Established in 1874, the University of Adelaide is a member of the "Group of Eight+ - Australia's leading universities. With about 20,000 students and 2,600 staff, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate degree programs across five faculties, and is ranked in the top one percent of global institutions in 11 research fields.
As demand for computing services increased at the University of Adelaide, its infrastructure grew rapidly. During this period of relatively unplanned expansion, the University built up several separate directories of users but lacked a consistent way to manage identities across them.
Some users spanned two or more categories - for example, postgraduate students who were also lecturers - and therefore had more than one identity. There were also numerous dormant and duplicate identities that had been created on the basis of incorrect personal information, and it was difficult to ascertain which groups of users owned which sets of data. These factors made it difficult for the IT department to set up and maintain file shares between collaborative groups in the University, and the support team was spending a large portion of its time trying to reconcile usernames and passwords.
The University of Adelaide worked with Insync Solutions to scope, design and deploy a solution capable of synchronizing identities between its underlying directories.
Rather than attempting to consolidate all of the existing directories into one - a costly and disruptive exercise with a potentially inflexible outcome - the University chose to implement a metadirectory with a rules engine on top. The solution is built around Novell Identity Manager, which automatically provisions identities and account information from a single authoritative source - the University's PeopleSoft HR system - to all other directories.
With the technical architecture in place, the University is now working to define its user management policies and to normalize approaches to identity management across the organisation. The provisioning of new users is already automated, and all users have a single identity, independent of the nature of their relationship with the University, with the potential for a consistent password across all systems.
"Before we implemented Novell Identity Manager, managing multiple directories and disparate user identities was a major and constant irritant. We don't even think about it any more: identity management is 100 percent easier," said Clive Martis, General Manager, Information Technology Services for The University of Adelaide.
The University of Adelaide operates in an increasingly globalized sector, and must keep its systems operational 24/7. With a stable identity management solution powered by Novell technology, the University has significantly increased the availability of key systems and data.
The automated provisioning of new accounts means that users are able to gain access to all nominated systems within five minutes of being entered into the master directory. This also reduces the administrative load on the IT department, which expects to see a significant drop in helpdesk calls when the new lost password portal goes live - identity issues currently account for 40 percent of calls.
For the complete success story, see: