Another school year is upon us and school district IT departments are in full swing with projects during the summer months. CIOs are looking for ways to maximize current resources and increase IT service levels along with managing BYOD initiatives. I am getting a lot of phone calls and emails from school districts looking for data integration and automation solutions. I always recommend UMRA due to low cost, horsepower and speed of deployment. Well, and it is managing over 5 Million Student and Staff users currently in North America.
Students, Parents and Faculty members have access to many other systems and applications these days. IT departments are having to find more robust means to manage the profiles and identities of users in these added systems. They turn to Tools4ever to address and manage those identities through SIS Integration to Active Directory and the cloud.
Tools4ever’s UMRA software (User Management Resource Administrator) is designed to simplify the process of user provisioning, re-provisioning and decommissioning in Active Directory as well as in downstream systems like Office365, Google Apps, Destiny, Moodle, VersaTrans, NutriKids and so on. If scripting is getting old or your current licensing models are too expensive you should consider Tools4ever’s UMRA with unlimited downstream system connections with no added cost.
Here is a handful of common Student Information Systems UMRA connects to:
- Skyward (Tools4ever Partner)
- Infinite Campus
- and more…
Common Downstream Systems UMRA connects to
- It’s Learning
- Google Apps
- Tyler Munis
- and many more…
Follow this link to learn more or call 888-770-4242 Ext114
Partnership will help schools streamline their Identity Management
Tools4ever, the market leader in Identity and Access Management solutions, is pleased to announce that they are now a formal business partner of Skyward, Inc, vendor of School Administration Software. Tools4ever is eligible for this partnership because they have the ability to connect Skyward with its User Management Resource Administrator (UMRA). Skyward is a platform used by many school districts as a student information system and other school business software needs. This connection will allow school districts to automate and streamline their identity management, which will reduce the time and resources the IT department uses dealing with account management issues.
The UMRA Skyward connector will allow school districts to eliminate manual inputs of data into their Active Directory and will instead automatically manage the lifecycle of the user accounts across the enterprise within AD and even in different platforms. The connection is also being utilized to synchronize student and staff data with cloud based systems such as Google Apps and Office 365.
The Skyward connection has currently been implemented by over 35 school districts including Lewisville Independent School District. With the UMRA Skyward connection Lewisville no longer has to manually make changes to student accounts. UMRA automatically looks into the student information system to determine where in the Active Directory accounts need to be created, modified or deleted.
In reference to the new connector, James Byerly, Enterprise Account Executive for Education stated, “Our partnership with Skyward will allow us to provide cost effective and quick-to-implement solutions for their customers. We look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership for many years to come.”
Additionally, Tools4ever offers numerous other SIS connectors that work with UMRA. These include: Power School, Jenzabar, Smartschool, Banner, JPAMS and many more.
Read the entire Lewisville Independent School District case study:
To learn more about UMRA and other connector please visit: Tools4ever Connectors
Skyward is a leading provider of K-12 school administrative software that surpasses districts’ needs in state reporting, improves operational capabilities, and opens communication between schools and families.
Today, you can find Skyward’s School Management System™ in more than 1,500 school districts worldwide, ranging from districts with as few as 50 students to state configurations supporting more than 800,000 students.
Founded in 1980, Skyward serves school districts with its integrated student, finance and human resources suite of products and is proudly made and supported in the U.S.A. http://www.skyward.com
Tools4ever distinguishes itself with a no-nonsense approach and a low Total Cost of Ownership. In contrast to comparable Identity & Access Management solutions, Tools4ever implements a complete solution in several days rather than weeks or months. Because of this approach, Tools4ever is the undisputed Identity & Access Management market leader, with more than one million user accounts managed on a daily basis.
Tools4ever supplies a variety of software products and integrated consultancy services involving Identity Management, such as User Provisioning, RBAC, Password Management, SSO and Access Management. For more information, please visit http://www.tools4ever.com.
For more information call 888-770-4242
Test Environment: Server - Server 2008 R2
UMRA - 10.6 (build 1640)
By Joe Fox - www.umrahelp.com
I’ve been asked a few times over the last few months what are the common questions someone might have when trying to create a UMRA Automation project that takes Active Directory Users and syncs it with Google Apps. Below are four of the main questions I ask my clients before I being a the sync process.
1. Are the users already in Active Directory but not Google Apps?
* The reason why I ask this is because, when you create the Google Apps account, what will be the initial password upon creation? You can use any relevant data from either Active Directory, or another data source for the initial password.
2. Are the users that are going to be created in Google Apps, created in a specific container?
* Google Apps has the ability to create a container, much like Active Directories OU’s. This is important because you need to know where to place a user upon creation, instead of putting everyone on the root. Having a clean
3. Are you going to keep your Google Apps users in sync with Active Directory?
* Creating accounts is only Google Apps is only one of the steps when doing a sync. Other standardization options include, location sync (what happens if a user moves schools after they are created in Google Apps), status sync (if a user becomes disabled in Active Directory, are you going to suspend in Google Apps), first name / last name sync (if the first or last name changes in Active Directory are you going to sync that into Google Apps).
4. Are you going to apply group memberships in Google Apps?
* Much like Active Directory, you can apply groups to users, however you will need to setup security on these groups. When setting up the security, you need to know who can send and use these group lists.
Those are 4 of the main questions I typically ask when doing a Active Directory to Google Apps sync. If you are able to answer these standard questions, or come up with your own standardization rules for these, doing the sync should be come a lot more easier to do. As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me, or leave a comment below. http://www.umrahelp.com
Many companies are apprehensive about implementing UMRA when they are in the middle of a migration process to an Active Directory (AD) environment. This may be due to the misconception that the migration must first be completed before UMRA will work properly, or starting another project while they are in the process of migration might overcomplicate the project, thus delaying the project deadline. The fact is that UMRA assists with migration both pre and post project and streamlines the process. Tools4ever expertise in this area provides a valuable project management asset and speeds up the migration process.
There are two common migration scenarios. The first of which is domain consolidation, multiple AD domains are being collapsed into a single domain. In this scenario, UMRA is able to recreate the user account and, more often than not, retain the username in the new domain. Organizations also have the choice to implement new naming conventions. This occurs in circumstances where the migration results in several duplications of names. UMRA will then create a new user name and alerts end users, via email, what their new username will be along with the date that name will be made effective.
Not only is the user migration process streamlined, but the resources of those users as well. This includes items like group memberships and home directory data. As users are migrated UMRA will retain their group memberships, and if one of groups in question doesn’t reside in the new domain UMRA creates it automatically. Home directory data can either be copied to a new server in the new domain or re-permissioned on the existing server with the SID of the newly migrated account.
UMRA also assists and eases the migration process by:
Eliminating Pollution-Most migration tools will copy 1:1 which will includes erroneous and/or stale accounts. UMRA migrates users by reconciling them against a HR/SIS system so that pollution is not included. Activity reports on which groups are not being used are generated so that unused objects are not migrated.
Fill Attributes-When migration takes place there might be some missing information such as “title” or “Department”. UMRA automatically populates this information as needed.
To learn more visit Tools4ever.com
Solving the Identity Management Crisis Date: Thursday, September 22, 2011 11:00 AM PST Speaker: Gary Oppel, Church & Dwight makers of Arm & Hammer Polluted user account databases, endless calls to the helpdesk for password resets, forgotten log in credentials to applications and systems – do these situations sound familiar? Organizations today are faced with a myriad of identity and access management issues. From managing the user lifecycle to single sign-on and even password reset options. No organization is immune to the need to implement organized, effective and cost efficient solutions to combat these issues. Join Gary Oppel as he discusses the challenges his company faced with managing thousands of user accounts and how they brought in solutions that would allow for quick implementation with fast ROI. You will learn how Dwight & Church implemented an identity management solution that: Automated the user lifecycle, provided provisioning and organized the Active Directory environment And how Dwight & Church plan to implement additional solutions to: Reduce calls to the helpdesk for password related issues by implementing a password reset solution Provide a single sign on solution to increase productivity and reduce calls to the helpdesk for access management issues.
Polluted user account databases, endless calls to the helpdesk for password resets, forgotten log in credentials to applications and systems – do these situations sound familiar? Organizations today are faced with a myriad of identity and access management issues. From managing the user lifecycle to single sign-on and even password reset options. No organization is immune to the need to implement organized, effective and cost efficient solutions to combat these issues.
Join Gary Oppel as he discusses the challenges his company faced with managing thousands of user accounts and how they brought in solutions that would allow for quick implementation with fast ROI. You will learn how Dwight & Church implemented an identity management solution that:
- Automated the user lifecycle, provided provisioning and organized the Active Directory environment
And how Dwight & Church plan to implement additional solutions to:
- Reduce calls to the helpdesk for password related issues by implementing a password reset solution
- Provide a single sign on solution to increase productivity and reduce calls to the helpdesk for access management issues
Someone help! Too many calls to the help desk for resetting passwords or unlocking accounts! Take me away!
It is time for the summer vacations to be ending. Your employees are coming back to work after a long break in the Bahamas, Cabo or elsewhere. They drag themselves into the office and head for their desk to log into their computer. OH NO! Due to total relaxation or too many frosty beverages on the beach, they have forgotten their password. They are forced to call the help desk for assistance. What happens then? Often times, the help desk will simply reset or unlock the account with no real authentication process. Who is really on the other end of the phone? Doesn’t the help desk have better things to do? Couldn’t the service levels increase if they focus on more critical issues? And couldn’t the end user be productive quicker if they did not have to wait in the help desk que? 25%-40% of all calls to the help desk are password related.
Well, its time for the system administrators to take charge!
Enable your end users to reset their own passwords or unlock their accounts. Tools4ever’s Self Service Reset Password Management (SSRPM) is a software solution that does just that. End users easily and securely can reset or unlock by answering a series of challenge and response questions. SSRPM fully integrates with the Windows login screen and has an ASP Web Portal. System Admins have total control over the password management process from creating personal questions to establishing the number of questions that must be answered correctly. With SSRPM, the time-consuming process surrounding the password reset is greatly reduced or even eliminated from the IT department’s hands. Reducing the help desk might in fact feel like a vacation.
Follow this link to learn more: http://www.tools4ever.com/products/self-service-reset-password-management/
The summer time means vacations, no school, hitting the beach, and all kinds of great fun. Unless of course, you are a system administrator for a school district. The summer then means you are squeezing in every major project that you can before school starts up again in August or September, depending on the region in which you reside. As such, the last thing you have time for is dealing with student active directory accounts.
Yet, you will have an influx of new students. And depending on your organizational unit structure, you may need to roll over these accounts into new OU’s based on graduation year or grade level. Maybe these grad year or grade level OU’s are within a higher level OU for each school in the district. Perhaps each grad year or grade level has a specific share somewhere, on which the user’s home directories must reside. These home directories need to move with the student throughout his or her career in the district.Then, of course, there are group memberships, which most likely created within the same design as the OU structure.
Manually provisioning all of this can take weeks. Scripting these tasks in visual basic is slow and tedious as well. With User Management Resource Administrator’s Automation module, you can streamline these tasks, and have them occur on a scheduled basis. Here is a high level overview of such a process:
- UMRA queries the SIS system, or csv export of student information
- This data is compared to AD
- New accounts are created based upon existence in the SIS system and not AD
- Updates to accounts occur based upon existence of the user in the SIS and AD
- Account disables are based upon either an inactive flag in the SIS, or the lack of the account existing in the SIS when it exists in AD
Processes for group and home directory provisioning can be based up a graduation year or grade level, even if this information is not necessarily provided (to be detailed in a coming post). Automation can be scheduled nightly, or more or less frequently as needed. All actions against AD accounts and their resources are logged for auditing and troubleshooting purposes. It can even generate email alerts for you.
You are now free to (not) enjoy your summer break doing other tasks.
Lately, I have been bragging about User Management Resource Administrator (UMRA)’s ability to connect to various student information systems (SIS). One SIS vendor seems to be very popular among my clients. I often get asked if UMRA can integrate with Skyward. The answer is yes indeed. Http://www.skyward.com/Page.ashx/News/Press?WCID=2095
In the State of Washington, Skyward is hosted by WSIPC Washington School Information Processing Cooperative, cooperative organization designed to help school districts save money. Recently in the State of Texas, the Texas Education Agency announced that the agency chose Skyward as a statewide SIS vendor. The partnership will save the districts millions of dollars moving forward and ease some of the statewide financial problems. http://www.tea.state.tx.us/news_release.aspx?id=2147501298&menu_id=692
It is worth noting that Tools4ever’s UMRA software is being used by over 20 school districts in the State of Texas and hundreds of districts across the country for automating management of life cycles for user accounts in Active Directory and other downstream systems. UMRA essentially is the hub or middle-ware that keeps all other systems talking to each other. UMRA minimizes manual help desk work to streamline IT management and create even more cost savings for the districts. Travis Brown at Hutto ISD said, “Tools4ever’s UMRA software has saved our district considerable man hours and resources by connecting to the Skyward Student Information System to automatically manage our user accounts in Active Directory. Tools4ever consultants did an outstanding job implementing the UMRA and we began saving immediately. ”
UMRA will connect via ODBC to the Skyward database, query the student data and then provision user accounts. More importantly, UMRA manages the daily changes on the account such as a student moves from one school to another, home drives are moved, OU placement and permissions are adjusted in real-time. At the end of the lifecycle, the user account is decommissioned based on the business rules of the district; such as when a student graduates..
To learn more about the UMRA’s Skyward Connector please feel free to contact us at 888-770-4242 or www.tools4ever.com
Take a gander at this video that illustrates how UMRA can streamline network account management.
UMRA – User Management Software for Delegation, Workflow and RBAC
UMRA eliminates the need for manual user account management based on scripts or difficult manual procedures. The scripts and manual procedures are defined within UMRA, so that account management can be securely delegated to non-skilled IT staff.
UMRA also streamlines the communication associated with user account changes. UMRA can detect changes in source systems -HRM systems, BI/ data warehousing systems, work schedule systems, etc.- and implement these changes across the network via automated provisioning.
Click on the red text to get more information on the subject.
Auditing & reporting
It is also possible to make the organization primarily responsible for managing user accounts, by having employees and/or managers perform user account management tasks themselves using self-service and workflow management / approval capabilities.
UMRA allows organizations to automate and standardize their user management processes to reduce the cost of their IT operations, eliminate labor-intensive tasks and meet compliance requirements forauditing & reporting.
Based on procedures recorded in UMRA, and in accordance with a predefined plan, user account changes are implemented across the network. To this end, UMRA can communicate with virtually any system or application through more than 130 business-ready connectors. Click here for an overview of our out-of-the-box connectors.
Tools4ever uses a phased approach and has a sizeable database of predefined procedures at its disposal. This enables us to provide our clients with results in just a few days and to offer them an ROI in an average of four months. Click here for more information on our approach.
Read more on User Management Resource Administrator or call 888-770-4242 Ext 114