August 04, 2014

Penn State to Employ Ericom AccessNow

For college students, learning should not be restricted to the four walls of a classroom, but be accessible in every area of daily life. With a new Ericom platform employed at Penn State, both students and faculty will be able to experience a wider scope of learning.

Ericom, an application access and desktop virtualization group, will be offering its Ericom AccessNow service to more than 100,000 Penn State student and faculty members. The service will provide access to mathematics and statistics programs, computer-aided design platforms such as SolidWorks, and the Microsoft (News Alert) Office suite; it replaces a Java-based remote access solution previously employed by the university.

AccessNow will reduce the need to install and maintain software on endpoint devices, thus reducing help desk support tickets by 90 percent. It will extend the availability of almost 9,000 Windows workstations in over 1,400 lab and classroom locations, and will be employed across Penn State’s 22 campuses. Users will be able to access educational applications via standard browsers, and the program will protect university investments in existing IT infrastructures. What’s more, AccessNow is far more conducive to off-campus and out-of-classroom learning for both students and faculty, considering its ability to be utilized in so many locations.

Replacing a Java-based program is also an enormous benefit of AccessNow. Preston Baker, system administrator in the classroom and lab computing division of Penn State’s Information Technology Services department, said in a statement, “Anytime a Java update came out, we experienced a flood of help desk issues. With AccessNow, we have a tenth of the support volume, freeing us up to focus on other IT initiatives…Last month, more than 26,000 application sessions were powered by AccessNow via an array of devices, including Apple iPads and Google (News Alert) Chromebooks.”

With this kind of access, Penn State students and faculty will be able to expand their classroom experience into something that reaches farther than the classroom.

Edited by Adam Brandt


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