Kingston University Simply ‘ARMS’
Kingston University, Surrey provides a wide range of Higher Education courses to more than 25,000 students. Approximately 20% of the students studying at Kingston University are overseas students and there are more than 2,000 staff working at the University’s 4 campuses and 7 faculties.
Thanks to a well-established identity management system, Kingston University is able to automatically provision student and staff accounts with access to the right applications and right resources. Students and staff arriving at the University are able to be productive from day one. Once they leave, their accounts are disabled minimising the risk of security breaches. The team have virtually removed the requirement for manual processes and intervention, reducing the costs and margin for error associated with account creation and management.
Until recently accounts for users who didn’t appear in the Student Record System or within the HR system were created manually, by the technical team. Having successfully managed to implement an identity management solution, the team were keen to discover whether they could replicate the effectiveness of this solution when creating accounts for those who weren’t permanent to the university.
Like many universities visiting lecturers, summer tenants and conference visitors were all typical of the type of non-permanent users likely to require an account for access or authentication. Ensuring that the accounts were disabled once the users departed was also critical to meet compliance regulations ProofID was asked to engage with the technical team at the University. The team had confidence in the approach and knowledge of the consultants having previously worked on a number of successful projects together. ProofID was considered as a trusted advisor to the University.
ARMS by ProofID demonstrated the ability to address the requirements identified by the University. Users of the new system were likely to be members of the conferencing team or administrative office.
The solution therefore needed to be simple to use and manage, reducing the requirement for technical input as far as possible. In order to meet compliance regulations changes needed to be auditable, so a record of who created and updated what and when was essential.
ARMS utilises a web based interface for the management and maintenance of affiliate information. Additional functionality included in the solution enable batch imports from Excel for creating multiple accounts plus an advanced find feature to locate accounts once they have been created.
Key to the success of the project was the appointment of a “super user”. Adam Wilden has been the primary user of ARMS since the initial implementation. Adam is a member of the technical team at the University. Adam commented,
“For me ARMS is about making life easier for those who need to provision accounts. The IT team here at Kingston want to provide IT, not use it. This solution allows us to realise real efficiencies in the creation of temporary accounts. We have created a user guide so that those who need it have reference material to assist. We (the team) have helped to design the way that ARMS works for us at Kingston, we don’t want it to be complicated, it has to be easy otherwise we won’t see the full potential.”
Kingston University is now able to automatically provision and de-provision accounts for users who are visiting the university for only a short period of time. Using ARMS they have been able to address the challenge of
authentication for visitors staying in the halls of residence outside of term time. ARMS will enable the process and management of this to be simple, accurate and secure.
Bill Lowe, IT Operations Manager at Kingston University is delighted with the final result,
“ProofID’s ARMS solution has resolved many of the problems we were experiencing. We have worked closely with ProofID to ensure that we have a solution which integrates the resources we need to be provisioned through ARMS. We see ARMS as an enabler, we’re already thinking about how we can develop this further to include additional resources in the future.”