For the end users from the higher education and research communities NRENs are fairly invisible partners. The local ICT departments provide the ICT services for the organisations, and lean on the NREN for their internet and any additional services provision.
A sound business model – the key ingredient to the success of an NREN – depends on offering demand-led value-added services. It is essential for NRENs to know the needs of the end users to be able to align their service portfolio and be relevant to them.
We hope the resources outlined below will help you identify ‘selling features’ of research and education networking, and formulate compelling arguments when making the case towards your own network users.
User case studies
User case studies demonstrate how research and education networks benefit a specific user community. Such case studies not only describe in detail how specific user needs are met by advanced research and education connectivity, but also provide third-party back-up (from the actual end users) of the benefits themselves.
The links below present case study material developed to showcase the positive end-user impact of national and regional research and education networks:
CAREN (Central Asia)
EUMEDCONNECT (North Africa & Middle East)
RedCLARA (Latin America)
The following documents provide assistance in developing case studies and capturing end user network requirements:Additional end user related documents
This section also contains reports and studies which provide additional insight into the value of NRENs from a user perspective. The focus of the selected documents below is primarily (but not exclusively) on user groups within the research and higher education communities.Tapping into Research and Education Networks
This article in the magazine Campus Technology highlights opportunities and challenges for NRENs to cater to the needs of schools in the USA. The Case for NRENs (TERENA publication 2009)
This paper provides an assessment of the current role of European NRENs and explores the case for their continuation. ASPIRE
A study on the prospects of internet for research and education 2014 – 2020. The NREN from a functional perspective
An analysis of functions and NREN needs to be able to perform to be relevant and add value to its end users.
This foresight study (2006-7) looked at the anticipated development of research and education networking in Europe over a five to 10 year period.
Exploring potential benefits of research and education networks for public libraries.