Up-to-date provisioning for all students
Tim Yorke Director, Strategy Service Delivery in the Department of Education, said: ‘Dimension Data came in and worked with our in house technical people to design a system that would provide the outcome we wanted and then put that service in place. They designed the interface between the different applications, tested them and then actioned the provisioning for all students.’
Yorke explained: ‘We needed an engine that would take the student data from Oracle Collaboration Suite and provision it into an Office 365 account so that as a student enrols an automated process kicks off and produces an email account in Office 365 for the student that is linked back through our tools that identify students and verify their access. This means that when they log on to our portal their identification details are passed between our system and Office 365 so the student is verified and can access their email.’
The Department’s policy is to devolve decision-making to individual schools so each school must decide if it wants its students to have email. However mailboxes have been provisioned for all 265,000 students in the Department’s 770 schools and these mailboxes will be synchronised with the register of enrolled students.
‘Whether the school intends to use email or not, an account has been provisioned for all students. The provisioning module that Dimension Data worked on with us keeps that provisioning up to date as students come and go,’ Yorke said.
Seamless sign-on for easier access
The solution developed by Dimension Data also ensures that students have just one password for the school’s web portal and their Office 365 email account. ‘To get into their Office 365 account they come to our portal, log in with their password and see a button for email, click on that and their Office 365 email opens,’ Yorke said. ‘It’s a seamless process.’
Yorke concluded: ‘Dimension Data have been great. They have been very responsive, they have come in, listened to our needs, made suggestions and worked closely with our enterprise architects and worked quickly and diligently to come up with a solution that fits our business needs.’
Live@Edu and the duty of care
Yorke added: ‘In WA Dimension Data is the company that has the most experience in implementing Live@Edu, and now Education 365. They have done this for a number of the universities, and for the TAFE colleges. However this is the first time they have done it for an education institution that caters for kindergarten. We have the additional complication of having to protect young children from harm.’
The new system went live with a limited number of schools at the start of the 2013 school year. In the second term some 200 schools were cut over from the old system and more schools will be added as they request email services.
Now the Department is looking at additional features to enhance the system. ‘Dimension Data is now designing the capability for teachers to look into the mailboxes of all students,’ Yorke said. ‘There is degree of comfort and safety that comes from that. We call that the duty of care component.’