Western Michigan University (WMU) turned to Sun for a solution to implement its campus-wide communications infrastructure, choosing the Sun ONE platform, which evolved into the Sun JavaTM Enterprise System (Java ES).
In 2002, according to Greg Lozeau, Director of Planning and Middleware Services, Office of Information Technology, the administration at WMU "...realized we had a need to mass communicate with our students, but no single system afforded us that capability. We found VMS, Unix, Novell Groupwise and sendmail systems on our campus.
"Provisioning student email systems, especially with the number of different systems we had on campus, was challenging, but de-provisioning the students was painful. Sun's Java Messaging Server, coupled with the power of Sun Identity Manager, offered a better approach," Lozeau continued.
WMU realized exactly how complex its user community could be, with students being simultaneously part-time employees of the university. The Sun JavaTM Identity Manager Suite afforded the school the answer it needed to consider its business processes in terms of a "student life cycle."
IT administrators applied the same life cycle analysis to faculty and staff user populations, enabling the university to manage numerous simultaneous and serially evolving roles among its groups of users.
Now, WMU employs two-factor identification to provide system security and also reduces system costs through elimination of the need for duplicate and redundant data. The system also complies with privacy and security mandates of the state and federal governments.
The school took advantage of the flexibility afforded by the Java Identity Manager Suite in order to provision, not just the members of the entering freshman class each year, but those students who had been admitted and had elected not to enroll. This provided an avenue for continuing recruitment efforts involving that group.
In addition to his praise for the software solutions Sun provided, Lozeau also has praise for Sun Professional ServicesSM which he found available and helpful with the numerous issues that arose in connection with implementing the system.
"We are fortunate to have been able to maximize on the abilities and expertise of Sun consultants in aggressively moving forward on these project implementations," said Lozeau.
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