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University case study: anywhere, anyhow access

How BT helped Brunel create a consistent, secure experience for students using their own devices.

University case study: anywhere, anyhow access

How BT helped Brunel create a consistent, secure experience for students using their own devices.

The challenge

Brunel already let students use their own devices on campus, but wanted to remove as many limitations as possible, including security and bandwidth issues.

The solution

With full support from BT, simple and effective security using passwords and encrypted login now front the security requirements within the network.

The result

Brunel University can respond to student needs more quickly and easily, enabling more of an ‘anywhere, anyhow’ culture for students using their own devices.

The challenge

Brunel already let students use their own devices on campus, but wanted to remove as many limitations as possible, including security and bandwidth issues.

The solution

With full support from BT, simple and effective security using passwords and encrypted login now front the security requirements within the network.

The result

Brunel University can respond to student needs more quickly and easily, enabling more of an ‘anywhere, anyhow’ culture for students using their own devices.

Universities have been forced to become more competitive due to changes in their funding structure. With students now personally investing in their degrees, they’re demanding the very best value for money in terms of services and facilities.

Keenly aware of the need to continue attracting students from the UK and around the world, Brunel asked BT to help create a consistent, secure experience for people using their own devices at the university.

The challenge

As a progressive university with nearly 15,000 students from over 100 countries, Brunel has been allowing students to use their own devices to some extent on campus for more than a decade. But it wanted to remove as many of the existing limitations as possible.

The university’s main challenge was to overcome security and bandwidth issues to enable students, as well as visitors and staff, to access the network in more ways from more places. 

It also wanted to remove restrictions to desired applications without compromising security or impacting the network.

The solution

With BT’s knowledge and support, Brunel University is now able to respond to student needs more quickly and easily, enabling more of an ‘anywhere, anyhow’ culture for students wanting to use their own devices. They've also got better access to learning tools, as well as gaming, social networks and apps.

Image of a student looking at a tablet

BT added good knowledge and good skills to my team which will enable us to develop services going forward.

Simple and effective security, using passwords and encrypted log on, now fronts the full security requirements within the network. This has created a more flexible and secure environment to support the academic life of students.

Students are now able to work flexibly and more easily with simplified access to the university’s wi-fi (ResNet) outdoors and in communal places like the coffee shop, library and halls of residence. They can easily email lecturers and other students, as well as access their projects.

It’s cheaper too. By using ResNet wi-fi instead of roaming services, students don't have to worry about burning through the data allowance on their mobile phone tariffs. This can be quite a saving, especially when some students bring as many as three devices to university. 

Brunel also now allows students to play the majority of their games over the network.

With BT’s knowledge and support, Brunel University is now able to respond to student needs more quickly and easily.

Andrew Kershaw, director of External Affairs explains: “Students come to university with all manner of equipment – iPads, iPods, smartphones … and therefore expect that things will work. We had to put in place a plan of investment.”

To make it happen, Brunel University needed a partner with the expertise to provide additional support and knowledge in maximising the effectiveness of their existing investment in Cisco Borderless Networks.

It was vital that this partner had a sound understanding of Cisco solutions and their application within an educational setting. As the UK’s leading Cisco partner with a proven track record in providing similar successful deployments, BT was the partner of choice.

Better still, the system requires minimal management, thanks to its single vendor architecture. This is of crucial significance to Brunel, who wants to ensure ongoing running costs and disruptions are kept to a minimum.

The result

The project was completed in perfect time to ensure visitors to the campus for London 2012 and beyond were able to use their own devices securely during their stay. It also ensures Brunel can pursue further opportunities to generate revenue.

Simon Furber, Network Manager at Brunel University says: “It means when initiatives come along like, for example, the Olympics, we’ve been able to capitalise on that investment, add that to the existing architecture and build new services upon it.”

He concludes: “Bring Your Own Device is not a new concept to Brunel University but by using the latest ‘identity based’ network services we aim to provide one of the least restrictive network experiences amongst UK universities.”

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