University’s Network Access and BYOD Challenges Solved

Auconet BICS replaces legacy NAC with simplified, central control of entire network and endpoints

After 10 years of working with a variety of network access control (NAC) solutions, Saint Martin’s University faced new network management problems that traditional NAC could not solve. Seeking a comprehensive, zero-maintenance solution to secure, manage, and centrally control the University’s network, the IT team evaluated every vendor in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for NAC. They selected Auconet Business Infrastructure Control Solution (BICS) to simplify and centralize management of Saint Martin’s entire network and BYOD access. BICS has nearly eliminated any need for manual intervention in configuration of new user devices for network access.

Manage complex BYOD challenges

Saint Martin’s University in Washington State, like many Global 1000 enterprises, sought the best means to effectively and efficiently manage a dynamic BYOD scenario. Saint Martin’s operates a complex mixture of routers and devices from several manufacturers, and numerous VLANs. It faced an unusual BYOD challenge with many off-brand, no-name devices used by its frequently-changing student population. Every new endpoint device must be configured and assigned to the correct VLAN; this usually required time-consuming intervention. Saint Martin’s University’s requirements included centralized, visual oversight of all network devices. Easy, self-registration of new BYOD devices was also a top priority, as was port provisioning with MAC-based device authorization.

Solution: Security plus infrastructure control

After in-depth experience with prominent NAC providers and in-house solutions, Saint Martin’s University assembled a demanding set of requirements that only Auconet could fulfill.

“We talked to a dozen of the top NAC firms about MAC-based authorization,” said Neal Bullinger, senior systems administrator at Saint Martin’s University. “The answer was always the same: ‘You’ll need to write your own.’”

The University chose Auconet for its ability to handle – with no changes to infrastructure – Saint Martin’s diverse network, and its ever-changing endpoints: PCs, laptops, smart phones, tablets, lab equipment, cameras, and gaming machines that users connect to the campus network.

Implementation: <2 weeks

The Auconet team quickly installed the BICS virtual appliance on-premises at Saint Martin’s University. In less than two weeks, BICS was fully operational with complete out-of-band endpoint detection and NAC for every device, and centralized network management across the University’s complex VLAN-based environment.

Support and expertise

“Auconet’s team worked side-by-side with ours until the job was done for the BICS installation,” commented Bullinger. “The quality of the product and professional expertise that the Auconet team displayed were far beyond what we have experienced before.”

Outcome: Central control of infrastructure

Bullinger concluded, “With BICS, we spend our resources on improving computing for everyone in the university.”


Auconet BICS enables us to… elegantly control our entire infrastructure.
Neal Bullinger, Senior Systems Administrator, Saint Martin’s University


Straight from the box, BICS gave Saint Martin’s University:

  • Simplified, central management and protection of the entire network
  • Fast implementation, easy to learn and operate
  • Security that scales to any number of endpoints
  • Vendor independence – BICS works with all network devices and endpoints
  • No agents placed on the endpoints
  • Web-based self-registration for users to add their own devices
  • No change required to existing infrastructure

None of the others come close to what Auconet BICS enables us to do – elegantly control our entire infrastructure, and every digital device anyone tries to attach to it, from a central console, including MAC-based authorization right out of the box.
Neal Bullinger, Senior Systems Administrator, Saint Martin’s University

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