Provide a brief description of the Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative.
Itergy uses a thought leadership approach to help organizations manage Identity and Access through Microsoft solutions. Nowhere is this felt more profoundly than in education. Itergy has a long history of lighting up strategic technology solutions for our education clients. With our experience and expertise, Itergy empowers our clients to maximize their Microsoft technologies and investments that define strategic roadmaps – facilitating 21st Century Learning. For the The client, Itergy built a repeatable solution that automated hundreds of processes, immediately saving The clientthousands of dollars. Moreover, this allowed IT to focus on rolling out better programs and technologies to help students learn, staff teach and parents collaborate. Itergy integrated Forefront Identity Manager into the The client SIS – Student Information System. We designed a solution that takes the user information from the SIS and populates Active Directory leveraging FIM. This means that group membership and access control is always up to date. This also included seamless connections to their back-office HR systems as well as delivering a customized and re-usable management pack for their Office 365 environment. Itergy has now enabled full automation of virtually every activity and milestone that commonly occurs throughout the life-cycle of a student, staff member and parent that saves hundreds of hours of IT support time.
Describe what makes this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative original or innovative.
Innovation was critical and a key point in the success of the project for the client.. Itergy strives to be innovative with every project as technology is constantly evolving, requiring companies to embrace innovation. Understanding the clients’s goals and objectives was integral to begin planning delivery for this project and to help facilitate 21st century learning. By spending time with The client envisioning, planning and meticulously mapping out every possible use case scenario that occurs during a school year for faculty, parents and students, Itergy was able to design hundreds of use cases and applied them for process automation. This automation eliminated risks previously associated with manual processes and established governance into the management of credentials and access across every user type at The client. The use cases govern the entire life cycle of a student, faculty member, employee and parent. When you consider the day to day activities of a school district and the needs of a student, their family and teaching professionals, a sample of the automated processes include: • A student registers • A student withdraws • A student attends multiple schools (day school / night school for example) • A student is suspended • A student is expelled • A student is expelled permanently • A student is on specific committees such as yearbook or athletic teams • A student needs to re-set a password • A faculty member is hired permanently • A faculty member is hired temporarily • A faculty member retires • An employee goes on leave • An employee is laid off When any of the above cases occur, Itergy’s solution automatically and immediately takes action to reflect that information seamlessly across systems and provides the controls and access management for every application and technology, as outlined by the rules, procedures and policies which come along with each unique use case. For example, if a student gets selected for the basketball team, they will have access to group discussions and other related services associated with that specific team only. Once the student is removed from the team, the program will automatically eliminate access to the teams’ services available previously. This is done without the support of IT as it is not a manual entry by IT support but rather an automatic entry. Overall, to avoid manual entries which is more prone to human error, with Itergy’s assistance the workflow at The client was transformed from manual to automation, proving to be innovative from the workflow system being used previously.
Describe the improvement this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative made to the customer’s sales or revenues. What changed?
Provide evidence of measurable improvements in sales, revenues, cost reduction, etc.
The client conservatively estimates that Itergy has helped them to save $60 000.00 right out of the gate with one of the many benefits of Itergy’s Identity and Access solution – Self-Service Password Reset. Education is facing increasing demands with fewer resources and decreasing budgets. With budgets shrinking, the challenge is how to deliver more with less. Security and privacy are of huge concern to educators due to the fact that minors are accessing content over the internet and using their networks to collaborate. The client is similar to many of our School Districts here in Canada and abroad. Funded by the government, their source for operating capital is driven by the number of students who attend their schools. Faced with declining enrolments they are seeing their funding reduced year over year. At the same time, IT is continually being pressured to do more. The following statistics summarizes the challenges and experiences that The client(and others) have been reacting to over the past five years. • The clienthas seen the student population decline from 22,000 students to 18,000 students. This directly impacts how much money they receive to manage the business of education • The clienthas been forced to reduce their IT staff from 31 down to 27 due to budget cuts. • The clienthas gone from supporting 3,200 devices to 7,000 devices (and that doesn’t include student, parent, teacher and staff owned BYOD devices) What those numbers tell us is that while operational budgets are shrinking the need and demand for services and support are skyrocketing. Adding to that is the focus to drive 21st century learning. The bulk of IT budgets in education today is consumed by “treading water”, just keeping the current systems running, rather than adding new innovation. Itergy works across teams at Microsoft, helping IT education clients change that paradigm. The single biggest challenge facing IT departments in education today is password reset. Okay, maybe that is not exactly correct – it is really what password reset represents. How does IT reduce or eliminate the manual and time-consuming tasks of running a school district to focus on higher value activities and innovation? At the same time, how does it reduce risk by ensuring credentials are always accurate and up-to-date no matter what the scenario? Let’s take a look at password re-set for a moment. IT estimates that each password reset costs approximately $50. The average school district in Canada manages between 2,000 (mid-sized) to 7,000 (large) requests a year. That represents a potential cost savings of $100,000 to $350,000 annually. Now everything that happens around a student (or other stakeholder) is immediately reflected across systems. “Itergy’s strategic guidance, technical expertise and strong business acumen has allowed us to tell a phenomenal story here at The client. The multitude of use cases they developed and embedded into our Microsoft virtualized platform, using Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager, means we have fully automated the management of students, staff, parents and administrators within the complex guidelines our school board’s demands for privacy, security and accessibility. Drawing from Itergy’s deep experience in Education and solution expertise across Microsoft technologies, specifically Identity and Access Management, has had a significant impact on reducing costs. The client is now saving 30% in resource and time management through the automation of user provisioning. Moreover, Itergy’s enablement of Self-Service Password has provided us with a cost savings of $60,000.00 by providing users the ability to self-service their passwords. What this means is that we can focus much more on strategic innovation that better serves our teaching professionals and students – driving 21st Century Learning at The client.” The client
Describe the improvement this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative made to the customer’s efficiency. What changed?
Provide evidence of how customer efficiency was increased.
Itergy has enabled full automation of virtually every activity and milestone that commonly occurs throughout the lifecycle of a student, staff member and parent that saves hundreds of hours of IT support time. This newly inputted system not only facilitated cost savings, but also increased efficiency by providing process automation, reduced risks, established governance and ensured compliance across schools located throughout a sprawling rural and urban geography in western Ontario. Now, everything that happens around a student (or other stakeholder) is immediately reflected across systems. For example, a student is sent to the principal’s office for violating a school policy and is suspended for 2 days. The Itergy solution immediately takes action to reflect that information seamlessly across systems and provides the controls and access management for every application and technology, as outlined by the 3 day suspension policies, preventing that student’s ability to log on, access email, participate in discussions, download lesson plans etc. There was no call made to IT. No panic that suspended student has access to areas that should be off-limits. No damage control. No fire-drills. No public relations nightmares. And while the suspended student is packing their knapsack and heading home, IT is continuing to work on strategic initiatives. Enabling more online curriculum, improving collaboration, and increasing the adoption of high value solutions such as interactive portals and cloud innovations. In addition to this, timeliness of data is increased, as is security. Users no longer have to wait for accounts to be created, deleted or modified as such information is processed when the source HR or SIS data is created. What Itergy achieved is a school board wide process improvement. This solves a critical need that IT enables which paves the way for effective process management and execution, provides predictability of delivery, bolsters the confidence and visibility of IT and has empowered The client to significantly meet the needs of faculty, parents and students that they serve. According to Michael Morgan (CIO – The client), they have been able to focus a lot more attention on strategic innovation which better servers their teaching professionals and students as to promote and drive 21st Century Learning.
How did this Solution, Service provided, or Initiative improve the customer’s ability to serve its internal and/or external clients?
Provide evidence of the improvement.
The System Center Configuration Manager – Customer Developed FIM Management Pack for Office 365, has improved the client’s ability to better leverage their IT staff. By transforming the workflow required to process requests for student logins to an automated system, The clientis able to allow their IT staff and other resources to make better use of their time and work towards creating an improved learning environment. Additionally, students and staff are better served as they receive access in a timely manner to areas within the system which are required to better perform their daily tasks. For example, if a student is registered in the school, registration itself will automatically process the student’s access to classes, discussion boards, lesson plans etc. This allows the student to have resources available instantly which in turn facilitates 21st century learning.
In what ways does this Solution or Service Provided go above and beyond industry norms and expectations?
The custom designed and developed solution Itergy provided The clientgoes above and beyond industry norms and expectations as Itergy developed several use cases to map out every unique encounter the system will be presented with. This was done to ensure accuracy and completeness of the system, as to not defeat the purpose of inputting such a system by asking IT staff for assistance. Additionally, several school boards across Canada do not have an automated system in place and thus are having to use additional resources and time to manually enter information for each event a stakeholder is involved in. Overall, deploying an automated infrastructure allows the school board to focus on strategic innovation which serves as a benefit for not only teaching professionals but also students and in turn satisfying parents as their children are educated in a 21st century learning environment.
How does this solution further your customer’s green or environmentally friendly plans?
A “green” or “environmentally friendly” business aims to have a positive impact not only the environment but community as well. This in turn demonstrates the company’s commitment and obligation to promoting a sustainable and healthy present and future. Every organization has a community wellness plan. Aside from keeping a clean outdoor community area, The clientstrives to reduce their carbon footprint. As school often use several energy consuming equipment, the goal is to reduce it to an efficient amount in order to conserve energy. By having a cloud infrastructure solution in place, The clientcan reduce approximately 30-90% of their carbon emissions (Cloud Computing and Sustainability: The Environmental Benefits of Moving to the Cloud, Published November 2010.) Additionally, another key driver that will assist in reducing the carbon footprint is ensuring companies have an improved and efficient data center in place. The cloud benefits of an “industrialized data center design at scale and optimized for power efficiency reduces power wasted on cooling, UPS etc. and allows running servers at optimal utilization and temperature (Cloud Computing and Sustainability: The Environmental Benefits of Moving to the Cloud, Published November 2010).” By having less infrastructure on premises (cloud computing) reduces the amount of physical storage a data centre requires, decreases the carbon footprint and lowers operating expenditures as well as capital expenditures.