Case Study Overview:
- Client: DeKalb County School District
- Challenge: Manual user account management with PowerShell scripts was error-prone and required a lot of the Systems Administrator’s time. The helpdesk was also burdened with password reset requests and had little time to focus on other tasks.
- Solution: Implement a process that would automatically provision, de-provision, and update user accounts. Relieve the helpdesk by allowing users to reset their own passwords securely.
- Products and connectors: User Management Resource Administrator (UMRA), Self Service Reset Password Management (SSRPM); Infinite Campus, Active Directory, TERMS
- Result: Implementation of automated user provisioning and self-service password reset management resulted in a dramatic reduction of helpdesk requests, allowing IT to focus on other tasks.
UMRA Simplifies User Account Management and SSRPM Frees Up the Helpdesk
DeKalb County School District (DCSD) is located in Atlanta, Georgia, near the Stone Mountain area. With approximately 102,000 students and 15,500 staff members across 135 schools and administrative locations, user provisioning and password resets were a burden on the IT department and helpdesk.
UMRA replaces scripts
When DCSD reached out to Tools4ever, they were using PowerShell scripts written in-house to manage accounts that had to be executed manually by a system engineer, which took approximately 2-3 hours to process. They knew they needed a more robust and efficient solution that could automate and streamline user provisioning. When researching solutions to his challenges, the Unit Manager of Enterprise Servers, Ken Marshall, found that “Tools4ever was very familiar with the K-12 environment and had experience with a number of systems in our state.“
Ken decided on UMRA by Tools4ever to automate and streamline user provisioning. Tools4ever’s consultants recognize the need to implement more extensive projects such as this in several phases. This approach promotes quality work, breaking the project into smaller components to be produced and reviewed.
“Before implementing SSRPM, our helpdesk technicians were overwhelmed with calls at the beginning of the school year about forgotten passwords.”
Ken Marshall, Unit Manager of Enterprise Server at DeKalb County School District
During the UMRA implementation in DeKalb County School District, Tools4ever’s phased approach shined a light on some complex processes that were not detailed initially. This was overcome via Tools4ever’s user-friendly web portal, where Ken and his team adjusted user assignments. “When implementing, we discovered that we had a number of complicated processes with user provisioning,” described Ken. “With Tools4ever’s help, we were given a web portal to make any adjustments to user assignments in the provisioning.”
Implementing UMRA automated provisioning for the entire user account lifecycle. “We were able to discover users that were not correctly classified in Active Directory and users that were no longer in the district that had never been disabled,” said Ken.
Self-Service Reset Password Management (SSRPM) frees up the helpdesk
After DeKalb County School District had automated their user provisioning processes, they explored the idea of implementing a self-service password management solution. Their helpdesk was burdened with password reset requests and had little time to focus on other tasks.
Once Self-Service Reset Password Management (SSRPM) was implemented, DCSD saw an immediate reduction in helpdesk calls even during the typically busy season when students return after the summer break. Users can now reset their Active Directory password at any time by answering several simple, predefined questions.
The “Forgot My Password” button is integrated seamlessly into the Windows login screen, so there is no need to call or submit a support ticket. Fewer password reset-related calls to the IT helpdesk means more time for the helpdesk to focus on other tasks.
“When looking at our needs, Tools4ever was able to show their ability to be very less intrusive to our systems than other products. The fact that Tools4ever would be able to retrieve the data it needed and then do its own processing in the small amount of time presented was a great deliverable,” said Ken Marshall.