Holmdel Schools Expands Relationship with Ericom to Enhance Hybrid Remote Learning
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Holmdel Schools Expands Relationship with Ericom to Enhance Hybrid Remote Learning

Ericom Partner, PBG Networks, Consults with School District to Find and Deliver the Ideal Solution

NEW YORK – April 12, 2021 – Ericom Software, a leader in cloud cybersecurity solutions for secure web and application access, today announced that Holmdel Schools, a New Jersey school district with a network of four schools serving 3,000 students Pre-K through Grade 12, chose Ericom Connect to enable a hybrid educational model for the 2020-2021 school year.

The Holmdel Schools' IT team used the 2020 summer break to retool and get ready for launching a hybrid educational model in the new school year. They began their research on how they could provide STEM capabilities to students to facilitate the use of graphics intensive applications.

Steven Lelivelt, Holmdel Schools' Network Engineer, explained that they decided to purchase Chromebooks but soon ran into one important obstacle. The problem was that products like Adobe and AutoCAD did not run well on a web browser. "We looked at other options to enable desktop access to lab computers from home, but they were very expensive," explained Anthony Gattini, Holmdel Schools' Director of Technology.

Gattini and Lelivelt turned to PBG Networks, a New Jersey-based IT consulting firm, for advice. "We had been working with PBG Networks for 12 years," Lelivelt explained. "As a value-added reseller, they have a lot of insights and there is great value in their understanding of our network infrastructure."

Scott Brousseau, PBG Networks' CTO, knew the school's business office switched from an alternative vendor's solution to Ericom Connect a few years prior. When COVID-19 forced school closures in March of 2020, Ericom Connect was the business office's "lifeline," enabling remote work to continue operating. Brousseau immediately recommended Ericom Connect as a solution to their remote application access requirements. Instead of implementing a virtual desktop solution, Brousseau helped Holmdel take advantage of their school's existing lab environment by installing Ericom's Agent directly on the physical PCs. This allowed the school to use its existing PC GPU hardware to enable students to access advanced graphics programs like Adobe Premier and AutoCAD from their home or anywhere that has browser access.

The next day, Brousseau facilitated a call with PBG Networks, Ericom, and Holmdel Schools that quickly got the solution in place. Brousseau explains, "While on the phone, Steve got an Ericom support engineer into the server. The software was provisioned on several PCs during the call, and they began their testing of Ericom Connect. After a few days of seeing Ericom Connect work seamlessly, Holmdel deployed the solution for the students in the high school."

Ericom Connect offers secure, centrally managed browser-based access to both Windows and Linux applications and desktops from any device. From a single platform, Ericom Connect offers enterprise-level functionality along with a superior user experience. Combining the benefits of advanced grid technology and robust connection brokering, Ericom Connect is cloud-ready and offers high availability, scalability, and enhanced performance. IT admins can enable users to securely access on-campus desktops and lab resources without having to install software directly on either students' laptops or in-school desktops.

"At first, we opened at half capacity, so on any given day 50% of our students were at home and the others were physically present in the lab," Lelivelt said. "With social distancing, we had the software installed on every other lab computer, and it worked out great. Now, with full distance learning, software is installed on all computers." .

Added Gattini, "Being in education, we have to look for secure solutions that are also cost-effective. Some solution providers expect us to pay for everything a la carte and engineer their solutions with the expectation that they need new hardware. That does not work for us. Ericom's solution is ideal for customers like us who have limited resources, and we were able to use a piece of hardware we owned so there wasn't an additional investment required."

PBG Networks provides insight and expertise that help customers solve critical IT problems. Scott Brousseau, PBG Networks' CTO, said, "We also understand that most schools don't have big budgets, resources, or staff to implement their remote learning initiatives." PBG Networks has been able to help schools make the most of their existing resources during the pandemic.

The school emphasized that it has had a great experience with the remote access solution, citing its excellent performance and simplicity for students. Pupils simply receive a link to log into the exact lab environment they are familiar with. "Installing the solution was very easy, and the great partnership between Ericom and PBG made it happen so smoothly for us." Gattini said.

To learn more about Ericom Connect, visit: https://www.ericom.com/ericom-connect/.

About Ericom Software

Ericom Software is a leading provider of Zero Trust cybersecurity solutions that protect organizations from advanced security threats. Leveraging innovative browser and application isolation technologies, Ericom's cloud-delivered security solutions enable simple, secure, policy-driven access to mission-critical applications and resources, including the web, without impacting end-user productivity.

Ericom's platform of browser isolation, remote access, secure connectivity, mobility, and virtualization technologies enhance cybersecurity and productivity while reducing cost and complexity for tens of thousands of businesses and millions of end-users worldwide. The company has been in business for over two decades and has offices in the US and a global network of distributors and partners.

For more information about Ericom and its products, visit www.ericom.com. Follow Ericom Software on our blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.