Designing and Implementing a MIM Solution for Preston’s College

Posted on 7 July 2020

Identity Experts worked with Preston’s College to implement Microsoft Identity Manager, ADFS Services, and Azure AD, in order to improve onboarding, manage email processes, and allow students to access online resources with ease.

Preston’s College is positioned in the heart of its community, with thousands of learners aged 14-19 studying vocational and further education courses, as well as a large adult and apprenticeship provision. The college works with the local community and also collaborates with small and large scale employers.

Further education is a vital step for school leavers and Preston’s College takes supporting and motivating its students seriously, focusing on affording the best future opportunities for students and helping them reach their full potential. In order to achieve this goal, it’s essential the college can provide outstanding facilities and resources across its range of provision and give learners the best experience possible. 

The Challenge

One resource accessed by nearly all learners is the college’s ICT services. From the point of enrolment, the college ensures that learners have access to desktops/laptops, wireless networks, Office365 and email, VLEs and other digital resources. “This heavily relied on bespoke scripts, clunky tasks and manual intervention from ICT support staff,” Rick Giagnacovo was quoted as saying. “Any updates, changes and further integrations had to be implemented by us, resulting in a system which was expensive to maintain and slow to update.”

The Solution

To counteract this, Identity Experts implemented a full Joiner/Mover/Leaver solution based on standards-compliant technology. By utilising Microsoft technology, we were able to automate the college’s user lifecycle and enable upgrades with ease. AzureAD was chosen to allow the automatic provision of email accounts to Office365. In order to allow users to automatically log in to external digital resources, AFDS was the obvious choice, as it allows them to do so without requiring additional usernames and passwords. We also implemented Microsoft Identity Manager to automate the full student lifecycle, from enrolment and moving courses, all the way through to graduation.

How We Helped

Sticking to our schedule, dealing with unforeseen issues efficiently, and keeping steady communication as we carried out tasks is how we impress and build trust with our clients. As a result, the customer commended us for our reliability: “Throughout implementation, everything was well organised and we were kept up to date with progress.”

Alongside our team of technical experts, our Account Manager Jason Ewbank was always on hand to manage the project, update the client, and develop our relationship with Preston’s College. When discussing their experience with us, the college’s representatives were quick to praise Jason’s involvement: “Outside the scope of this project, Jason has always been helpful and keen to discuss the College’s challenges and future projects.“

What’s Changed?

Our work resulted in the seamless provision of network accounts based on a learner’s enrolment status, as well as integration of authentication services into other platforms. Preston’s College were pleased with these positive changes and the return on investment that we provided, with Rick stating that “the work has paid for itself.” He went on to say, “MIM, AzureAD and ADFS gives us a modern flexible platform we can continue to work with and build on, allowing us to future proof our means of authentication. It’s fully supported and maintained by experts in this field, and the work will save us money in the long run.”

What the Customer Thinks

“Identity Experts understood what we were looking to achieve and the underpinning business requirements, mixed in with excellent technical expertise.  The team provided a clear proposal, cost-benefit analysis and step-by-step documentation. Preston’s College is always determined to build and maintain strong relationships with key partners and the college considers Identity Experts to be one of those.”

How Identity Experts Can Help

The configuration and deployment of Identity and Access Management solutions can be a time-consuming and complex endeavour. However, with the right experience and product knowledge, these solutions can be implemented efficiently and delivered on-budget.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we have long-standing and in-depth experience and expertise in how to design, deploy and support Microsoft Identity Manager, along with a whole host of Microsoft and other Partner solutions. Our success, customer loyalty, and positive recommendations are achieved through the use of leading practices, attention to detail, and a consultative approach throughout.

If you’re interested in working with us to implement identity, access management, or cyber security solutions within your organisation, please contact a member of our dedicated team today – they’re more than happy to help.


A few people we've already done it for