LoughTec, one of the UK and Ireland’s leading IT infrastructure specialists, was selected by Dundalk Institute of Technology to deliver their secure remote access solution to physical computers and applications on campus. This also enabled the institution to deliver the rapid roll-out of their working from home model for staff, delivering secure virtual learning environments for faculty and students.
Dundalk Institute of Technology is the focal point for higher education and research on the Belfast-Dublin corridor, attracting more than 4000 students from across the globe.
In March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic was forcing a public lockdown across Ireland, DkIT, like many organisations, was required at short notice to move their educational delivery online. The institution also needed to establish and enable a work from home model for their faculty of 500+ staff.
Michael Denihan, IT Manager at DkIT led the institution’s effort in finding a suitable solution. “At the time we had limited tools within our portfolio to support this fundamental business change and we had considerable hardware and software investment tied up in on campus labs, which our students need to access remotely to continue their education.”
“The major challenge was to make these labs available to students in time for academic delivery in September 2020.”
It was also important that any solution would be cost-effective, scalable and provide remote access for staff and students from any device, anywhere, at any time.
“We were aware that LoughTec already worked with other Institutes of Technology in Ireland, and engaged with them to see if they could assist.”
LoughTec quickly evaluated DkIT’s requirements and engaged with the institution on a sectoral tender, which put a framework in place for the procurement of licences for the Ericom Connect product. This framework gave DkIT the flexibility to purchase licences as and when they are required.
Ericom Connect provides secure, centrally managed access to both Windows and Linux applications and desktops, from any device. From a single platform, Connect offers enterprise-level functionality, along with a superior user experience. Combining the benefits of advanced grid technology and robust connection brokering, Connect is cloud-ready and offers high availability, scalability and enhanced performance.
Additionally, with Connect, IT admins can enable users to securely access on-campus desktops and lab resources, without having to install software directly on either desktops or students’ remote devices.
“From first engagement, LoughTec were great to work with in that they engaged promptly and openly and made sure they understood our issues and requirements. Their pre-sales staff worked closely with us to identify solutions to our problems and they engaged with us to initiate and support a proof of concept product evaluation” said Denihan.
Whilst the institution found a suitable secure remote access solution, it was imperative the roll out was completed before learning was resumed in September. “The LoughTec Technical staff were very supportive in getting us up and running quickly, and actively supported our staff in getting the production environment built and ready for remote lab delivery in September.”
“LoughTec and Ericom have exceeded our expectations so far, particularly with in respect to delivery of online labs to our students. We anticipate working productively with LoughTec for many years to come.”