Each year, our sister publication Computer Dealer News hosts the Channel Elite Awards to recognize IT Solution Provider for their innovation, leadership, and commitment for creating value for their customers. As Canada’s leading IT channel publication, CDN invited solution providers to submit their best work to nine different categories for 2013’s awards. Here, we present the case studies these award nominees put forward to us. Find out who the big winners are on Sept. 11 when CDN presents them at the CEA Awards Gala.
Learn more about CDN’s Channel Elite Awards 2013
Nominee: Itergy from Mississauga, Ontario
Describe the solution or service you provide.
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 this particular school board, Itergy built a repeatable solution that automated hundreds of processes, immediately saving the school board thousands 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 school board’s Student Information System (SIS). 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
What made your service of the highest quality? Provide measurable evidence of how you benefitted the customer’s business.
Itergy used the capability of Forefront Identity Manager to interact with school board’s Student Information System using the SQL Management Agent and Active Directory using the AD Management Agent. By spending time with customer 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 process eliminated risks previously associated with manual processes and established governance into the management of credentials and access across every user type at school board. 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 without the need to have an IT employee manually enter the information for every occasion. This frees up time on the IT departments side to better plan and prepare for strategic initiatives for improved learning methods and technology.
Itergy has now 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. Moreover, the customer conservatively estimates that Itergy has helped them to save $60 000.00 with one of the many benefits of Itergy’s Identity and Access Solution – Self-Service Password Reset. Additionally, Itergy has also provided process automation, reduced risks, established governance and ensured compliance across schools located throughout a sprawling rural and urban geography in western Ontario.
The CIO of the school board had this to say:
“Itergy’s strategic guidance, technical expertise and strong business acumen has allowed us to tell a phenomenal story here. 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 school board is now saving 30 per cent 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 school board.”
Describe how services were delivered in a timely fashion, or how the response to a crisis was above and beyond the usual.
In order to deliver the project in a timely fashion, Itergy spent time with the team at the school board to meticulously envision, plan and map out the stages in project.
This was done to ensure that both teams were on track and were aware of what will be happening during deployment days. The custom designed and developed solution Itergy provided the school board goes above and beyond accepted 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 your service surpass competitors in meeting the needs of customers?
Itergy’s services expertise goes beyond those or our competitors, especially in the highly specialized field of Active Directory optimization and identity, access and security.
For example, Gartner Research identifies and recommends Itergy as the only global Active Directory Managed Services (ADMS) partner through Gartner Research’s independent analysis and assessment of partners in the Microsoft Partner Network.
In addition, Gartner also reports in their IAM Consulting and System Integration, Part 2: Vendors and Services (Published: 19 April 2012), Itergy’s capabilities for delivering solutions focused on Identity, Security and Access Management built on Microsoft technologies. Moreover, in addition to delivering rationalization and configuration of Microsoft Active Directory, Office 365 and Forefront Identity Manager, Itergy created a custom developed Forefront Identity Manager Management Agent (MA) that would integrate into the school board’s Microsoft Office 365 environment providing seamless management of user identities which previously did not exist. Itergy’s intimate knowledge across Microsoft solution stacks and ability to create specialized, custom developed solutions has separated our services and allows the school board to better service their faculty and students.
How does the 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 school board strives 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, school board can 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.