Customer Success Story
Grace Christian University refreshes campus Wi-Fi in five days
Grace Christian University had 90 days to replace its campuswide Wi-Fi network in the middle of a pandemic. The evangelical college in Grand Rapids, Michigan, shifted to Experience-First Networking with Juniper so its 1000 students could learn safely and successfully, whether on campus or online.
|Company||Grace Christian University|
|Products used||Marvis VNA, EX3400, EX4400, AP43|
Wi-Fi coverage in classrooms, residential hall, and campus quad
Days to install new campus network
Reduction in CapEx by rightsizing the wired network in new construction
Reduction in time spent on network support
Reliable Wi-Fi is a prerequisite to academic success
A network refresh was top priority when Bob Eluskie joined Grace Christian University as director of IT.
“We defined a vision that by June 2021, Grace Christian would offer a safe, healthy learning environment and grow with technology, which is an important part of our vision.”
Outdated Wi-Fi was creating significant learning challenges. The urgency was compounded by a surprise notification that the university’s managed service provider was discontinuing support.
“We had 90 days to migrate to a new Wi-Fi environment,” Eluskie says.
AI-driven network takes top honors
Eluskie, deeply experienced in networking, had his eye on Juniper AI-driven solutions. “It was clear to me that Juniper wireless was a product of the future,” he says.
The IT team deployed the new network across 24 buildings and dorms in five days over winter break. “Juniper wireless is easy to deploy and it saved us money,” says Eluskie.
Juniper Series High-Performance Access Points work in conjunction with the Mist Cloud Architecture and Mist AI to optimize the network user experience while streamlining IT operations. Juniper EX Series Ethernet Switches are used for the core network and access switching on campus.
The AI-driven Marvis Virtual Network Assistant empowered the IT team to become proactive, with self-driving actions or recommendations that speed problem resolution.
“I have not seen anything like the visibility that Marvis has given us,” Eluskie says.
Exceptional network experience for hybrid learning
With fast, reliable Wi-Fi, students stay focused on learning, whether they’re in classrooms, dorm rooms, or across the country as an online student.
“Classroom virtualization has allowed students to return to their studies safely,” says Eluskie.
The IT team has been freed up for strategic work. “We spend less time supporting our customers and their devices because the Juniper Wi-Fi network just works,” says Eluskie. “That means we can get other things done.”
High-performance Wi-Fi also allowed the university to rightsize its wired network. “We’re saving money constructing our new student housing because we don’t need as many wired connections,” he says.
Eluskie continues to use technology to improve the student and faculty experience. Soccer and basketball games are live-streamed over Wi-Fi, so families and alumni can watch anywhere. Adding planned Wi-Fi to the athletic buses will allow student-athletes to study from the road.
The success of this project has led to a campus wide network switch replacement with Juniper EX series switches to be completed by August 2022.
Published March 2022