Don't Sweat Your Password, We've Got It Covered

“IT department, how can I help?”

“Hi, I forgot my password again.”

Sound familiar? With the growing number of disparate enterprise applications, users often find themselves juggling multiple passwords–some of which they invariably lose.

In fact, an HDI survey of 339 respondents estimated that 30% of tickets at company help desks were related to password resets. Being able to eliminate password resets would save money, and allow help desk staff to work on more critical issues.

The newest release of the Avaya Identity Engines portfolio (a finalist for this year’s Best of Interop award in the security category) offers a simple and eloquent way to banish those annoying help desk calls from your organization forever!

Identity Engines Release 9.0 introduces Unified Network and Application Access Control, simplifying IT operations and providing the control needed to enforce security in our consumerized IT era.

Today’s enterprise end users must deal with multiple user IDs and passwords, a situation that adds cost and complexity as well as potential security risks. How many users do you know who write down their passwords on notepads at their desk? Or don’t change their password after it’s been reset?

Related article: Avaya Pulls in Two Nominations for “Best of Interop” Award

Identity Engines Single-Sign-On (SSO) mitigates this by allowing network administrators to centrally manage access credentials. Users don’t need to remember a separate set of credentials for enterprise resources.

Instead, they get a single set of credentials that offers efficient, secure, and easy access to critical resources from any location.

Enterprise IT benefits from:

  • Simplified administration
  • Reduced support costs
  • Improved enterprise security
  • Greater user experience and productivity
  • Ability to achieve regulatory compliance

Single-Sign-On is a simple feature that can offer tremendous value for any organization. But let’s look a bit closer at Identity Engines and what else it can offer an organization.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, this is the second time (2012 and 2014) this solution has been nominated for a Best of Interop Finalist Award, so the Interop judges definitely view it as a compelling solution.

The Identity Engines portfolio is a powerful and flexible enterprise identity management system. It played an integral role in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, providing secure access for BYOD and other user devices, in what was essentially one of the largest BYOD/guest environments in the world.

It offers:

  • The ability for non-technical staff to provision guest access accounts in less than 10 seconds. (Note: I can personally account for this, having done this myself within this time frame. You know what they say, if the marketing person can do it… anyone can!)
  • Centralized authentication and authorization for wired, wireless, and VPN network devices as well as the applications running on them with a single, unified system.
  • Dynamic assignment of VLANs, and soon, virtualized networks based on user roles and profiles, as opposed to having to manually pre-assign switch ports.
  • Integration with standard-based directories

To learn more about this powerful offer check out our short three minute video on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZrMOqzGMpE or try it free for 30 days: www.avaya.com/identitytrial

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Mobility: Enterprise Roamer Solutions

An Enterprise Roamer is individual working in and around an enterprise facility while not at an assigned desk.

This may include people moving from a desk to a conference room, a nurse, doctor, hotel or retail associate who does not use a desk, or a knowledge worker who uses “hoteling” to occupy a temporary office, workspace, or cubicle.

As noted in a previous blog, (See Mobility: It’s More Than Just Apps!) Enterprise Roamers are just one use case for mobility.

The objective of Enterprise Roamer solutions is to allow someone to shift easily between devices and networks and remain available while in motion or while borrowing a temporary space within an enterprise facility. It is also intended to reduce cell phone expenses by shifting traffic from the cellular network to the corporate WiFi network.

  • An enterprise roamer sometimes shifts between use case scenarios, such as moving from road warrior mode to enterprise roaming mode, or from roaming mode to desk worker mode. To facilitate these transitions, Avaya Communicator for iPhone and Android support dual mode and allow the user to transition a call from cellular to WiFi in either direction. Likewise, when arriving at or leaving the desk, the user can shift a call between the desk phone or PC and the mobile device. EC500 has a feature on the desk phone that allows a user to shift a call in either direction. To simplify things further, Avaya SIP users can have up to 10 devices simultaneously registered to their extension and need only pick up an active line appearance on another device and disconnect from the original to shift between devices.
  • While in the enterprise facility, the enterprise roamer can use Avaya Communicator on an iPad, iPhone or Android device over Wi-Fi for voice, video and UC. While outside the enterprise, the user comes in via the Avaya Session Border Controller (SBC) for Enterprise. Inside the enterprise, the user connects directly. The method used to establish the connection is determined automatically. From a user perspective, there is no difference. The Avaya WLAN 9100 Roaming Assist feature helps clients roam to access points that provide a high-quality connection, eliminating the ‘sticky client’ problem.
  • Avaya Identity Engines lets users and guests self-register devices to the wireless and wired networks. Policy-based service gives users appropriate access, bandwidth and priority based on user, user class, device, location and application.
  • Avaya Aura hoteling features allow a user to log into an IP phone anywhere on the network (even at another location) and receive access to their extension and associated features. This provides sales people with access while they are using a shared desk and traveling executives with service while they are visiting a given location.
  • Avaya’s phone portfolio includes wireless IP and DECT wireless phones. These purpose-built, in-building wireless devices can be used on their own (e.g. in a retail environment) or twinned with the enterprise extension (e.g. in an office environment).
  • Avaya Communicator for iPhone also works on the iPod Touch. This is ideal for users who are mobile throughout the enterprise location but who don’t need a monthly cellular plan. This is a less costly approach to providing such users with access to VoIP and UC capabilities for use within Wi-Fi range.
  • Call control for enterprise roamers allows users to determine if and when calls are directed to their smartphone. When a user joins a meeting in a conference room, they would typically turn off their device or shift it to silent mode, which is often not that silent. Avaya users have the option of directing most calls to voicemail, while still allowing VIP calls to come through directly to their device.
  • For contact center supervisors, Avaya’s Call Management System (CMS) Mobile Supervisor allows supervisors and managers to monitor call volumes, queues and agent skills while moving about the contact center to ensure service levels are being met.

Join Avaya at EDUCAUSE 2014

Avaya will be hosting a booth at EDUCAUSE 2014, from Monday, September 29 to Thursday, October 2, where we will demonstrate how our solutions help educational institutions create a more mobile and connected campus, enhance learning engagement and experience, and implement cloud solutions.

We will be showcasing how colleges can build a connected campus with Avaya’s virtual Ethernet network solution, Fabric Connect, which brings high-performance networking capabilities to campuses.

We will also show how higher education institutions can support mobility and BYOD initiatives with Avaya’s WLAN and Identity Engines, which enable students, faculty and staff to access the college network from their own devices securely.

Colleges can enable video learning with Avaya Scopia, AvayaLive Engage video conferencing and virtual classroom applications, so that they can expand distance- and mobile learning opportunities.

And finally, we’ll talk about campus security and how Avaya’s virtual Ethernet network architecture makes IP video surveillance applications so much easier to deploy than traditional Ethernet networks. We’ll also be available to discuss how our communication infrastructure Avaya Aura platform and IP Office with select DevConnect partners support emergency service access requirements.

Be sure to drop by. We’ll be giving out cloud phone holders.

The Collaborative Campus Starts with a Strong Foundation

On Wednesday, Oct. 1 from 9:10 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., we will have a customer-led breakout session with Florida State University Network Architect Jim Oligney, who will share how a strong and open infrastructure is the foundation for success for deploying collaborative applications and how SIP and wireless technologies are two keys to reducing infrastructure costs.

Also watch for an upcoming press release that will feature a round-up of education customers using Avaya solutions including:

Ryerson University
University of Washington
Pennsylvania State University, College of Arts & Architecture
College of William & Mary
University of Texas Health Services

Register today!

[Case Study] Avaya Networking Products in Education

Long gone are the days where the only learning devices in the classroom were paper, books, pencils and chalk. Kids are technologically savvy at earlier ages. This was never more evident to me than when a 3-year-old child picked up my iPhone, unlocked it, navigated to my games, and began to play Candy Crush (better than me, I may add).

Today’s school districts are challenged with the mainstreaming of mobile device use by younger and younger kids and the digitization of classrooms. Often, district networks need the capacity to support two or three devices per student.

In addition, administrators and teachers have specific technological needs to consider. As these devices and technologies have become more pervasive, Pearland Independent School District, a private school system in Texas, and Jefferson County Schools in Kentucky have ramped up their infrastructures to accommodate the future of learning.

Jefferson County Schools looked to Avaya to empower a secure, reliable and powerful network for 100,000 students led by 15,000 staff members in 175 different facilities. That’s a lot of devices! Avaya Fabric Connect was the choice for Jefferson County Schools because of its long-term value, large bandwidth and virtualized platform.

Pearland ISD needed a streamlined virtual network for more than 20,000 students and 2,500 staff members at 24 separate campuses. They turned to Avaya’s Virtual Service Platform to upgrade their core- and edge-switching infrastructure. Avaya’s Identity Engines brought secure and authenticated BYOD technology into the campuses for use by students, teachers, administrators and guests.

Avaya is happy to be at the forefront of empowering educators with technology to raise the next generation of leaders, and IT departments in the education sector have taken note.

“All of these operational improvements revolve around pushing our curriculum delivery well into the 21st century, doing more and more things online,” said Greg Bartay, Director of Technology at Pearland ISD. “For us, it’s an evolutionary process in which we encourage the educators to tell us what they need and how we can support them… It’s a give-and-take approach that holds tremendous potential for the future.”

Click here to read the Jefferson County Schools case study.

Click here to read the Pearland Independent School District case study.