University of Gloucestershire: Seamless Student & Staff Experience
The University of Gloucestershire has been offering high quality education to students from all over the world for over 170 years. To meet the challenge of improving its position whilst dealing with increased competition and budgetary constraints, the University embarked on several ICT projects with the aim to provide the best possible customer experience without compromising operational standards. The University realised that federated authentication and single sign-on service delivered on a resilient platform were key considerations. It also recognised that it would need choose a single solution that would its maintain standards, without affecting the level of customer experience it had set out to achieve. Three key objectives emerged:
- To provide a resilient platform as the University moved its staff and students to O365.
- To replace the current onerous ‘simplified sign-on’ with a SSO experience.
- To integrate work station logins.
Working closely with IDM specialist ProofID, who had been supporting the University’s IDM deployment for many years they identified PingFederate® by Ping Identity, the market leading identity security company, as the ideal solution. To facilitate the deployment of these technologies across the University, ProofID also arranged to provide a fully hosted managed service (IDaaMS).
By choosing PingFederate, ProofID could replace the University’s Shibboleth service, which was being used to access a substantial number of library resources. They were also able to extend the SSO capabilities of PingFederate to accommodate a range of applications including: Degreeplus, Moodle and Infroserver WAM.
The concerns regarding a resilience platform to ensure continuity of service if the Janet link was unavailable, were addressed by the fully managed service hosted in a Tier 3 UK base datacentre.
The result is a streamlined customer experience that greatly assists the University’s operations, particularly its work to better engage students.
- The entering of sign-on credentials has been reduced from potentially up to 7 to one.
- Workstation logins included.
The move to a single set of technologies supported by ProofID’s managed hosted service has also reduced cost to the University and helped to improve efficiencies and levels of security and compliance.
- Previously 4 ADFS servers were supported locally at an annual cost per server of £2500, this has disappeared.
- Since the deployment of the hosted service there hasn’t been a single failure of service.
“Ping and ProofID working together have delivered substantial improvements and developments in a very short space of time and have met and exceeded our initial requirements, we very excited about where we can take this partnership in the future.” stated Pete Maller, System Developer and Administrator.
Tom Eggleston, Managing Director, ProofID added, “We are delighted to continue our long-term partnership with Gloucestershire University with their transition to new technology whilst recognising the importance of the customer experience and ensuring security and continuity of service is of the utmost concern.”