- • Region: LATAM
- • End users: 10,000 students, 3,000 teachers and staff
- • Main request: Secure remote access to university computers
- • Major benefit: Continuity of academic offerings and greater operational efficiency
- • Product: Unattended access and remote support
Providing education to over 10,000 students
The Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) is a private Colombian higher education institution with branches in Medellín, Bucaramanga, Montería, Palmira and Bogotá. It has a history of more than 85 years and is one of the top 100 universities in Latin America (QS Ranking 2016). Its academic offerings range from basic pre-school education to doctoral degrees at the university level and currently provide education to more than 10,000 students.
Remote access to university computers became a necessity
A few years ago, UPB created a department within its IT division that specializes in the digitization of academic offerings and the virtualization of some of the institution's services. Esteban Moná Mejía is the support and maintenance coordinator of this department, working with 7 specialists to provide effective support to all users of the college.
"As the pandemic progressed in the country, we realised that closing all of the university's classrooms would be unavoidable. We saw the need to find a tool that would facilitate and support students' remote access to the university's computer labs. We learned about ISL Online through a vendor and were immediately impressed with its ease of use and management capabilities for our technology team," explains Esteban Moná, Support and Maintenance Coordinator at UPB.
Why ISL Online
Esteban contacted ISL Online to request a proof of concept for the remote access solution. This test involved setting up unattended access in some computer rooms and establishing connections to evaluate the tool's performance. It only took a few days for Esteban and the entire UPB team to give their approval.
The biggest challenge was ensuring continuity of academic courses during times when most teachers, administrators, and students were forced to stay home. With the help of ISL Online, this challenge was overcome. All users had to do was log into a website with their credentials and connect to the university's computers with a simple click. In addition, some of the key benefits of ISL Online highlighted by UPB include:
Easy management and administration of computer rooms
With a large number of computers and the need to connect more than 21,000 students and teachers, ISL Online's advanced administration options have made it easy to manage user access to specific classrooms and ensure classroom availability in accordance with the academic schedule of automatic connection outages.
This is one of the most valuable features for a help desk technician. At the same time, it is easy for students to make quick transfers to save notes and assignments. ISL Online provides fast and unlimited file transfers between the local and remote computers.
Running processes with elevated privileges
This allows users to restart the computer in safe mode and interact with user account control dialogs to maximize support efficiency and significantly reduce the time required to fix computer problems and perform maintenance.
Advanced customization options
The standard ISL Online tool has been customized with UPB's official images for a more professional and familiar look and feel. In addition, the solution has been fully customized to UPB's use case, with custom configuration of features.
"Users really appreciate being able to connect to the university's computers and use specialised design applications that aren't available to them at home," says Esteban, explaining one of the benefits students and faculty often cite.
584 university courses have been conducted remotely
The University has always put the health and safety of its community first. It has implemented innovative technological solutions to maintain the continuity of educational programmes without compromising the safety of students, faculty and administrative staff. " Thanks to ISL Online, we have been able to deliver 584 of a total of 7931 university courses remotely," Esteban explains the fundamental role that ISL Online has played.
Greater efficiency and less travel with ISL Online
On the other hand, administrators at IT were able to respond immediately to any type of technical problem faced by students or university staff. This maximised operational efficiency and reduced costs by eliminating unnecessary travel. "During the year, approximately 5,000 remote support connections were made, which helped us maintain operational efficiency," says Esteban.
Developing hybrid education models
The situation we experienced has brought many changes and some uncertainty for the future, as some universities prefer to return to the old model, while others are using this advanced digitization to develop processes and programmes for hybrid education. In particular, the technology department at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana understands better than ever how technology can help students throughout their educational experience, both in person and online. ISL Online will continue to help enhance that experience.
Excellent customer support from ISL Online
According to Esteban, the university is very pleased with the results achieved with ISL Online. "In our internal evaluation, ISL Online received a satisfaction rating of 5/5. I would like to highlight the support, willingness, and guidance provided by the ISL Online support and customer service staff, who promptly addressed all platform needs and helped us ensure adequate delivery of the service."