UMass Amherst switches to AI-powered Wi-Fi from Juniper Networks to boost student engagement and improve digital experiences on campus : UMass Amherst

Juniper Networks, a leader in secure AI-driven networks, announced that UMass Amherst has transitioned to Juniper’s AI-driven wireless network to optimize the digital experience for students, faculty, staff and guests while minimizing operational burdens on IT staff.

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Reliable Wi-Fi became especially important at UMass Amherst when in-person learning resumed in 2021. The university chose to pilot Juniper’s AI-powered wireless platform in residence halls that had previously had the most Wi-Fi complaints. After two months of no Wi-Fi support tickets, the university began rolling out Juniper Wireless to the rest of campus.

The Juniper network relies on Mist AI to proactively identify and resolve issues with self-driving actions, which streamlines the campus wireless experience, creates new initiatives, and enables new strategic initiatives on campuses, such as green smart buildings with automatic doors and environmental controls and buses with predictive maintenance capabilities.

Juniper’s cloud-based microservices architecture, powered by Mist AI, delivers a scalable, agile, and reliable Wi-Fi environment that continuously optimizes the experience for 32,000 students, 6,400 faculty/staff, and more than 120,000 devices connected to the UMass Amherst network. Benefits include faster connectivity, better student engagement inside and outside the classroom, improved health and safety on campuses, and better integration for IoT devices.

“With Juniper, we have better visibility into the student experience, while Mist AI and analytics make it easier to diagnose network issues,” said Jim Mileski, chief technology officer at UMass Amherst. “In addition, a modern cloud simplifies the network and improves resilience. We have less infrastructure to manage.

Contactless provisioning, via the Mist portal and mobile app, has made setting up thousands of access points much easier than ever before. “With our previous Wi-Fi, outside consultants took two weeks to deploy a new building,” Mileski said. “With Juniper, student workers can deploy a building in two to four hours.”