amanat Ketua Pengarah meetings with community colleges and the Ministry of Education ten-fold, enabling nearly all senior managers and directors to attend,” said Kamal Hisham Kamaruddin, Network Operation Manager.
Championing Communications, Driving Adoption with Educational Institutions
The implementation of Polycom telepresence technology is part of MYREN’s technical network upgrade to support data-intensive applications and information exchange among its members. Moving from a software-based solution provided internally, technicians at MYREN use the telepresence systems to carry out maintenance and troubleshooting on their systems remotely, enabling rapid response in any situation.
While initially implemented to address IT issues, the system has been extended as a tool for e-learning programmes by MYREN’s members, facilitating closer collaboration among the participants as they take part in consultations and course discussions.
The MYREN network also serves as a host of the fortnightly live lectures conducted by Malayan University and Kyushu University in Japan. The initial e-learning programme has further developed to tele-education as members optimise the video conferencing capabilities of the Polycom solutions. It is also used for streaming courses by the Institute of Thailand and UNESCO.
The Polycom Advantage
Following tests and evaluation of leading competitive solutions in the collaborative space, MYREN chose the Polycom RealPresence Room Series, Polycom RealPresence Collaboration Server, and Polycom RSS 4000 recording and streaming server, to upgrade to a more collaborative network of video conferencing, delivering high definition voice, video and content sharing capabilities to conference rooms and meeting spaces, enhancing interactions by linking dispersed team members and supporting a far more collaborative experience when compared to traditional video conferencing. Additionally, MYREN makes use of Polycom’s UC solutions to deliver high quality performance, scalability and cost-effective integration appropriate for multipoint conferencing which the organisation currently has, along with the capability to record, archive and stream telepresence and video conferences for desktops or meeting room – ideal for the classroom environment.
Protecting IT Investments
Polycom’s interoperable features ensure that MYREN now has a well-coordinated communication structure within the organisation and among its members. It provides ample support and better technology, protecting IT investments and aiding in a more productive output for the organisation and its members.
“We are pleased with the benefits provided by Polycom which include more effective collaboration, an improvement in response time to fault resolution by 50% and a significant increase in productivity as a result of on-the-job training for the technicians. It was definitely the right choice and it has since helped us deliver an excellent service to our members and community within the network,” added Kamal.
Following the success of the Polycom solution, MYREN’s members plan to expand their distance-learning partnership programmes by leveraging on the network to add more lectures and consultations as part of their long-term strategy starting from 2012. Improved efficiency within the network has led to extending education outside the walls of the classrooms and involving more members to participate. MYREN is also planning to implement more projects to improve communications worldwide turning the capabilities of a collaborative network to reality.
“Polycom’s standards-based solutions help ensure that our services are available to more members, protecting IT investments and aiding in more productive outputs for the organisation and the education sector.”
Mr. Kamal Hisham Kamaruddin
Network Operation Manager