User Account Management is simplified at Pinellas
|Problem||The IT department at Pinellas County School district was overwhelmed with calls for password resets especially at the beginning of each school year. They also needed to find a more efficient way to create and manage accounts for their 300,000 plus users.|
|Solution||UMRA was implemented to automate the account management process. SSRPM was also implemented allowing users to reset their own passwords.|
|Products||User Management Resource Administrator (UMRA) - Auto Provisioning and Self Service Reset Password Management (SSRPM)|
|Connectors||Active Directory and Focus Student Information System|
|Result||The IT department has seen a major reduction in the time spent dealing with account and password issues and is now able to focus on technology in the classroom to enhance learning.|
Pinellas County School District located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, consists of 138 schools ranging from pre-K to 12th grade, as well as an adult school for community and work force education. With 103,000 students, 8,500 teachers and over 200,000 parents, the IT staff spent an inordinate amount of time correcting account problems and the help desk received a large volume of calls about password issues. The primary intent was to address the teachers, who often had problems when they were off for summer break and either forgot their password or were locked out due to password expiration over this time period.
Pinellas initially implemented Tools4everís Self Service Reset Password Manager (SSRPM) to resolve the teachers' password problems. SSRPM allows users to reset their passwords themselves after answering several security questions so that the IT department was no longer inundated with calls. When Pinellas began to look for a solution for account management, Tools4ever was a frontrunner due to their superior service with SSRPM. "Whenever we had questions or needed something, Tools4ever was very responsive; we had a good history with them. They were on the same page and very understanding of our situation," said John Just, Assistant Superintendent at Pinellas County School District.
Pinellas implemented Tools4ever's User Management Resource Administrator (UMRA) to assist with the process of account management for their users. With UMRA, when an account is created in Active Directory, it automatically populates the parent portal, student information system and any other systems as required, eliminating a tedious and potentially error prone manual process. This was especially efficient for creating accounts for the large number of parental users. "Parents are very connected these days, so they need to have access to the parent portal to get an answer on any questions that they have," said Just. Within the first year, Pinellas was able to enroll over 200,000 parents in both UMRA and SSRPM concurrently. With UMRA in place, students and their parents are now able to start the new school year with a significantly easier process. "It continues to get better every year," Just said.
Resolved Issue of Security
Pinellas County Schools has also dealt with security concerns when people who did not work for the school, such as parents and volunteers, needed access to the systems. The school requires these types of users to enter a driverís license, ID, or passport number as means of identification. This was a major security risk due to many people entering false or invalid information. UMRA is set up to validate the required information exists before the person can gain access. This resulted in Pinellas having the ability to clean up their systems by removing users without the ID and to properly identify user types.
Overall Reduction in Helpdesk Calls
With UMRA and SSRPM up and running, Pinellas is working with Tools4ever to continually improve the system to meet their specific needs. Currently they are working on a process which will send email confirmation to parents when their account is created. &auot;Tools4ever is a very customer focused company. They are knowledgeable not only in their product set, but also in customer needs and experiences."
The result of UMRA and SSRPM has been overall significant reduction in calls coming into the help desk at Pinellas about account and password problems. "The IT department is now able to focus more on curricular activities such as support of instruction and technology in the classroom," Just said.