Customer Insights

This case study examines the deployment of Identity Management (IDM) services into TAFE Queensland as a managed service in partnership with UNIFY Solutions. This study is the fourth in the series which provides insights into the strategy, design, build and deployment of key components of Identity and Access Management in order to meet an evolving business need.

To be an efficient, sustainable, responsive organisation that develops individuals’ skills and employment opportunities by meeting employer, industry and community needs.

TAFE Queensland mission

With the transition to a statutory authority operating in a contested market place, TAFE needed to evolve the IDM system to meet the changing needs of students, staff and corporate clients.

Dean Sedgman Chief Information Officer TAFE Queensland

Insights

Document the current user experiences to make the compelling case for change and establish a benchmark to manage benefits and track improvements

As a result of the productive partnership between UNIFY Solutions and TAFE Queensland, students and staff now have improved access to the information and applications needed to support their learning options and pathways.

Effective, streamlined security and authentication processes have been implemented to provide secure, simplified access to information and services to support the TAFE Queensland Business Solutions Renewal Program.

The IDM service delivered by UNIFY is scalable and flexible to suit TAFE Queensland’s changing business requirements. It enables TAFE Queensland to accurately plan current year services and costs with the ability to forecast out-year costs as the organisation continues to evolve.

As TAFE Queensland continues to respond to the demands of a dynamic training market across a wide range of industry sectors, the future challenge and opportunity is to evolve the IDM platform to meet the increasing demand for access to digital services anywhere, anytime, on any device. Having a trusted strategic partner providing independent advice, certified IDM specialists and trainers, ensures
TAFE Queensland is in a strong position to meet these challenges and opportunities now and into the future.

Frame business benefits in terms of productivity outcomes and the user experience rather than the technology

The benefits to TAFE Queensland from the implementation of UNIFY’s Identity Management Service includes improved productivity and a better user experience for staff and students.

Link Service Level Agreements and performance metrics to key business requirements

At the core of any managed service arrangement is the Service Catalogue and associated Service Level Agreement (SLA) laying out the key performance metrics and reporting schedule against which the contracted services are measured.

To ensure the managed services are fit for purpose and meet the needs of the organisation, it is essential that the performance metrics are dovetailed into the business requirements. For the TAFE managed service the SLA’s primary focus was on students and supporting their access to training systems.

As a result, any Identity component supporting student access such as selfservice password resets and web single sign on (SSPR and Web SSO) required 24 x 7 support while Staff required access on a 12 x 5 basis only for selfservice.

Internal IT must retain the relationship with internal clients

A key design in the arrangement was for internal IT to maintain the relationship with internal customers. Maintaining this relationship is critical to ensuring the services provided continue to meet the evolving business needs of the prime customer.

Clearly defined roles for the client, vendor(s) and related 3rd party providers is an essential pre-requisite of an effective Managed Service arrangement.

An essential requirement for transitioning any ICT service to a managed service arrangement is to have clearly defined roles and responsibilities for client, prime service provider, and other relevant 3rd party vendors. To complete this vital step, UNIFY worked with TAFE to ensure the required skills sets were available across both organisations leveraging the existing skills sets within TAFE.

Assess policies, process and procedures against a best practice Identity Management Optimisation Model to reveal gaps and improvements.

As part of the Identity Management Improvement Plan, UNIFY conducted a policy, process and procedure review mapped against the phases of the identity management lifecycle and benchmarked these against UNIFY’s Identity Management Optimisation Model.

Ensure policies, process and procedures are reviewed and mapped against each stage of the identity management lifecycle.
Traditional concepts for Identity and Access Management (IDM) that have been focused on internal IT are no longer sufficient to meet the evolving business needs of today’s organisations

TAFE Queensland is the statutory authority parent body for technical and further education training in Queensland. Established in 1882, TAFE Queensland is one of Australia’s largest education providers with approximately 180,000 students enrolled in qualifications and other programs each year across its six regions, nationally and internationally.

In 2014-15 the operations of TAFE Queensland were transferred from the Department of Education and Training into the TAFE  Queensland statutory body. Through this process, TAFE Queensland established all the organisational functions necessary to operate successfully in a challenging training market. This included significant preparations to transition payroll and finance systems.

These ICT system changes were part of the larger Business Solutions Renewal Program which also included a new Student Management System to be implemented in 2016. The Program is planned to deliver significant reductions in operating costs as well as process simplification.

An Identity Management implementation in any organisation is a technically complex, high risk activity let alone in a vocational education and training provider with over 180,000 students and staff offering over 640 courses in 6 regional areas across Queensland from Thursday Island to Coolangatta.

Traditional approaches to Identity Management implementations are resource intensive, typically spawning multiple projects which are usually executed over multiple years directly impacting the core frontline and business systems of the organisation.

In 2014, TAFE Queensland engaged UNIFY to scope and cost a Managed Service for the current IDM solution that had been implemented by UNIFY to support TAFE Queensland as statutory body following the separation from the Department of Education and
Training. The IDM solution was built on authoritative sources that held a variety of Identity related data, such as corporate staff, institute staff, and students.

 

Results

  • Improved on-boarding processes for staff, students and contract personnel providing account set-up prior to starting to allow immediate productivity for new staff.
  • Provision of identity management services for student accounts to TAFE network and student applications
  • Enabled web single sign on for Office 365, Learning Management System, and any future federated applications.
  • Self-service password reset and password changes for staff and students without requiring assistance from the help desk.
  • Improved security of the overall environment through the management of identity access, authorisation and authentication from a centralised and
    authoritative source
  • Integration with Payroll to provide a single authoritative source for ongoing changes to the staff member including location changes, promotion
    and termination management.

Managed Services are not static arrangements and must be structured to incorporate a continual review process to ensure they meet the changing needs of the client.

Adam Aurisch Managed Services & Support Manager UNIFY Solutions

TAFE Queensland continues to innovate and expand the range of learning options and educational pathways available to our students.

Warren Tapp Chairman TAFE Queensland Board
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