The manual management of 11,000 staff and student user accounts with constant shifting needs was pushing their small IT department to its breaking point. Their method for managing accounts – developing/maintaining scripts and manually updating accounts – were no longer keeping up with the flow of student movement. Also, the helpdesk was overwhelmed with password-related calls.
More efficient and cost effective solutions to handle user life cycle
Battle Ground’s search led them to Tools4ever and the User Management Resource Administrator (UMRA) Mass module. “It offered a quick, complete and affordable solution for dealing with the yearly exodus of students graduating, the influx of new students and the constant shifting of students from one school to another,” said Scott McDaniel, Director of Information Services. During the discovery phase for implementation, Tools4ever determined that the Self-Service Reset Password Management (SSRPM) solution would free up helpdesk employees to focus on other, more impactful IT projects. Battle Ground School District opted for a dual implementation and utilized Tools4ever’s consultants to assist in customizing both solutions for their environment.
“UMRA solved our bandwidth problems and worked within our tight budgetScott McDaniel, Director of Information Services, Battleground Public Schools
Tools4ever’s consultants immediately identified several key problem areas in which the User Management Resource Administrator software and Self-Service Reset Password Management solutions would fully resolve these issues:
- Based on CSV text files from State Student Information
- System, remove all obsolete student accounts including home directories
- Create new user accounts for all incoming students including user name, home directory, share folders and all other attributes
- Implement a simple and secure method for password resets
- Provide reporting on all password changes and all user
- Account creation, updating and deletions
Tools4ever began by implementing the UMRA solution to clean up the Battle Ground Active Directory and remove obsolete student accounts. Based on a CSV text file pulled from the Washington State Student Information System, all obsolete student accounts of graduated students and students who moved out of the district were removed from Active Directory.
Next, all of the incoming students for the new school year were added into Active Directory, based on a simple CSV text file their user name, share file, home directory and all other user attributes were created. Processes that used to consume hours every day at the beginning of the school year to execute, now take less than a day.
Finally, Tools4ever assisted with the rollout and implementation of the Self-Service Reset Password Management solution. Using Group Policy to push SSRPM out across the network and the web interface to work with the combination of Mac and PC computers, over 11,000 users were enrolled and are successfully using the system. “SSRPM has allowed our staff to focus on things that were actually problems, they are able to help people now,” said Scott McDaniel. “They no longer have to focus their attention on mundane password resets; they can focus on real IT issues and concerns.” SSRPM has been widely successfully with both students and teachers.
Instant return on investment
Battle Ground School District realized an immediate return on investment for both products through time saved, improved efficiency, and it was clearly a fiscally responsible reaction to best meet the needs of their rapidly growing school district. According to Scott McDaniel, Battle Ground has realized a cost savings equal to at least one-half of a helpdesk person’s salary, which is incredible for an IT department that has become experts at stretching every budget dollar. “UMRA and SSRPM both immediately saved us time, and time really is money, and anybody in the IT world who doesn’t understand that really isn’t in the IT world. There is never enough money for all the projects, and I really think this needs to be one of the projects that needs to be considered. This was an easy purchase,” Scott McDaniel, Battle Ground School District.