University of Melbourne transitions into 'smart' campus

The real-time availability of information has allowed the university to transform its facilities into smart campuses powered by the Internet of Things.

IoT(Internet of Things) concept.

(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The University of Melbourne (UoM) has implemented a smart campus program, using data from Internet of Things (IoT) sensors with the goal of improving student experience and researcher outcomes.

Speaking at the Dell Boomi World Tour in Sydney on Tuesday, UoM solution architect Ganesh Krishnan said that in order to provide better learning opportunities, it was important to better use the data it had from other parts of the organisation to generate better use cases.

"We wanted to provide students with rich campus-based learning opportunities ... we need to take advantage of the various technologies that are being deployed across our campuses to provide better learning outcomes for the students and also open new research avenues," he said.

The challenge for UoM was creating a way for its systems and data collection points to talk to each other.

"One of the key challenges with IoT is interoperability ... each of the devices connect using different -- some of them could be Wi-Fi, some of them could be 5G for example -- but at the end of the day, they all contain data," Krishnan explained. "So how do we bring the data back into our IoT -- that's the biggest challenge."

The university turned to Dell Boomi as an IoT integration platform, using Boomi to ingest its sensor data and Amazon Web Services Greengrass for its legacy data.

"IoT is one dataset, we have to contextualise the datasets with other enterprise datasets to bring the value so that is again where Boomi comes into the picture," Krishnan continued.

"We have a hybrid integration platform ... some [applications] are going to stay on premise for a while."

Boomi has also helped UoM create a centralised data synchronisation hub -- using the Boomi Master Data Hub -- that system integration manager Tommy Hoeglund said provides visibility into data quality, accelerating the rollout of new services. 

The real-time availability of information allowed the university to start the transformation of its facilities into smart campuses.

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