Identity Experts worked with Brunel to set up automated Teams creation, with the help of Microsoft Identity Manager. This solution allowed course leaders to provide assignments and grading information to students, while also accessing vital data insights.
Brunel University London is a renowned public research university based in Uxbridge. It was founded and awarded its Royal Charter in 1966, taking its name from the Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel - one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history , and a major player in the Industrial Revolution.
It’s no surprise, then, that the campus is known for its technological education, and has a reputation for championing innovation and advancement. The university is dedicated to giving the UK the knowledge base it needs to compete on the international stage, by investing in its thousands of students and providing them with a world class education. Brunel is a university for a changing world.
COVID-19 has presented many unique challenges to institutions up and down the country. In order to keep students and staff safe in the new academic year, Brunel needed to drastically change how services were delivered to students. Having successfully launched Teams for staff, albeit manually, the university was looking to introduce automation into the mix for its student service offerings. Brunel chose to work with Identity Experts to get the job done.
To get the most out of Teams, Brunel wanted to automate the process from the student records management system right up to Microsoft 365 and Teams communication. Identity Experts worked with Brunel University London to develop functionality which automated the creation of Teams using module information from SITS, the student records management system. The new solution uses Microsoft Identity Manager to translate module information through to a Teams team with an education template in play.
How We Helped
Identity Experts created a customisable framework that Brunel can develop further. By incorporating automated membership and templates through Teams, Brunel now have a lot of flexibility to adapt this environment as the university moves forward into a new working practice. This has also reduced support overheads and put the onus on having good data on student records.
As a result, course leaders within Brunel University London can now provide assignments and grading information to students via Teams. Educators can also gain insights into module statistics such as attendance and assignment submission rates. Using Dynamic Groups, the course delegate list is always up to date, ensuring that students have access to relevant modules, creating a positive user experience.
For years, Brunel academics would manually create groups as owners of a team, adding users from a list one by one in order to send emails. Introducing automation is a giant leap forward for the university.
Brunel is now able to establish a foundation on how to use and engage Teams within the student community, with much more potential to tap into. This framework is part of an ongoing project that they can adapt as they go. Identity Experts’ work has made it easier for Brunel to make quick edits without external assistance, empowering the university to develop further and explore new things.
Brunel’s IT team were very pleased with these positive changes and the return on investment that we provided, with Alan Charie stating that:
“I was hoping for the bare bones of what we’ve ended up with – a solution which will automate and manage the creation of those teams, but it’s gone beyond that, by incorporating templates – not something that’s relying on internal teams. Otherwise, we’d rely on ongoing manual maintenance, but now, anybody administering Microsoft 365 can use the template. Identity Experts exceeded our expectations.”
What the Customer Thinks
The customer’s glowing feedback highlighted Identity Experts’ ability to collaborate successfully and productively. From design work through to implementation, our experts worked closely with Brunel, maintaining communication throughout. The customer was able to see our team overcome all challenges that came up, offering invaluable influence on Brunel’s IT team. Rather than just offering the right answer, our experts designed with them, keeping the customer involved every step of the way, supporting them throughout.
Brunel’s Alan Charie was particularly impressed with our team’s dedication:
“Whenever a challenge arose or an exciting new development showed up, Danny [our Director and all-round technical expert] communicated quickly. Management delivered everything within the quoted days.” Alan was also impressed by how we adapted to work under the new COVID-19 lockdown regulations, saying that “working in lockdown has allowed for better flexibility, time management, collaboration.”
Overall, Brunel summed up Identity Experts’ service as “above and beyond.”
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.