About Municipality of Hallsberg
Located in southern Sweden, to the west of Stockholm, the Municipality of Hallsberg co-operates with its neighbours Askersund and Laxå to be able to provide public services for more than 32,900 people across the three municipalities–leveraging shared IT services and pooling personnel resources to minimise costs and maximise efficiency.
The Municipality of Hallsberg and its neighbours, Askersund and Laxå, were finding user account management a time- and labour-intensive task. Maintaining an accurate user directory was crucial for IT security, but the necessary administrative work represented a significant expense.
As well as reducing costs, the three authorities wanted to be able to exchange personnel information easily. This would enable shared services: for example, if a receptionist at one authority was absent because of illness or vacation, another authority could handle the calls.
Implementing a shared identity management solution would help control user access to IT resources and enable more effective management of HR administration. It would also enable the creation of a shared directory of 800 local high-school students and their parents or guardians - which is important because the three authorities share responsibility for education.
To better integrate services across the three local authorities, Municipality of Hallsberg created an identity management architecture using Identity Manager running on SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server. The central metadirectory is located at Municipality of Hallsberg, with a backup server at the Municipality of Askersund for redundancy, and each authority maintains its own local metadirectory.
"Identity Manager enables us to cost-effectively and securely share data without impacting our existing systems," said Magnus Höglund, System Engineer at the Municipality of Hallsberg. "For example, while Hallsberg, Askersund and the high school use Micro Focus eDirectory™ running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Laxå continues to use Microsoft Active Directory."
Identity Manager enables Municipality of Hallsberg to manage security and access rights across all three authorities sites with minimal effort. Using a role-based provisioning configuration designed by Pulsen, a Platinum PartnerSM, the solution automatically creates user accounts in local metadirectories and manages access to the appropriate systems and applications. Even in complex cases, such as when an employee works for more than one of the municipalities, the solution can map all roles to a single user record.
"Role-based access is a big advantage for us, particularly since we have integrated the elementary and high school into the system," said Höglund. "We have several different types of users now - not just employees, but also students and their parents and guardians–and they need access to different resources. Managing this manually would be an enormous amount of work, but with Identity Manager we can just assign a role and the correct accounts are created automatically."
When employees leave or students graduate, Identity Manager automatically triggers the suspension or deletion of their user accounts from the local metadirectory and synchronizes to connected systems. This not only saves time and costs, but also improves overall system security.
The introduction of Identity Manager has enabled Hallsberg, Askersund and Laxå to automatically provision new accounts and share services more easily and effectively. Previously, changes to personal contact information were only visible in the local systems; now all employees can see information, saving time and effort.
Students and their parents and guardians now have access to useful online resources via an e-services portal. Equally, administrators in the education department have a fully integrated and reliable record of enrolled students and their activities.
The solution from us and Pulsen has greatly simplified the administration of user accounts throughout the full lifecycle, freeing up IT staff from routine maintenance by automating many basic tasks. In addition to reducing the time, effort and complexity of setting up new users through role-based provisioning, the solution has significantly tightened security by immediately removing all access rights from former employees, students, parents and guardians as soon as their central accounts are deactivated.
"The Novell (now a part of Micro Focus) solution has helped us to cut administrative costs and improve security," said Höglund. "We have a solid identity management foundation that will help us give our employees, students, parents, guardians and in the future also citizens rapid access to the resources they need without incurring significant operational costs or workload. Novell and Pulsen deserve credit for how quickly and effectively we were able to design and implement the solution together. We now have a reliable and secure platform on which to build new services."