Standing in line for a workstation at the computer lab is as much a part of the college experience as all-night study sessions and buying expensive books.
At Peirce College, in Philadelphia, all-night cramming marathons at the library and hefty credit card charges from the bookstore have not gone away, but traditional computer labs are a thing of the past.
With help from its local solution provider, the college now allows students, whether they are studying on campus or online, to be effectively “at the lab” anywhere and anytime, through any desktop or notebook PC.
To make this dream a reality, the college turned to endpoint security vendor ControlGuard and its favored reseller, Chelsea Technologies, for help.
Although traditionally focused on banking and investment opportunities, Chelsea saw the project with Peirce College as an opportunity to break into a new vertical market, according to Meyer Ben-Reuven, founder and president of New York-based Chelsea.
“The Peirce project opened up the very interesting area of education for us,” said Ben-Reuven. “Although our focus is on the financial and how we can take ControlGuard to financial institutions, we are looking into education to see where we can go with it.”
Struggling with limited computer lab space and long lines of dissatisfied students, the college began brainstorming how to solve its computer lab problem. Was there another way to allow students to do the work they normally could do only by connecting to the university server through the lab or the colleges VPN? And, if so, how could the educational institution maintain the integrity of its data and the security of its network?
“We have traditionally had labs where students can go in and do assignments on the servers, either online through a VPN or on campus. We were seeing that many students wanted to come at the same time, and there was a backlog,” said Chris Duffy, CIO of Peirce College. “We thought, What if we could give students their servers to go?”