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Remote Control

Tel Aviv University

Tel Aviv University (TAU) used Novell Identity Manager and Novell Access Manager to create a single sign-on portal, enabling students and staff to access all of their applications and information from any location. The Novell solution keeps identity information synchronized across multiple domains and systems, and simplifies user administration by automating numerous tasks.

Overview

Located in Israel's cultural, financial and industrial heartland, Tel Aviv University (TAU) is the largest university in Israel. It is a major center of teaching and research, comprising faculties of Engineering, Exact Sciences, Life Sciences, Medicine, Humanities, Law, Social Sciences, Arts and Management. Through these nine faculties, some 106 departments and 90 research institutes, TAU offers an extensive range of study programs.

Challenge

With thousands of students arriving and graduating each year, the IT department at TAU faces a significant user-management challenge. Using limited staff resources, the department must ensure that new students quickly gain access to all the systems and information they need for their academic courses, and that any changes are managed in an efficient and timely manner.

TAU wanted to automate the provisioning of users-not only students, but also academic and management staff-and to ensure that changes made in one system would automatically propagate to related systems. The University also aimed to simplify and accelerate user access to services, by providing a single sign-on portal personalized to each user's profile.

Solution

To enable a single point of control for users, TAU implemented Novell Identity Manager and created a custom driver to pull data from both the student management system and the University's HR system into an Identity Vault. The thousands of user objects in the vault are automatically propagated to numerous connected systems.

"We chose Novell Identity Manager because we consider it to be the most mature and stable product of its kind in the market," said Chezy Gal, Systems Engineer, Tel Aviv University. "The solution enables us to keep identity information synchronized across dozens of systems and directories, including both Microsoft Active Directory and our main LDAP authentication tree in Novell eDirectory."

TAU worked with ProLink, a Novell Gold partner for Identity and Security solutions that provides consulting and professional services for medium and large organizations in all market segments in Israel. "ProLink's skill and knowledge of the Novell technologies played a significant part in the success of the solution," said Gal. "In particular, Ofer Gigi, the CTO of ProLink, helped us to make the most of our investment in Novell Identity Manager."

In the past, provisioning users or changing information about existing users were largely separate processes. Using the sophisticated workflows in Novell Identity Manager, the University automatically processes new and changed users, largely eliminating administrative effort and delays.

"Novell Identity Manager gives us many more options for personalizing services for users," said Gal. "For example, using the workflow engine we have created an eShop that automatically checks staff entitlements and enables them to purchase software and services. The key benefit of the Novell solution is that it gives us new possibilities to improve our service offerings."

TAU implemented Novell Access Manager to power a portal for students and staff, called 'MYTAU'. Integrated with Novell Identity Manager, the portal enables users to sign in a single time and gain access to all of the applications they are authorized to use. In addition to e-mail, Web and administrative systems, these include several e-learning systems.

"Our personalized portals have eliminated the need to remember approximately four different sets of user names and passwords, which is something that was driving users crazy in the past!" said Gal. "With Novell Access Manager, a single Web-based authentication process provides access to all applications, enabling our users to work more efficiently and from any location they choose."

Results

The introduction of Novell Identity Manager enabled the IT department at TAU to automate many elements of user provisioning and change management, reducing administrative workload and saving time.

"Novell Identity Manager has eliminated a great deal of administration and enabled us to reflect changes in user provisioning within seconds. It has also opened up numerous possibilities for the future," said Gal. "In fact, we probably now spend more time than before on user management, but the difference is that we are actively creating new workflows to make the user experience better rather than doing basic administration. So the solution enables us to focus on higher-value tasks."

As the University continues to expand its use of learning technologies, the new portal powered by Novell Access Manager helps by providing a flexible, user-friendly entry point for students.

"Many of our courses are now available online, giving students greater flexibility about where and when they learn," said Gal. "Novell Access Manager provides single sign-on to e-learning tools and other relevant applications, making it really easy for students to interact with the University. The portal includes various self-service tools for both students and staff, and delivers excellent availability and usability."

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