Case Study Overview:
- Client: CentraState Healthcare System (Freehold, NJ) is a non-profit community health organization consisting of an acute-care hospital, three senior living centers, a health education and activities center, a family medicine residency program, and a charitable foundation.
- Challenge: IT staff was spending too much time and effort processing user accounts manually.
- Solution: A secure and automated method was implemented to manage the user account lifecycle in Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange for employees at all six locations.
- Products and connectors: HelloID, User Management Resource Administrator (UMRA), Active Directory (AD), and Microsoft Exchange
- Result: CentraState Healthcare achieved a higher level of efficiency, network security, and compliance.
Automated User Account Management Helps CentraState Healthcare Increase IT Staff Efficiency
Need for Change
Regulatory compliance and the ever-growing need to do more with less were the primary drivers that led Centrastate to improve its internal IT processes continuously. To meet these needs, CentraState Healthcare System embarked on a project to find a secure and automated method to manage user account lifecycle in Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange. Lauro Araya, the Network Administrator at CentraState, stated, “When the search started, our IT staff was managing the process manually utilizing Microsoft Active Directory Users and Computers. This was a time-consuming process, and we wanted to avoid this manual intervention.”
Integrating Lawson with Active Directory
As CentraState hires employees, their personal information is entered into the Lawson HR system. Conversely, as employees resign, a termination date is placed in the HR system. On a regularly scheduled basis, the User Management application starts a query to capture all employee data and begin the process of updating AD.
If the account already exists in AD, updates like name, location, or department transfers are appropriately processed. If the account does not exist, it is created along with a Microsoft Exchange mailbox, home directory, and assigned to the appropriate Group Profiles based on job title and department.
If the employee start date is in the future, the account is created but is in a disabled state. When it reaches that date, the account is activated.
Tools4ever made a lot of customizations to suit the special needs of the customer, for instance, naming requirements for AD and Microsoft Exchange mailboxes. Business logic was also defined within the product to allow the automatic placement of users into the correct OU based upon their specific location and department. This location and department information is also utilized to ensure that mailboxes are created within the proper server and store.
When an employee leaves the organization, the information is processed by User Management and accounts are appropriately disabled, then deleted after a specific period of time. Information created during the AD processing, such as user account name and e-mail address, is fed back to the Lawson database twice a day. This is done to ensure that Lawson has accurate information.
It took approximately two weeks from start to finish for the entire project to be implemented and operational. There was a tremendous reduction in time spent managing the user account lifecycle. Commenting on the project, Mark Handerhan, IT Manager, stated, “The Tools4ever implementation was one of the most highly valuable, cost-effective solutions that I’ve ever implemented. We have taken the manual intervention out of the equation for many mundane AD /user tasks, such as disabling network accounts. User accounts are now disabled in real-time once terminated in Lawson. I believe efficiency is the best seller here.”
“The Tools4ever implementation was one of the most highly valuable, cost-efficient solutions that I hae ever implemented.”
Mark Handerhan, IT Manager at Centrastate Healthcare System
Security & Compliance
Mark Handerhan continues: “Besides the time reduction, the implementation provides us with a greater level of network security, while also assuring compliance with industry standard regulations such as HIPAA.” In summary, the IT staff at CentraState can spend more time on mission-critical support and planning while eliminating the requirements to spend time on routine user account tasks.