Hanshan Normal University
HSNU wanted to unite several isolated systems into a single, integrated user management solution to increase efficiency and security. NetIQ Identity Manager offered the ideal answer. Identity Manager helped HSNU cut administrative workload and associated costs by 80 percent while boosting user productivity and satisfaction by providing single sign-on capabilities.
“We estimate the easyto- use management and automation capabilities have decreased our administrative workload by 80 percent.”Mr. Feng LiNetwork and Education Technology Centre Director, Hanshan Normal University
About Hanshan Normal University
Located in Chaozhou city, Guangdong Province in China, Hanshan Normal University (HSNU) is a leading undergraduate university serving 15,000 students. The university recruits students from 14 provinces throughout China.
The history of Hanshan Normal University (HSNU) can be traced back to the Song Dynasty in 1090 B.C. Today, it employs 905 teachers and staff to educate 15,000 students.
Without a university-wide standard, different departments in HSNU developed isolated identity management systems as the organization expanded. This created significant challenges in administration and user provisioning.
“Ensuring that user profiles were set consistently and accurately throughout the university was proving difficult,” said Feng Li, Network and Education Technology Centre Director at HSNU. “For example, when a teacher was promoted to professor, his details were changed in our human resources system but not in other departments such as payroll—which was not acceptable. We began to seek a centralized, automated solution that did not require us to distribute this information manually.”
Users at HSNU require access to several different applications each day. Since user profiles were often out of date in some systems, students and staff could not always obtain the information they needed.
As part of a “digital campus” project, HSNU began seeking a comprehensive identity management solution. After considering a number of options, HSNU chose Identity Manager. The technology’s interoperability meant it would integrate seamlessly with HSNU’s existing infrastructure, protecting the university’s previous investment—something very important to HSNU.
Due to the huge volume of data that HSNU needed to migrate into the system, the implementation took place over four months with the help of NetIQ Partner GZSA. Identity Manager is integrated with the university’s existing Oracle database and runs on a Cisco server, providing identity management to 16,000 users.
Deploying Identity Manager has automated many of the processes that IT staff previously had to complete manually. For example, new user provisioning is now a simple process, centralized within the human resources department.
With Identity Manager, HSNU can automatically set up a user with the correct access privileges based on the user’s job title. “This information is automatically rolled out to all systems in the university,” said Li, “eliminating errors and ensuring immediate access to the appropriate applications.”
The single point of access offered by Identity Manager enables students, teachers and staff to remember just one password instead of many.
“Single sign-on is probably the feature that has boosted satisfaction amongst users the most,” said Li. “It also means our IT staff spend much less time responding to users who have forgotten passwords, freeing them up for more valuable work.”
Implementing Identity Manager enabled HSNU to totally overhaul its user management. “We estimate the easy-to-use management and automation capabilities have reduced our administrative workload by 80 percent,” said Li. “This translates into a corresponding 80 percent cut in administrative costs.”
The advantages of Identity Manager are most apparent when setting up new users. Previously, HSNU had five or six people handling this process. Now a single employee can do the work. Providing a single access point for all users makes it easy for IT staff to ensure HSNU applies the appropriate permissions across all systems. Role-based provisioning, with access rights based on users’ job titles, ensures that HSNU can roll out access rights efficiently and reliably.
The single sign-on ability provided by Identity Manager has had benefits for users and IT staff alike. According to Li, “remembering a single set of details is much easier for users, boosting their satisfaction with the system. Meanwhile, our IT department no longer spends unnecessary time and resources dealing with password reset requests.”
Ultimately, the solution makes it easier for HSNU to expand, taking on new students, teachers and staff without having to scale up its IT department in direct proportion to its growth.
- Cut administrative workload by 80 percent
- Introduced single sign-on ability
- Reduced number of staff handling new user accounts from six employees to one
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