Arizona School District Increases Novell and GroupWise ROI with EMU and eControl Delegated Account Administration
Pendergast Elementary School District (PESD) is a medium-size school district in Phoenix, Arizona. PESD leverages Novell solutions to deliver reliable, secure, and critical services to its 9,500 students and 900 employees. PESD has 19 NetWare 6 servers, 25 Windows 2000 servers, and 2,000 workstations located throughout their 11 schools and five administrative sites.
PESD faces the same challenge that all educational institutions face on a continuous basis - how to deal with increasing demands for more network/internet services, more computers, more access, more applications and higher expectations -- with a decreasing budget and fewer IT support staff.
“Implementing Novell solutions has allowed our school district to get the best possible value and Return On our IT Investment”, says John Moreno, MIS Directory for PEDS. “We are a school district and funds are always tight. So we need to spend our money on the right products and try to keep our IT support staff count down. We need to implement the best solutions for our users. We can’t afford to implement solutions that don’t work right the first time. By implementing Novell NetWare 6, GroupWise 6, ZenWorks for Desktops, Novell Portal Services, iFolder and iPrint, we have been able to meet our district’s growing IT needs even with the impact of decreasing budgets. We have learned that we can count on Novell solutions to meet our needs.”
Even with their Novell solutions in place, PESD faced one more challenge – how to deal with the challenge of managing large numbers of student accounts and allowing non-technical staff to carry out user account management tasks. In previous years, PESD had provided students with generic logins. When the decision was made to provide each 6th, 7th, 8th grade students as well as secondary staff ID’s for lower grades with a personal login account, PESD knew they needed to find a bulk-user management to help them deal with managing 3,500+ new student accounts in 11 different schools.
“We were faced with finding a way to create and manage 3,500 accounts, almost overnight”, continues Moreno. “Imagine sitting down with a list of 3,500 names and needing to create network and GroupWise accounts, set group membership, modify passwords, modify account information, create home directories, create volume restrictions, create GroupWise Distribution Lists, manage GroupWise visibility, etc. It was a daunting task. Being in an education environment, we had to get these accounts created in time for the start of the school year – and it had to be done right the first time. We had worked with UIMPORT and ICE in the past and those solutions were simply too cumbersome, didn’t deal with GroupWise and didn’t satisfy our needs. We read about a product called EMU (Enterprise User and Import Management Utility) on the NET and decided to check it out. After researching the other options, checking the on-line information about EMU and talking to the distributors at Omni Technology Solutions Inc. (www.omni-ts.com), we decided that EMU was the solution we were looking for. After choosing EMU for bulk user account management, we decided that eControl would be the best way to allow non-technical people to carry out management tasks like password changes, intruder account lockout, enable/disable accounts, etc. ”
“EMU was developed specifically for educational institutions and large corporate environments that need to bulk create, delete and manage large numbers of eDirectory, NDS, GroupWise and NetMail accounts,” explains Aldo Zanoni, Director of Customer Service for Omni Technology Solutions. “EMU is more than just a set of command-line utilities. People really appreciate the graphical interface, the re-usable profiles, the flexibility and the speed with which they can create and manage their tens, hundreds or thousands of users based on data from their student or personnel management system. What started out as an NDS and GroupWise user import utility has evolved into a complete account management product. EMU has matured with the needs of our clients. And with eControl, school districts can allow teachers and other non-technical staff to carry out the "top-ten" user account management functions. With eControl's web-based, ZERO-Rights, delegated user administration functions, school districts can replace ConsoleOne, NWAdmin, iManager and remove all trustee assignments from eDirectory, GroupWise and the file system and allow non-technical people to securely carry out specific user management tasks.”
“The results were phenomenal” continues Moreno. “I attended an on-line presentation and we ordered the product immediately. We received it the next day and we were done before the end of the day! In a few short hours, we had created 3,500 user accounts and configured all of their NDS and GroupWise information. More importantly, after creating the accounts, we continue to use EMU to manage our users. We still do individual account changes in ConsoleOne, but EMU is the tool we use whenever we need to modify multiple accounts. Support and response from the vendor has been tremendous when we had questions and enhancement requests. Our IT staff and non-technical people absolutely love eControl. Senior IT staff have been freed up to focus on high-level technical tasks and user account management tasks are taken care of immediately by the people who need the work to be done.”
“In an education environment, we have a very tight window of opportunity to create new student accounts at the beginning of each school year and to manage accounts during the year. If student accounts don’t get created or modified properly, and on time, we create a negative impact on our student learning, our staff, and our ability as a school district to deliver our educational objectives. EMU and eControl have allowed us to administer our large and increasing numbers of Novell and GroupWise users without increasing our support staff. Our students are thrilled to have individual accounts and our teachers and school administrators are pleased with our ability to quickly and efficiently deal with their change requests. I recommend EMU and eControl to all school districts using Novell solutions. They have allowed our IT department to focus on our Pendergast Elementary School District objective of ‘Educating the Students of Tomorrow’.”