SSO
Saudi Electronic University

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Saudi Electronic University (SEU) is a government university that represents one of the modalities of higher education. King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, issued a royal decree on 10/8/2011 to launch the Saudi Electronic University (SEU) as a government educational institution. SEU is the only specialized university in blended learning (combines distance learning and on campus) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that offers both graduate and undergraduate degree programs along with life-long education. The university includes the College of Administration and Finance Sciences, the College of Computer and Informatics, the College of Health Sciences and the College of Science and theoretical studies. Environment in SEU based on information and communications technology, e-learning, and distance education. Due to the nature of SEU business and structure, it is highly depends on electronic applications and systems. Those applications are for Students instructors and employees. Those applications required passwords to authenticate and authorize user to grant him/her required access. Different applications with different passwords created challenges to SEU users. This issue affected productivity for the user and increase IT helpdesk workload.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
Due to increase of SEU responsibilities and with the increase of number of benefiters and users of SEU systems and applications, SEU business requested IT deanship to provide a solution that enable users to have minimum number of passwords. IT deanship with the help of technology partner who is experience in education sector, propose a solution that called Single Sign On (SSO). This solution was designed to achieve the following objectives  Have a centralize focal point for all types of SEU users (Students, Instructors and Employees) to access all the systems and other services university providing,  Make it easier to the end user by having a single sign-on from any system with no need to re-logon again by accessing/switching to other systems.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
SEU together with a System Integrator and solution provider has built a solution that fits the requirements of SEU and has the following characteristics: 1. A portal that complies with the functionality needed with an international well-known and clear roadmap technology. This portal is built on Microsoft SharePoint 2013 platform 2. Clear and managed users profiles through the usage of Active Directory in synchronization with SIS, eLearning, ERP systems, 3. Single-Sign-On to all the systems regardless the technology and the implementation location including Microsoft Office 365, 4. Presentation layer that combines the information from different systems and present it in the portal.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
1- Putting the action plan (Project Implementation plan). 2- Detailed requirements gathering. 3- Analyzing the requirements. 4- Prepare the solution design including the interface design. 5- Configuring the CAS server: a. Server Setup. i. Prepare hosting environment. ii. Install OS. b. Integrate systems. 6- Training IT admins to administrate and use the system. 7- Testing the various components to ensure users satisfaction, quality and readiness. 8- Deploy on production environment based on business approval.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
This project was collaborative efforts between SEU IT team and trusted partner ITS (system integrator) SEU provided the requirements through several analysis session, ITS developed technical requirements and agreed on the full design with SEU. Full engagement of SEU IT team all over the implementation duration till the last phase which SEU IT team got the needed training and handover to support the production of the system.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
1- SEU IT team: a. Project Manager(1) b. System Admin (4) c. IT & Network Admin (1) 2- ITS a. Project Manager(1) b. Technical engineer (2)

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Following systems used in the learning and administration are accessed from single location and with the same password.  Ellucian Banner as SIS system,  BlackBoard as a virtual learning environment and course management system,  WAFI as ERP,  Other systems/applications like In-house developed and support systems,  Microsoft Office 365,  vBulletin Forum environment.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Electronic Business committee asked to monitor SSO Service. This committee is composed from different SEU members category technical, business and senior management. Also IT deanship launched new project to implement a system that can monitor usage and availability of SSO automatically.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Main obstacle was time required to launch the services before academic year start. Time reduced due to internal decision in SEU to have new look on the start of the academic year. It was overcome by close work between project managers from SEU and ITS the partner. Decision taken by project team to increase number of people, working hours and reduce test time.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Following systems used in the learning and administration are accessed from single location and with the same password.  Ellucian Banner as SIS system,  BlackBoard as a virtual learning environment and course management system,  WAFI as ERP,  Other systems/applications like In-house developed and support systems,  Microsoft Office 365,  vBulletin Forum environment.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
This initiative is relatively new to transfer it and replicate it. We at SEU spending time and efforts to document announce and share our experience with other. We highly believe it is sustained and replicable due to its clarity and simplicity in design. This initiative is helping SEU to be more socialized and known to community. This is an important factor for SEU business.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
One of most important lesson learned that involving high management at certain time is key. The commitment from senior management is a key to iron obstacles.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Saudi Electronic University
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Thamer Alhussain
Title:   Dean of Information Technology  
Telephone/ Fax:   +966112613535
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   talhussain@seu.edu.sa  
Address:   Riyadh 11673
Postal Code:   11673
City:   Riyadh
State/Province:   Riyadh
Country:  

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