This series explores WiFi connectivity within different contexts based on real-life scenarios encountered by our sales team. In previous blog entries, we saw how Enterprise Control provides self-managed, secure, and segmented device onboarding to WiFi networks, and Part 1 of this series explored how it could help a mid-sized office. Now let’s take a look at it in the context of educational centers.
The Context: Educational Centers
The importance of internet services in educational environments, specifically WiFi, is undeniable. It’s now essential for educators and students alike to have access to resources for an optimal learning experience. Also undeniable, however, is that this access has to be controlled: teaching staff must have access that is separate from that of students and visitors.
Segmented WiFi access is imperative, because teachers need seamless WiFi connectivity to access specific resources such as student profiles or exam databases. Students, on the other hand, should have WiFi access that is more restricted. Visitors, such as parents or visitors, may need access too for limited time periods.
The Fix: Enterprise Control Features
Let’s see how Enterprise Control helps provide this type of WiFi service. With it, educational centers can:
1. Offer two differentiated SSIDS: One for staff and students and one for visitors. Let’s refer to them as “School” and “School_visitors”, respectively.
2. Provide controlled, self-managed onboarding: Both staff and students will connect to the “School” SSID. Enterprise Control checks with the school’s database to ensure correct user identification. When connecting to the “School” SSID, the onboarding process will be completely self-managed: All they’ll have to do is enter their email into the onboarding portal Enterprise Control provides. Then, each device will be automatically configured. Each user type has a different profile: Staff will be able to access all designated resources from any device, but students will be able only to gain access with school-provided devices during learning hours, and will not have access to staff-only resources. But thanks to Enterprise Control’s policy server, both staff and students can access the network using the same SSID. Access from unauthorized devices, or at specific times, will be denied for students. When access is granted, privileges will vary based on the identity of the user and their specific wireless device.
3. Offer secure and easy guest WiFi: Following our example, visitors will connect to the “School_visitors” SSID. In this scenario, multiple guest WiFi options are available: Guests can self-register through a captive portal or the school may decide they must be invited by staff. One of the most successful options that our sales team has identified is self-registration. In this scenario, visitors only have to enter their email address on the captive portal when they arrive. The school may optionally decide on a click-to-connect experience or if they will require a password, which will be sent to the user through a two-step verification process.
And what does all mean for WiFi at schools and other educational centers? Now they can provide to easy, self-managed, secure, and segmented WiFi access. All with an simple and cost-effective cloud solution.