Technology Enhancement Program

Towards the end of Tamano's short stewardship, development in the University has been characterized by massive technological innovations. One after the other, IT-based projects were rapidly deployed in 2009 to the delight of the various stakeholders. More often than not, these innovative undertakings took the form of "communications enhancement," putting premium to the flow of information within and outside the campus.

Significantly, most of these technological enhancements were acquired for free or at no cost to the government that proscribed even a small dent to the coffers of public funds. That was made possible either through the ingenuity of in-house talents who toiled endlessly and tirelessly for the welfare of PLM -- or through meaningful partnerships or linkages with formidable industry leaders which the IT Center had engendered to provide essential public services for the premier scholars' university of the capital city of the Republic. In short, these were made possible by people or partners who truly care.

More well-meaning people and development partners from across the globe will come to PLM to bring technological marvels. They, too, will leave an imprint in the University that the future generations will truly appreciate.

Institutional Website: The digital public face of the People's University
Alumni locally and abroad have flooded the Net with deep sentiments over the loss of the "digital public face" of PLM. Equating the website to the level of integrity of an institution and an indicator for the quality of any institution, the long non-availability of the website was a stark bane against the reputation of PLM which, from its establishment in mid-1960s, had laid claim to excellence as its birthright and as the foundation of its high performance culture.

Putting into oblivion once and for all the stigma suffered by PLM over the matter, the institutional website blazed on-line on 19 April 2009 and was formally launched on 19 June 2009. It now serves as the digital public face of the People’s University where anyone from all nooks of earth can relate to and interface directly with PLM at any time, even thousands of miles away.

To institutionalize the updating of institutional information thru a formal multi-stakeholder collaborative approach, the formation of an official technical working group, advocated by the IT Center since March 2009 when a preparatory yet temporary website was put up, was spearheaded and is now composed of representatives specifically and formally recommended by the various heads of offices.

Mobile signal boosting
In the past, once you enter the corridors of PLM, you have just entered a communication dead spot. SUN and SMART signals were nil, except perhaps on the open field. Your mobile device almost does not function normally unless you leave the portals of PLM.

"SUN shines even brighter with advance technology for the bright PLM scholars!"
In July 2009, SUN installed pico cells that provided 3G and 2G signal boosting, additional voice channels, clearer reception and no dropped calls, and enabled the 3.5G next-generation technologies of HSDPA and WCDMA in the campus. Even at the outskirts of the basement of the full concrete building of Gusaling Katipunan, mobile signal is at its strongest.

"SMART makes the bright PLM scholars even SMARTer!"
By end of August 2009, SMART installed a cellsite inside PLM to cover the entire University and immediate vicinity with strong 3G and 2G signals that can penetrate even the big concrete slabs of the buildings around the campus.

PLM InfoBoard: The Power of community mobile exchange
Communication flow between and among the various stakeholders of PLM was once only a dream. Now, it is no less than a reality! The PLM InfoBoard is a multi-module information medium and mobile gateway for the PLM community. Featuring text broadcast, mobile feedback and many others, it connects everyone within the PLM community. Using the PLM SIM, fast mobile information is right at the fingertips of everyone, bringing PLM closer to its people. Created in August, officially launched in September and formally inaugurated on 08 October 2009, this powerful community infoboard blasted its maiden message to thousands of scholars and public servants on 22 September 2009.

Personalized PLM SIM: A source of a privileged pride and honor
A special SIM specifically designed for PLM was distributed in September 2009 to scholars and public servants of PLM as a medium for fast mobile communication. Powered by SMART, it features a discounted call rate between and among PLM SIMs (60% discount), yet you can still enjoy the countless benefits offered to the regular pre-paid subscribers. Topped-up with an additional benefit of P15 initial load for the bright scholars and dedicated public servants, courtesy of our caring university, it is personalized with the scholar's or public servant's name on it. The SIM card then serves as a Pamantasan ID which one could proudly flash to anyone outside of PLM, and it doubles as a discount card for SMART-accredited establishments all over the country. This can also be used as a privilege card for exciting PLM services like the highly-discounted printing services at the IT Center.

Official PLM email: <yourname> + online learning resources
Gone were the days when scholars could only use e-mail accounts on the web with small attachment capacity. Now, scholars can use a corporate-sounding, formal-looking official PLM email similar to those being provided by leading universities like the Ivy Leaguers in the United States. Each email is power-packed with a 10Gb of space storage -- more than what a scholar actually needs in many years of use. It also features a total of 25Gb of secured online harddrive for files that one wishes to either keep or share. No more need for that easily-lost and virus-prone thumb drive that can compromise the security of your important files.

The official email is a gateway to countless learning tools and resources that aid the learning activities through enhanced communication and collaboration between and among the faculty members and scholars. With a free Wi-Fi access for everyone inside the campus, anyone could just log-on and enjoy the many benefits and utility tools of the official PLM email.

Powered by the biggest software company in the universe, Microsoft, the ITC's implementation of this program made PLM the first university in the Philippines to implement a massive deployment of the worldwide Live@edu program in full-scale, just like other prime universities in foreign lands, i.e., Ivy League universities in the United States and other leading universities worldwide. View Certificate

Integrated Communications System (Wi-Fi + Powerline + Other technologies)

The largest legacy project of the Tamano presidency with the greatest empowering impact which the PLM community appreciated so immensely, the ICS connects each and every stakeholder through converged technologies. It brings down the solution to the pervading issues of islands of non-connected offices and services. With its multi-component integrated technologies, the ICS utilizes the most recently approved technology by the IIEE and the ITU-T, which are international standard-setting institutions or global professional organizations for scientific advancement of technology.

Because of this legacy project, PLM is now the first university in the Philippines to implement the newest technology protocol available on wired digital and tele-communications using the first worldwide standard for high-speed powerline communications, and more importantly, it has the distinction as the first local university to be fully-networked, and the first to deploy a campus-wide network infrastructure providing free Wi-Fi internet access to scholars, faculty members, employees and even guests.

Most notable and popular among the many integrated components of this sophisticated project is the campus-wide Wi-Fi hotspot. Hence, PLM is also the first local university to offer a campus-wide Wi-Fi access to its scholars, faculty, staff and alumni. Another component is the IP-PBX, an IP-based automated private branch exchange that connects the various offices and colleges through voice channels that will run through the Powerline network. That's a "converged technologies" at its best!

The lesser known yet equally-important components are: the online enrollment system that would modernize the existing decade-old computerized enrollment with enhancements as needed by PLM; the beefing up and integration into the digital/IP-based operation of the current investments of the University, particularly on the audio-video broadcast system and the security camera system.

Systems Outsourcing

To initiate the much-needed and long-awaited modernization of operations in the University, a number of outsourced systems developments were engaged. These include the Asset Management system and Archiving solution of the Property & Supplies Office, the Library Automation system of the Celso Al Carunungan Memorial Library, and the Biometrics Log system and Archiving solution of the HRD Office. Earlier mentioned is the online enrollment system which can be integrated with the PLM InfoBoard to expand the new sophisticated electronic capability of PLM. The Speech Lab is now equipped with networked computers to access a wealth of internationally-used speech proficiency modules from a learning content provider. More systems-based operations are being explored by the various units of the University to modernize their current manual systems. With the IT Center having formulated the Enterprise Information Systems Plan (EISP) which serves as the architecture and roadmap bible to achieve full systems-based operations, the University is on the right track to move forward.

Internet bandwidth increase
Already catering to more than a hundred computers across the old network, the minimum bandwidth of 512kbps was increased quarterfold to 2048kbps in June at a very minimal cost. This new bandwidth can burst up to 4096kbps to cater to the ever increasing computers that connect to the network. With the recent coming in of the Integrated Communications Systems that connected all offices and colleges, a bigger bandwidth is extremely needed. Starting December 2009, a 2xE1 (or 4096kbps) additional line was envisioned to be installed to modestly cover the increase in bandwidth demand. Acquisition of future additional capacity is already in the pipeline to increase the Internet bandwidth of the entire University into 6xE1 (12Mbps) direct internet (not merely broadband) in 2010.

Wireless Engineering Laboratory
The College of Engineering & Technology became the beneficiary of the partnership of PLM with SMART Philippines, through the SMART Wireless Engineering Education Program which provided PLM with SMART-supported wireless laboratory, including wireless technologies from Europe and US. This wireless lab gives PLM scholars a comprehensive knowledge of the cellular technology, and it serves as a teaching ground for ECE students in learning the mobile phone network and updates on existing and new technologies such as SMS, MMS, GPRS, EDGE and current and future 3G technologies.

SWEEP’s continuing education program component would periodically deploy SMART engineers to provide lectures on various topics, i.e., GSM Technology, Wireless Communications, Systems Training, General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), VoIP, WiFi, and 3G SYSTRA. Inaugurated on 12 November 2009, the CET faculty members had its first whole-day seminar barely a week after (20 November), followed by another whole-day seminar last 25 November; CET scholars also had their first salvo of seminars last 27 & 28 November, with another 2-day seminar schedule for another batch a week after.

PLM’s ECE graduates will thus be better equipped to work in the telecommunications industry. Not only will they have access to cellular equipment for training but also first-hand exposure to the practical experiences of SMART engineers in building and operating the country’s most extensive digital mobile phone network.

With all these innovations, PLM now would no longer shirk in proudly saying that it is now on the right track of becoming in equal footing with the more financially strong private universities that can shell out money with ease to acquire technology and resources that undeniably redound to the betterment of the quality of education and the academic services that they provide.