Centrify Corporation, the leader in unified identity management across data center, cloud and mobile, today announced that the University of Southern California (USC) has deployed its Centrify User Suite to extend secure remote and on-site single sign-on (SSO) access to university applications and computing resources, further enabling USC's powerful learning environment while avoiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in new IT infrastructure and construction investment.
Founded in Los Angeles in 1880, USC is one of the world's leading private research universities and home to more than 38,000 students and 3,500 full-time faculty members. "By simply enabling students to use their own devices, we have transformed our computing lab from endless rows of computers into a flexible classroom with more flexible and innovative teaching methodologies," said Michael Goay, executive director of IT for Viterbi Business Affairs, USC.
The USC Engineering Department was looking at ways to continually improve learning for its 5,300 students, and providing anywhere, anytime access to Mac-based applications was a key objective. While students have access to a state-of-the-art computing lab, business hours in the facility were restricted and scheduled classes further limited availability. This limited availability forced some students to license software for their personal machines, which proved very expensive.
Rather than spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to extend the lab or build an entirely new one, the university explored innovative technologies that could virtually extend the lab without the purchase of a single new laptop. After extensive research, the USC team found that the Centrify solution combined with Aqua Connect's RDS product and USC's Windows PowerShell script could extend access management via Windows Active Directory across the university's entire heterogeneous computing environment.
"After significant research and many meetings with different companies, we selected Centrify and Aqua Connect for their group policy management, flexibility, manageability, licensing model, and their willingness to work with us to address our challenges," said Goay. "We estimated the cost of building out a new lab to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and when we estimated the total cost of the Centrify and Aqua Connect solutions, there was no comparison. USC views the Centrify project as an investment in our students, but it has offered significant savings as well. The value of enabling BYOD in one classroom alone is more than $60,000."
Today, students use their primary USC log-in through Microsoft Active Directory and Centrify's SSO solution automatically grants permissions and access based on course enrollment, without having to manage user accounts, log-in credentials or passwords. The Centrify/Aqua Connect solution is helping to improve learning with anywhere, anytime access, and enables classes traditionally taught in Mac-based instructional computing labs to be taught in any classroom, with or without computers. USC students use their own laptops, save money on software licensing, and benefit from a unified computing experience, persistent data storage, and roaming across physical computing labs equipped with Macs and PCs, as well as virtual computing environments.
According to Goay, student response and adoption to the program have been very positive. With easy access to essential resources, significantly more students are bringing their own devices rather than using university-supplied hardware. This allows USC to reconfigure classrooms for maximum flexibility and remove laptops entirely, saving additional tens of thousands of dollars each year, he said.
"USC is one of the world's leading research universities, and we are pleased to work with them to better equip their students in today's very competitive 24x7 learning environments," said Mark Weiner, chief marketing officer, Centrify. "Centrify is growing its business significantly in all markets, especially in education, and USC provides a great use case how education institutions can further learning while avoiding unnecessary costs by encouraging BYOD among students and providing anytime, secure access to the resources and information students need."
USC is using the Mac Edition of the Centrify User Suite, which allows organizations to easily implement Active Directory-based management for both connected and remote Mac OS X systems, as well as end-users' Apple iOS and Android mobile devices. With Centrify, IT departments can centrally manage authentication, policy management, single sign-on (SSO) and user self-service for all popular endpoint devices using Active Directory. Customers benefit by leveraging their existing identity infrastructure, processes and trained IT staff while reducing costs and improving operational efficiency.
Centrify provides unified identity management across data center, cloud and mobile environments that result in single sign-on (SSO) for users and a simplified identity infrastructure for IT. Centrify's unified identity management software and cloud-based Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) solutions leverage an organization's existing identity infrastructure to enable single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, privileged identity management, auditing for compliance and mobile device management. Centrify customers can typically reduce their total cost of identity management and compliance by more than 50 percent, while improving business agility and overall security. Centrify is used by more than 5,000 customers worldwide, including approximately half of the Fortune 50 and more than 60 Federal agencies. For more information, please visit http://www.centrify.com/ .