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Background

Georgia Military College (GMC) stands as a testament to what can be achieved through a long-term dedication to excellence and practicality in all their programs. The college, founded in 1879, has a rich history made evident by its beautiful main campus in Milledgeville, GA.

GMC is not, however, living in the past. The college is on the cutting edge—offering over 13,800 students across 11 satellite campuses and a thriving virtual campus access to quality education through excellence in technology. GMC is embracing the future of IT with programs of study including Associate of Science degrees in Computer Science, Cyber Security, and Information Technology.

Georgia Military School

Challenge

GMC’s wireless network is at the heart of their efforts to provide students, faculty and staff a positive user experience and simple, secure access to critical systems and curriculum on any device. The college also realizes that a robust network has become a competitive differentiator critical to attracting and retaining students.

Jody Yearwood, who oversees technology at GMC, understands that if the school is going to implement a technology, it needs to work and it needs to work well for GMC’s users as well as his IT staff.

As the Vice President of Information Technology for Georgia Military College, it’s my job to ensure the technology that students, teachers, and other users rely upon to do their work is reliable and easy to access. My department also needs to be efficient and cost-effective while providing a positive user experience.”

However, providing simple and secure access to wireless while limiting user issues had become increasingly difficult due to a complex and unreliable captive portal system. Technical issues and confused users became leading generators of support tickets.

Matthew Keyes, a systems administrator responsible for maintaining the wireless system and managing wireless user access, gave insight into some of the challenges GMC’s IT staff faced.

In the past, when a call came in to the help desk, troubleshooting the issue often required long periods of time on the phone… We also wasted a lot of time addressing authentication issues or captive portal issues, where the page wouldn’t redirect.”

Supporting the wireless had become an expensive and frustrating experience for GMC’s users and IT staff. The administration reached out to Lockstep Technology Group for insight and guidance on how to address the growing problem.

Solution

EXTREME NAC

After evaluating the challenges GMC was facing, the wireless experts at Lockstep Technology Group introduced Extreme Access Control to Mr. Yearwood and his team, demonstrating the benefits of having a system that can automate and effectively manage the wireless authentication process for a large and distributed organization.

After an in-depth review, GMC implemented Extreme Access Control across all their campuses. Lockstep’s Extreme certified team assisted with a painless implementation and knowledge transfer of how to effectively use the powerful tool.

 

extreme logo

 

Outcome

With Extreme Access Control, connecting and authenticating is easier and more secure than ever. Students, faculty, and staff can securely authenticate once (per semester, per quarter, per year, etc.) and stay connected—even across campuses and sites. Guests are also able to easily log on without being given access to any critical networks or systems.

For GMC’s IT staff, support tickets have decreased and their ability to resolve issues efficiently and accurately is greatly increased. “We have quick access to information—such as the caller’s specific mac address, operating system, and access point—making it easier to diagnose and solve the problem,” said Mr. Keyes.

Extreme Access Control makes my job easier. With fewer tickets and faster service, we have happier users and a more efficient IT department.”

Extreme Access Control Data Sheet

Complete solution featuring both physical and virtual appliances for end-to-end security and superior user experience.

After the implementation of our wireless networks across 13 campuses, it became apparent that the out-of-the-box access control and management was not going to be sufficient in managing our thousands of students and their devices. We were spending too much time managing help desk tickets and assisting end users with—what should have been—basic tasks. With the implementation of Extreme Access Control, we were able to provide a better experience to our users and significantly reduce the time our staff spends in dealing with basic access issues.”

Jody Yearwood, Vice President of Information Technology & Enrollment Management Executive Director Online Campus, Georgia Military College

gmc testimonial from jody

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