Xavier University taps Fujitsu PH to deploy smarter campus

Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan (XU) recently teamed up with Fujitsu Philippines to boost the connectivity in all its five campuses across Cagayan de Oro City.

From left: Harriet B. Fernandez, director, Xavier University computing and information services office; Lennie K. Ong, Xavier University treasurer; Edison B. Sasoy, vice president for administration; Fr. Roberto C. Yap, SJ, university president;  Cricket Santiago, president and CEO of Fujitsu Philippines; Terry Ybanez, sales director, VisMin business unit; Sherwin Cortes, solutions architect; Joyce Punay, account manager, VisMin sales business unit

From left: Harriet B. Fernandez, director, Xavier University computing and information services office; Lennie K. Ong, Xavier University treasurer; Edison B. Sasoy, vice president for administration; Fr. Roberto C. Yap, SJ, university president; Cricket Santiago, president and CEO of Fujitsu Philippines; Terry Ybanez, sales director, VisMin business unit; Sherwin Cortes, solutions architect; Joyce Punay, account manager, VisMin sales business unit

As a result, the partnership will not only allow the university to offer online courses in the future, it will also upgrade its network systems, enhancing the productivity of its faculty, staff, and students through the use of a fast and reliable network.

“Digitization and connectivity have emerged as a necessity for educational institutions. It allows us to make our students globally competitive. To achieve it, we have invested a lot in building and improving our IT infrastructure across all campuses,” said Edison B. Sasoy, Xavier Ateneo vice president for administration. “All our current and future ICT initiatives are centered on the university’s core processes that include teaching and learning system, research, and social development.”

Moreover, XU also wants to blanket the whole campus with Wi-Fi connection and bolster its IP-based telephone system, university officials said.

Fujitsu Philippines has played a key role in implementing Xavier University’s ICT network infrastructure plans. In 2011, it has started the integration of solutions centered on Cisco and Ruckus products.

Cisco’s Catalyst 4500-X is the core that provides 10G connections across XU’s buildings and campuses. Cisco Nexus 9300, on the other hand, provides the data center infrastructure that connects its existing Unified Computing System (UCS) Server and NetApp Storage.

To ensure network security, Fujitsu translated XU’s security requirements by incorporating the Cisco ASA 5585 firewall with Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) and Advanced Malware Protection, and Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE).

For added defense, Cisco IronPort Web Security Appliance was placed to protect the university from phishing sites and other online threats. This appliance also allows XU to implement policy-based web filters that enable easy implementation of the existing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) policies.

Ruckus Wireless system was also included to provide WiFi connection throughout the main campus and the annexes.

According to Fren Marlon B. Peralta, CISO-Computing and Network Services unit head, the upgrade has aided their team in boosting the capabilities of their network in which they are looking at an eight to 15-year lifecycle.

“Our next steps are now focused on the optimization of the converged campus network infrastructure, especially now that we are moving towards an online campus setup. All of the student services like admissions and enrollment, as well as student evaluation and assessment are now accessible online,” Peralta said. “Maybe, in the coming years, the university may also venture to offer online courses.”

In 2009, the university has first laid the backbone of its network infrastructure. Over the years, it has been upgraded to host more information and enterprise systems to allow for a more conducive and digitally-inclined learning environment.

Two of these systems are the Student Lifecycle Management and Information System (SLMIS) and eLearn, which manage all student-related services and business operations. These are Web-based systems that manage student records, both academic and financial, in a secure, stable environment. Students in various levels — technical-vocational (Center for Integrated Technologies), college (undergraduate and graduate studies), professional (law and medicine), and continuing professional education levels are able to access their information anytime, anywhere.

“We see the value of digitization for advancing the capabilities of educational institutions in enabling for a better learning experience for their students. It is one of our thrusts to support these visions of providing a tool that would make learning fun, convenient, and available,” said Cricket Santiago, Fujitsu Philippines CEO. “For Fujitsu Philippines part, we’ll continue extending our support and services to them.”

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