Seattle City Light is Seattle's publicly owned utility and a recognized national leader in energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. With its own hydroelectric generation plants, Seattle City Light’s electricity rates are among the lowest in the country.
With 1,700 employees across multiple locations, Seattle City Light was challenged to manage and maintain accurate user information. The IT staff was manually provisioning and deprovisioning users for access to nearly 100 custom applications. Automating user administration would increase both the accuracy and security of user information, as well as free up the IT staff from routine and redundant work.
Seattle City Light wanted to improve the security of its user information, as well as its ability to comply with financial audit requirements. To comply with financial audits, the organization needed better password management as many of its UNIX* systems lacked password expirations.
While preparing to automate identity management, Seattle City Light evaluated solutions from both Microsoft* and Oracle* before selecting Novell Identity Manager.
"Novell has been involved in identity management for a long time and has an advanced solution," said Margaret Stoner, Server Systems Administrator at Seattle City Light. "Other solutions lack key drivers and would have required significant customization. Novell Identity Manager was the best fit for us because we want to integrate multiple applications across several different platforms."
Using Novell Identity Manager, Seattle City Light has integrated user information across several directories including Oracle Internet Directory, Microsoft Active Directory*, Novell eDirectory(TM), and its UNIX network information system (NIS). Novell Identity Manager automatically synchronizes user information which eliminates the need for manual updating and increases data accuracy.
Reducing the number of passwords users are required to remember gives them faster and easier access to applications. Users are now prompted to change passwords on a regular basis, which increases data security. With password self-service, users can reset passwords on their own which reduces the number of password-related helpdesk calls.
"Better password management not only makes it easier for users to access applications, but also helps us manage IT security risk," said Stoner. "With Novell Identity Manager, we can ensure that the right people have access to the right information."
Seattle City Light uses Novell GroupWise® as its collaboration platform, as well as Novell eGuide as its corporate directory. Novell eGuide gives users one place for employee contact information, including photos.
By automating identity management with Novell Identity Manager, Seattle City Light has reduced user administration time by over 95 percent on connected systems, freeing up IT time for other projects. The organization has reduced the number of passwords users are required to remember by providing a single ID and password for each user. Better password management has improved the organization’s ability to comply with financial audit requirements.
"Without Novell we would still be spending too much time to manage user accounts across various platforms and applications," said Stoner. "With Novell Identity Manager, we have made life easier for our users and IT staff, while greatly increasing security."
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