Upgrading Otemon Gakuin University’s Campus Network to Enhance Operations and Stability

Otemon Gakuin University has integrated Juniper networking and security solutions to upgrade its campus-wide network. The university faced operational workload issues due to its previous multi-vendor environment. In addition, instability of the school’s Wi-Fi connection compromised access and convenience for both faculty members and students. With network enhancements from Juniper, the school has not only increased general operational efficiency but also significantly improved Wi-Fi connection stability, resulting in a decrease in inquiries to IT support. In view of the institution's plans to promote advanced university education, Juniper's cutting-edge technologies offer a compelling solution and are being considered for future network expansion.


Company Otemon Gakuin University
Industry Higher Education
Region APAC
Otemon Gakuin Image
Customer Success At-a-glance

A variety of data-driven insights help the university deliver high-quality learning experiences for students and faculty staff

Created a safe learning environment by seamlessly integrating security solutions into its network

Simple to manage network powered by AI has significantly reduced operational load for the team

Scalable network that can accommodate future plans to combine its two campuses


Otemon Gakuin University has a long history, dating back to the founding of the Osaka Kaiko-sha Affiliated Elementary School in 1888. The university’s educational philosophy is focused on “Independent Effort and contribution to Society.” Otemon Gakuin also operates a comprehensive educational network that includes accredited kindergartens, elementary, junior high and high schools, universities and graduate schools. Otemon Gakuin University was founded in 1966 in Ibaraki City, Osaka. It recently advocates a new educational concept called "Work is Learning," where students can learn independently and learn from one another, promoting a learning style centered on independent learning and collaborative problem-solving.

The University has seven faculties: Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Management, Faculty of Regional Development Studies, Faculty of Sociology, Faculty of Psychology, Faculty of International Studies and Faculty of Letters. The private university has approximately 8,000 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as approximately 380 faculty members, including both full-time and part-time instructors. In addition to the Ibaraki Ai Campus, where it has been located since its establishment, the Sojiji Campus was opened in 2019. With the establishment of a new university, this has aided Otemon Gakuin in the strengthening of university administration and education.

Despite being primarily a liberal arts university, the school has established a new major in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science in the Faculty of Psychology and other advanced programs. The school is also active in the education of cutting-edge technology. In addition, the " OIDAI DX Promotion Plan" has been implemented to promote online/offline education at the start of the pandemic. The school is also developing a learning management system and a system to visualize learning outcomes and to improve the quality of learning, as well as using AI analysis.

"Information technology is indispensable for university education and graduate research, and personal computers are must-have tools for students too. Therefore, it is our responsibility to maintain the stable operations and security of the university’s network. We would like to have a better IT infrastructure compared to other universities and provide an environment where students can concentrate on their studies and research. We would like to make the most out of this opportunity," said Nobuhiro Motoki, Deputy Manager of the Information and Media Division, Otemon Gakuin.

Ottemon Challenge

In a multi-vendor environment with a high operational load, the approach was to proceed with a complete renewal for simplified configuration and design. 

Otemon Gakuin University has made the stable operation of its IT infrastructure and information security a top priority. The university, in particular, recognized the effectiveness of multi-layered defense for network security and had deployed a variety of technologies. Network construction and security measures involving multiple vendors, on the other hand, are difficult to configure. The configuration's complexity made it difficult to obtain sufficient visibility, and when communication issues arose, it was difficult to isolate the cause, and responding took a long time. It was frequently impossible to pinpoint the source of a problem.

“There was no denying that network performance degradation and Wi-Fi connectivity problems were common, causing stress for students, faculty, and staff. A simple network configuration should reduce the operational load and improve stability. Our goal was to design a system that would allow us to quickly and reliably resolve any problems," recalls Takuya Kasahara, Information and Media Division, Otemon Gakuin.

When time came to update the network and its security for the university, its IT partner proposed a solution from Juniper Networks. By implementing Juniper's broad network product portfolio, it would be able to experience improved network stability and operability as well as lower operation costs in comparison to the existing multi-vendor network environment they said. 

“We have been paying attention to Juniper's wireless access points with Mist AI since it was first announced in Japan, and have checked it out at trade shows and other events. Since it is completely cloud-based and does not use physical controllers, it allows us to move from hardware operations and also solves the scalability issue. Otemon Gakuin University has been promoting cloud computing since around 2017, and this solution is in line with that policy. It is also interesting to note that the AI engine onboard the system is capable of predicting interference and automatically adjusting radio frequencies. In the past, there were places indoors where it was difficult to get a signal, but with Mist AI, we expect this to improve. Juniper has a strong track record in security solutions, and the single architecture has the advantage of being able to operate without any load," says Motoki.

Ottemon Solution

The entire campus network has been integrated with Juniper, gaining significant stability and operational benefits. Otemon Gakuin has a total of 340 Mist APs in the buildings throughout the Otemon Gakuin University and Ibaraki Ai Campus, as well as in the offices of the kindergartens, elementary and junior high schools, and the psychology center branch. The backbone network was deployed with 170 EX Series Ethernet Switches, and Internet access was bundled with SRX Series Service Gateways. The plan is to simply cover the entire campus and the entire school operation with Juniper Networks' solutions.

Mist has been very effective and has noticeably stabilized our Wi-Fi connection. We used to have unstable roaming, and we would often lose connection on the move, but that has been eliminated. The best proof of this is that we have received fewer inquiries from students and faculty.  With JUNOS and the SRX Series, implementing roll back commands are easy so our operations staff says they can operate the system with "peace of mind." says Kasahara. 

The two officers also spoke highly of the support provided by Juniper and the partners who proposed the system as they were able to complete a large-scale network environment covering the entire campus on a tight schedule as the renewal deadline loomed.

Otemon Gakuin University plans to operate a two-campus system for the time being, with a future move to the new Sojiji campus in mind. Eventually, the university plans to integrate the Ibaraki-Ai and Sojiji campuses with Juniper Networks to consolidate operations.

The university is also looking forward to teleworking for its faculty and staff, which is being promoted through work style reforms and the pandemic, while resolving network and security issues. We are very much looking forward to utilizing Juniper Networks' technology, which is actively involved in cloud computing said Motoki and his team.

Otemon Gakuin anticipates greater advancements in Juniper’s technology and product enhancements that will be beneficial to the institute's operations and education. It will continue to gather information and acquire skills to ensure the team keeps up with the latest advancement in Juniper’s solutions, as well as work to improve the quality and enhance network and security functions. The technologies and solutions provided by Juniper will support Japan's shift towards advanced education and people development.

Ottemon Outcome
“We are also interested in Mist's location-based technology. For example, location information using BLE will enable us to grasp the usage status of classrooms and other facilities in real time, and we believe that this information can be applied to the management of the institute. We are also planning to provide applications in the future, so we would definitely like to make use of this technology.”
Nobuhiro Motoki Deputy Manager of the Information and Media Division, Otemon Gakuin

Published May 2022