Automated User Account Management at Minnetonka
|Problem||The process of creating accounts at Minnetonka Public Schools was time consuming and not reliable.|
|Solution||UMRA was implemented to automate the process of account creation so that student, employee and parent accounts are automatically created each night.|
|Products||User Management Resource Administrator (UMRA) - Auto Provisioning|
|Connectors||Skyward, and Google Apps|
|Result||UMRA has allowed the district to free up the time of three FTE's, and allow them to focus on other important projects.|
Minnetonka Public Schools encompasses 9 schools in Minnesota with over 9000 students and 1,400 employees. The district currently serves 10 communities with six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. With growth being steady for the past several years and an increasing student population, account creation was becoming challenging and time consuming.
To assist with account creation, the district first developed an in house solution. Over time, they realized the solution did not allow changes to be made easily or in ways they needed, such as being able to work with Google apps. The in house solution also required a tremendous amount of manual work and made it difficult for the technical team to keep up with the account changes that were required. The process consisted of data specialists having to capture the information from students, employees and parents and then relay it to the IT staff, who would manually manage the accounts. With this process, four to five employees were often involved in creating one account.
Due to these challenges, the district began to research tools that would allow them to automate the process of creating accounts in Active Directory and Google from Skyward, their student information system. They also had a strict deadline to meet and had to have all accounts created within two months, before the new school year. As part of their research phase, they downloaded a trial version of Tools4ever’s User Management Resource Administrator (UMRA). Aaron Farley, Network Engineer at Minnetonka Public Schools said, “Once we downloaded the trial version of UMRA we knew we would be able to meet our deadlines.” Through the trial of UMRA, Minnetonka also realized that Tools4ever was a company they wanted to work with. “Even before we made a commitment, Tools4ever was more than helpful to get us up and running and made sure we understood how to use the product”, Aaron said.
Quick and easy implementation
Tools4ever was able to assist Aaron in quickly implementing UMRA at Minnetonka before the school year began and the district IT staff then easily configured it the way that they needed. "It was pretty straight forward out of the box", Aaron said. UMRA is now configured to synchronize with Skyward to easily create accounts for parents, students, and teachers. With UMRA in place the HR department simply enters all information into Skyward, and each night accounts are automatically created.
With UMRA in place, only one person now touches account creation. "It frees up the time of three FTE'S that can now focus on other projects. It's an invaluable tool," Farley stated. "HR now no longer has to contact the IT department about account creation and can simply rely on UMRA to create accounts each night. UMRA allows us to be more hands off and eliminate a lot of steps which has also prevented many errors."
Excellent technical support
One of the main reasons that Minnetonka purchased UMRA was because of the excellent customer service they received from Tools4ever. Aaron added, "From a sales and technical aspect everything from Tools4ever has been great, and to us, that relationship is important. This indicated that they would be a good partner for us."
Though Minnetonka handles most of the changes to UMRA on their own, they know that if they ever encounter an issue they can get quick technical support from Tools4ever. "eIf anything isn't working quite right, we are able to get help fast and resolve it, and that's huge to us. The technical side has even helped us discover ways that we could use the product more effectively to save time," Aaron said.