St. Clair Selects Ericom to Support the College’s Ongoing Remote Learning Initiatives

St. Clair Selects Ericom to Support the College’s Ongoing Remote Learning Initiatives

  • Remote learning, enabled quickly at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, now being used to support longer-term programs

Ericom Software, a leading provider of Zero Trust secure web and application access solutions and developer of the ZTEdge SASE Platform, announced that St. Clair College, a Windsor, Ontario, Canada based college focused on Health, Technology and Trades, Business and I.T., Media Arts and Social Services, has renewed its use of Ericom Connect to enable remote access to its healthcare and general labs coursework.

St. Clair Selects Ericom to Support the College’s Ongoing Remote Learning Initiatives 1

St. Clair College, which educates 13,000 full-time students who participate in over 120 advanced diplomas, degrees and graduate certificates, first partnered with Ericom Software at the end of March 2020 when COVID-19 shut down college campuses across the globe.

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At that time, James Wang, St. Clair College Enterprise Support, was faced with the challenge of finding a remote access solution that would enable student access to the college’s network and labs for Healthcare IT and Engineering programs. “First and foremost, we needed a solution that didn’t require an investment in additional virtual private networks,” Wang said. “I turned to my network of higher education IT professionals and a colleague from another Windsor-based university highly recommended Ericom Connect for a number of reasons.”

After a thorough competitive analysis, St. Clair College selected Ericom Connect. Wang continued, “The solution didn’t require that we purchase and manage additional VPNs. Instead, it leveraged our existing VPN infrastructure.”

Technical support was also important to the college because they have a small IT department. “It was also clear that it was going to be easy to implement and that we would get the support we needed to get up and running quickly,” he said.

Ericom Connect offers clientless web-based remote access from any device and browser, with nothing to deploy on endpoints. Having a solution that didn’t require the students to configure their devices and was easy to deploy made their transition to a full-time off-campus environment simpler when COVID-19 suddenly shut down campus.

Wang continued, “One of our biggest challenges was being able to schedule students’ remote access to lab computers.” Many of St. Clair’s international students returned to their home countries for several months because of the pandemic. “With so many of our students being from Asia, India and China, we needed to provide access to lab computers 24/7. Ericom’s support created a comprehensive scheduling interface that specifically addressed this important capability for the students.” Additionally, the interface prioritized open lab times so computers would not sit idle.

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Ericom Connect handled the processing requirements for remote access to lab computers that ran high-CPU applications. Additionally, Ericom Blaze RDP Acceleration Software improved processing of image-rich CAD applications.

“We partnered closely with the St. Clair IT Team,” said Tom Fay, Ericom Technical Support. “Together, we were able to quickly deploy Ericom Connect into their existing Infrastructure while addressing specific challenges that were unique to their environment and use cases, such as multiple domain support, auto-deploying remote agents to lab machines, implementing http to https redirection, and providing a means to restrict user group access by time/date.”

Fay continued, “I’m pleased to see that so many of the organizations we worked with in the Spring of 2020 to use Ericom Connect to quickly provision their secure remote access environments elected to renew, and frequently expand, their use of the solution. They really appreciate the robust capabilities in a simplified and cost-effective package, and many are taking advantage of the new cloud-service option that we’ve introduced.

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