Pennsylvania’s Office of the Attorney General brings world class IT services to more than 1,000 accounts by using Imanami’s software
Imanami products: GroupID Self-Service and GroupID Automate
When Tom Corbett took office as Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in January 2005, he made information technology a key priority for his administration. In the two years that have followed, the Office of Attorney General has become one of the most innovative technology organizations in Pennsylvania state government and a leader among other state level Attorney General offices in the strategic application of information technology. It has achieved exceptional efficiencies by using Imanami’s software suite to automate and share the responsibilites of managing directory objects.
Today the organization can provision/de-provision accounts, manage groups, create directories and manage contact information accurately and with ease and exceptional control.
The heritage of the Pennsylvania (PA) Office of Attorney General is one of the oldest and most diverse offices of public trust in the United States spanning over three centuries of life in the Commonwealth.
Pennsylvania is unique in its breadth of services provided by The Office of the Attorney General. It addresses crimes and crime prevention in the areas of drugs, environmental law, fraud, organized crime, crimes against seniors and children, domestic abuse, financial, civil and more.
Due to the busy nature and variety of topics that need to be managed by this Office, it set out years ago to provide a world class IT infrastructure to support the volume, complexity and security necessary to serve the public as an outstanding service organization. Today, The PA Office of the Attorney General is a model for many of the other State agencies. It has built a sophisticated technology organization that is looked to for best practices and innovation.
Given the nature of the work at Pennsylvania’s Attorney General’s Office, automation and other efficiencies are paramount to a smooth operation. In the past, all changes to the more than the 1,000 managed accounts and hundreds of groups at the Office were done manually. According to Paul Lubold, Manager for Infrastructure & Operations in the Office of Attorney General’s Information Technology Section, “Updates to our systems were frequent given the volume of accounts and it was painstakingly slow to implement even the simplest changes. Quite frankly, contact updates, office changes and new employee set-up were dreaded tasks from a systems administration standpoint. You can only imagine the number of updates that occur in an organization of this size. It was a daily, if not hourly event.” Paul added, “We just had to find a better way to optimize our IT talent and serve our internal customers better. Microsoft (MS) Exchange tools didn’t give us the advanced management capabilities and flexibility that we needed.”
The PA Attorney Generals’ Office has a special technology challenge as well. It utilizes MS Exchange 2003 for approximately 90% of its systems, but also is also running MS Exchange 2007 for the remainder, as part of Microsoft’s Rapid Deployment Program (RDP).
The PA Office of Attorney General discovered Imanami’s Directory Management software years ago via an Internet search. It seemed too good to be true, but when the I.T. managers conducted the trial, it was an easy decision to make. The Office utilizes every product in the Imanami software suite, including GroupID Synchronize, GroupID Automate & GroupID Self-Service.
GroupID Self-Service is a powerful web-based directory management solution that provides self service to users to update their own directory information, search the global catalog, modify objects in different domains and manage their own groups. It takes the burden of directory management away from IT, Human Resources and other groups, saving a lot of time maintaining manual address books. GroupID Self-Service also allows the PA Office of Attorney General’s Information Technology Section IT to maintain as much control and security as required by the organization; and because it is Web-based, it easily integrates into a corporate Intranet to replace less reliable phone directory applications.
Imanami’s GroupID Synchronize provides significant wins in Identity Management projects by delivering meta-directory benefits from existing investments in Microsoft Active Directory (AD). GroupID Synchronize turns AD into an authoritative repository for identity information by synchronizing most databases and identity stores with AD. By utilizing transforms (scripting) in the product, GroupID Synchronize also provides the capability for provisioning and de-provisioning, and can map business processes to automation.
GroupID Automate is a powerful yet easy-to-use application that dynamically maintains distribution lists based on rules that are applied to directory data. When users’ directory information changes, GroupID Automate automatically updates the appropriate distribution lists and security groups by using rule-defined LDAP queries. It takes group management to a whole new level by providing an easy-to-use interface, scheduled updates and automatic group creation.
With the power of the Imanami suite, The Attorney General’s Office has evolved into a world-class service organization. Not only does it save time, it frees up experienced IT staff to build new systems and optimize existing systems for even more efficient operation, which in turn, helps the Office provide better public service.
Paul gave the following example to demonstrate just how efficient they have become with Imanami products. He recalled, “Recently the Office of Attorney General’s Human Resources (HR) Section needed to send sexual harassment information to different groups within the organization. It was critical that customized packages be distributed to various groups as they required different levels of detail. With Imanami’s GroupID Automate, we were able to customize this in 15 minutes. What would have been a many-day project in the past was so simple. We just queried AD, created the appropriate groups, hid the names of the people to which the information did not apply and HR was able to send the information out the same day with complete confidence.”
Paul added, “We use GroupID Self-Service and GroupID Automate very heavily today. I am not sure what we would do without it, but we are also looking into using GroupID Synchronize more due to its unique Instant Messaging functionality. This is something that will be very valuable to our organization. We already have approval, notification and maintenance processes set up that can be managed via a Blackberry and we want to implement more automation of that kind moving forward.”
Return on Investment
Before implementing Imanami’s software suite, The PA Office of the Attorney General was behind the times. The IT staff was inundated with manual account maintenance and things were just getting worse as the organization grew. Today, the IT department runs much more efficiently, can help other groups run more efficiently and they have the bandwidth to think creatively to stay ahead of the technology curve and maintain their status as a technology leader in Pennsylvania state government.