Investing in new Identity Management Solution to prepare for instant access to ‘virtual learning environment’

Published: 21 March 2007 at 16:33

Anglia Ruskin University has today signed a three year contract worth in excess of £400,000 with suppliers Salford Software for the provision of a new Identity Management solution.

The system will function across all of the University’s campuses, providing consolidated credentials across a variety of systems, a single sign-on portal for web applications and password self-service facilities to over 30,000 students and more than 2,000 staff.

“With increasing numbers of students applying to Universities and the advent of student fees, our focus now encompasses not only technology but the necessities of good business. We treat our students and staff as customers and endeavor to deliver excellent services that will exceed expectation,”

said Joe McIntyre, one of the Assistant Directors of IT services at Anglia Ruskin University.

“We needed a solution that would help towards consolidating the data held by our faculties, departments and services units, allowing students and staff to access facilities with a common set of credentials, preferably through a single point of entry, both on and off campus. Salford Software’s Identity Management environment will ensure the integrity of the information held on our databases, promoting a single identity for every member of our University.”

An early candidate for IdM integration is the University’s virtual learning environment. At present, user accounts and course availability are managed through a combination of bespoke data feeds and manual operation. Automating change through a common management environment will simplify the provision of courses, granting access to appropriate resources in response to updates to student records on the central administrative systems.

The new IDM solution will mean that should a student change course, they can be removed from one module and granted access to a new one with minimal delay. At the same time, consolidating credentials across systems will simplify user validation and enrich the experience of students and staff.

“Salford Software have demonstrated a keen understanding of our needs. The company has a familiarity with UK higher education that is rarely found in the marketplace. They understood our needs and drivers as well as the cyclical nature of our academic and financial years and how that issues would affect any implementation,”

said Joe McIntyre.

“Having worked with many higher education institutions, we are thrilled to be able to apply our knowledge and understanding of the IDM market to helping Anglia Ruskin University provide an excellent user experience for both staff and students,”

said James Doggart, MD, Salford Software.

Implementation will begin in March with a first phase roll out in September.