JoongAng Group, South Korea’s leading media conglomerate, has transformed its enterprise networking experience with Juniper’s wired and wireless solutions driven by Mist AI to create a secure and productive mobile work environment.
JoongAng Group is a comprehensive media entertainment group that operates multiple major brands such as national newspaper JoongAng Ilbo, the leading domestic TV programming channel JTBC, the Megabox movie theater chain and Phoenix Hotel & Resorts.
The company has a wide range of businesses and is active across the newspaper, broadcasting, digital content, entertainment and leisure sectors. Since 2008, JoongAng Group has been listed under the KOSPI stock index, which is reserved for large companies in Korea, establishing the company as a domestic powerhouse.
The company’s flagship, JoongAng Ilbo, published South Korea’s first color newspaper in 1966, the year after its foundation. Since then, it has been a pioneer in the domestic media industry in many ways, including starting its Internet news service in 2009 and being the first Asian newspaper to publish in the ‘Berliner’ format in 2009.
Bridging and unifying the network experience
Upon completion of its flagship JTBC Building in 2019, the company started preparations to spread its workforce across two office buildings. In a time where enterprise networking environments were rapidly shifting from a mix of wired and wireless to completely wireless, JoongAng Group understood the need to introduce a next-generation network system that would provide a unified experience for all employees in both buildings.
JoongAng Group based its infrastructure on a smart office concept centered on a fast, seamless wireless network that would bridge the two buildings. If the buildings’ networks were not perfectly integrated, however, employees would have to go through cumbersome procedures, including configuring their IP settings and authenticating repeatedly, inevitably disrupting their workflow.
The decision to go completely wireless reduced the spatial complexities caused by wired networks, including cables and power sources, enabling employees to excel at their work from any location in either building. The smart office environment enhanced by wireless network technology has become essential to media employees who often have meetings outside their offices.
Juniper Networks wired and wireless network solutions fulfilled all of the company’s needs and were first deployed in the JTBC Building last year, followed by the JoongAng Building.
Building blocks of an AI-driven network
“With a Juniper-powered network that offers AI-driven proactive automation and self-healing capabilities, JoongAng Group will be able to provide a secure work environment with a focus on uninterrupted workflows for all of our employees,” said Young Ki Kim, Director, JOINS JoongAng.
Juniper AP41 and AP43 High Performance Access Points driven by Mist AI have been deployed in conjunction with the Juniper Mist Wi-Fi Assurance cloud service to simplify network operations and automate the support experience for the distributed workforce.
In particular, Juniper Access Points, equipped with Wi-Fi 6, stood out for providing enterprise-grade performance and an AI engine that has replaced manual IT tasks with AI-driven proactive automation and self-healing.
Juniper Networks EX9200 line of Ethernet Switches and EX3400 Ethernet Switch were also selected to enable collaboration and provide simple and secure access for the delivery of mission-critical applications – crucial for executing the company’s smart office concept.
The two buildings’ networks were completely integrated in 2020, resulting in exceptional user and device experiences. JoongAng Group has now built South Korea’s first AI-driven enterprise network by Juniper.
Powering an agile, digital-centric workforce via Mist AI
With the introduction of an AI-driven network, the company’s IT affiliate, JOINS JoongAng, was able to rectify past network efficiency issues that had plagued the previous wired network, allowing employees to enjoy a robust, secure and high-performance network across both office buildings.
Juniper Access Points work in conjunction with the Juniper Mist Cloud Architecture, enabling the JOINS team to add and remove access points and upgrade systems with a simple QR code scan. In the past, minor network changes would affect the operation of the entire system, resulting in network downtime. With Juniper’s solutions, it is possible to continue working through network upgrades without any disruption to employees and workflows.
In addition, JoongAng Group leverages Juniper’s patented virtual Bluetooth LE technology in its access points to improve the accuracy of real-time indoor location services and asset tracking without the need for battery-powered beacons.
Since deployment, the company has introduced a security and emergency response system to create a safer and more secure environment for both employees and guests.
As the company started replacing devices such as smartphones and laptops with ones that support Wi-Fi 6 technology, Juniper Access Points were the perfect fit to bring higher capacity, efficiency and performance to support a diverse range of content for employees: digital articles, high-definition video and Augmented Reality (AR) content.
Furthermore, JoongAng Group works with reporters who are offsite and employees who are in charge of major tasks for content production and control. Therefore, the stability, reliability and performance of the network supported by Wi-Fi 6 were essential in ensuring seamless workflows with teams inside and outside the offices.
With Mist AI driving its network, JoongAng Group has leapt ahead of the industry in terms of network efficiency, leveraging automation and insights to lower IT costs while maximizing the end-user experience.
“Because the two buildings are located next to each other on the same block, employees can move freely from one building to another, if needed,” Young said. “About 10% of our workforce frequently use both buildings. If they had to spend time configuring the network for each building, work efficiency would inevitably decrease. With Juniper Mist, our employees can spend their valuable time doing the work that they need to do.”
Reimagining the workplace of the future
As part of its smart office concept, JoongAng Group continues to explore more ways to leverage Juniper’s AI-driven solutions to transform the employee experience in a digital workplace. At the same time, it will continue to refine its security and emergency response system for employees and guests, especially against the backdrop of the on-going pandemic.
JoongAng Group is now considering extending its use of Juniper’s AI-driven solutions to all of its affiliates in the near future. In addition to its media division, it has various businesses that would greatly benefit from wireless networks for customer service such as its leisure and movie theater businesses.
“As an organization built on a network-based work environment, we expect to evolve and diversify our offerings in the future, which will result in a demand for higher speeds,” Young said.
“We are confident that the various AI-driven network upgrades by Juniper will drive value in every corner of our organization and put us in a strong position for continued growth.”
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