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Antioch U Implements Browser-Based Access to IBM SPSS

Antioch University has implemented a zero-client solution to enable students to access specialized research software and other Windows applications from anywhere using their computer, tablet or smartphone.

Doctoral students at the university use IBM SPSS predictive analytics software for their research, but they needed a way to access the software when they were off campus or conducting field research. Requiring them to do their work on campus or asking them to purchase their own IBM SPSS licenses weren't viable solutions. The university began investigating zero-client solutions so they could host the software on a server and let students access it remotely through their own devices.

The university considered several options, including Citrix and Windows Terminal Server, but ended up selecting Ericom AccessNow and PowerTerm WebConnect. According to Ericom, cost and ease of implementation were deciding factors for the university. "The Ericom solution was simply more cost-effective, both in terms of deployment and maintenance," said Chancelor C. Chao, technical director of the university, in a prepared statement.

AccessNow is an HTML5 remote desktop protocol (RDP) client that lets users access remote desktops from any HTML5-enabled browser without installing any client software on the device. PowerTerm WebConnect "is an advanced connection broker that provides secure, centrally managed access to desktops, applications, files and content on a wide range of platforms including Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Servers) and desktop virtualization (VDI) platforms," according to information provided by the company.

Antioch U can now virtualize IBM SPSS or any other Windows-based application so students and faculty can access it from anywhere using their Chromebook, iOS device, Android device or Mac or Windows computer with an HTML5-capable browser, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Antioch University is a private university that operates five campuses in four states and serves approximately 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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