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Success Story: Novell Secures User Identities at Fairfax County Public Schools

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Posted: 9 May 2007
 

WALTHAM, Mass. - 30 Apr 2007 - The nation's 13th-largest school district, Fairfax County Public Schools, is stepping up to the challenge of securing user identities and simplifying access to technology resources for its 164,000 students, their parents and almost 22,000 employees. Novell's technology will help Fairfax County Public Schools manage a frequently changing student population, heightened identity and security challenges, and a heterogeneous IT environment. Novell® solutions will also help them meet government regulations. The school district chose several Novell identity and security management solutions to provide a consistent, centralized system to automatically provision and de-provision users, manage user passwords and data access, monitor security incidents in real time, and deliver audit metrics and reports.

Fairfax County Public Schools will be deploying a comprehensive suite of Novell solutions in several phases over the next five years. To streamline the implementation of the multi-year, multi-phase contract, the school district is working with two Novell partners, Advanced Logic Industries (ALI) and TriVir. Focused on finding the best combination of resources for Fairfax County Public Schools, ALI provided IT administrators with a plan on the most cost-effective way to purchase licenses for such a large, multi-phase project, and brought in identity management experts TriVir to help the school district maximize the value of their Novell investment with implementation, training and consulting services. With this contract in place, other counties and school districts in the State of Virginia will also have the opportunity to purchase Novell identity and security management solutions.

"Our large and dynamic user base of employees, students and parents all have varying levels of access to different applications in our IT environment," said Ted Davis, director of Enterprise Information Services at Fairfax County Public Schools. "In our previous system it took hundreds of employees to manually manage and secure user accounts, while still ensuring adequate access and the flexibility to scale with population changes. Novell identity and security management solutions will give us the ability to automate our identity infrastructure. We chose to make this investment in Novell over other vendors because they offer a comprehensive portfolio of usable solutions within a robust technology framework that is compatible with our existing systems."

As the largest school district in Virginia, Fairfax County Public Schools has faced the challenge of providing a scalable and consistent solution to manage the identities of users within in its 238 schools across 80 disparate IT systems while also ensuring regulatory compliance with HIPAA and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Support for federated systems has also been a challenge, as the school district provides its users with a large number of applications including human resources, finance, payroll, procurement, Web portals, homework assignments, e-mail, student information, library records, transportation management and real-time access for parents to students' data.

Fairfax County Public Schools is solving its identity and security management challenges with a number of Novell solutions which, when deployed together, will provide the school district with a complete, integrated solution for meeting enterprise security, governance, risk and compliance requirements. Novell Identity Manager will be used for automated user provisioning and password management along with Novell eDirectoryTM as a central repository for user identities across multiple platforms including Windows*, UNIX* and Linux*. Novell Access Manager® will provide authentication of Web-based and external applications. Sentinel® from Novell will be deployed for real-time monitoring of all event activities across the enterprise security environment.

"Fairfax County Public Schools is a leader in utilizing technology to enhance students' educational experience," said Kent Erickson, vice president and general manager for Identity and Security Management at Novell. "The school district required an automated solution that could manage the cost and complexity of administering a large network of users across multiple locations, applications and operating platforms. By working with our channel partners and choosing a range of Novell identity and security solutions, Fairfax County Public Schools is simplifying the way users access their network and has greater confidence in the school district's level of data security and compliance with government regulations."


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