Alvarado Independent School District is a growing K-12 school district in North Texas with an economically diverse population of 3,400 students. The district has 450 teachers and staff across six campuses.
As in many school districts, Alvarado ISD has limited IT staffing and funding to solve its interoperability challenges. Without integrated systems, the district was forced to manually enter, update and manage more than 3,400 student accounts across various district systems - a process that often required a great deal of paperwork and a delay of several days.
Managing desktops across six locations was also a time-consuming effort. The IT staff was spending weeks traveling to each workstation to install or update applications. Without standardized desktops, students were able to install software and change settings which created support problems for the helpdesk.
To integrate its systems, Alvarado ISD wanted a solution that would work with the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF). The district selected Novell Identity Manager, Novell Storage Manager, and the SIFWorks Zone Integration Server* (ZIS) from Edustructures*.
"We had been using Novell eDirectory and wanted to leverage it across all our systems," said Kyle Berger, Directory of Technology for the Alvarado ISD. "With Novell Identity Manager, we can tie together distributed systems and quickly introduce new applications into our environment."
Novell eDirectory integrates with the district's Skyward student information system to provide a central repository for user identity information. Novell Identity Manager and the SIFWorks ZIS automatically synchronize this user information across multiple applications and automate user account provisioning, which eliminates the need for manual updating.
"We have eliminated all the tedious manual processes associated with creating and updating network accounts," said Berger. "What we used to do in six days, we can now do in six seconds. Students now have network access the first day of school."
Another benefit for students and IT staff is the easy management of student e-portfolios with Novell Storage Manager. In the past, the IT staff had to manually create and move the home directories of all its students before each school year. Now Novell Storage Manager leverages Novell eDirectory to automatically manage a student's personal storage, based on identity attributes stored in eDirectory.
By automating identity management with Novell Identity Manager and the SIFWorks ZIS, Alvarado has eliminated manual user provisioning. To date, the district has saved the equivalent of 8 percent of its IT budget that it can reinvest in other projects, and estimates a savings of $50,000 as it integrates more systems.
With Novell Storage Manager, the district has also eliminated all manual administration for student e-portfolios, giving students easy and secure access to their files throughout their K-12 years. Automating desktop management with Novell ZENworks has reduced administration time by 45 percent and IT travel time by 80 percent.
For the complete success story, see:
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