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IBM Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Janakiram MSV, Pat Romanski, Cloud Best Practices Network

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Energy Provider Cuts Provisioning Workload by 50 Percent with Dell One Identity Manager

Dell Software announced today that Williams Energy, one of North America’s largest providers of energy infrastructure, has streamlined its identity and access management process and reduced its provisioning workload by 50 percent with Dell One Identity Manager. With businesses including interstate natural gas pipelines; midstream gathering and processing; transportation of natural gas and natural gas liquids; and olefin production, Williams Energy needed to replace its outdated access request application. The custom application for handling access requests from 6,500 users – both employees and contractors – was cumbersome, time-consuming and running on very old hardware that went down almost daily, interrupting business and hurting production. Even with replacement hardware, the application was difficult to enhance or configure.

Williams Energy considered having IBM update the application, but, recognized that another custom solution would be difficult to maintain. Instead, the company turned to Dell for a new solution that would automate and simplify its identity and access management processes, while protecting against unauthorized access. Dell One Identity Manager streamlines the access governance process of provisioning and managing user identities, privileges and security enterprise-wide, removing dependence on IT for user management and access control, and placing it in the hands of the business.

Simplifying Access Governance While Maintaining Compliance, with no Business Disruption

It was critical for Williams Energy that the new solution deliver the high level of compliance the company already had, including preventing inappropriate access to sensitive applications by unauthorized users. The new system also had to ensure that regular operations were not disrupted, as any unplanned outages would be unacceptable. Identity Manager met those needs, and also enabled users to request access to resources and track the status of those requests, and streamlined the attestation process to ensure individual accountability. Williams Energy’s other must-haves for the new solution included:

  • Easy-to-use interface – so users could search for an item instead of having to go through several screens and expand multiple folders. The company also wanted to have the capability to request access to a component for multiple users, and to create a request based on another user’s access, for such things as streamlining access requests for new hires. This allows the company to keep users productive, with the right access to data from day one at the company.
  • Automatic provisioning and deprovisioning – for new users, as well as expedited off-boarding of terminated users. The old system notified everyone whenever any employee left, but users wanted to see only the terminations for users who had access to their individual systems to keep workload down while mitigating business risk associated with unauthorized access to corporate data, a key value of Identity Manager.
  • Improved system access review – to enable users to review which users have access to which system more efficiently, within a solution that could pull timely data from the target systems and eliminate the need for a time-consuming and error-prone manual process.
  • Minimal custom coding – to provide Williams Energy with most, if not all, of its functional requirements out of the box for quick deployment and time to value, as well as a future-proof solution that can easily adjust as the company evolves and needs change.

Identity Manager simplifies major identity and access management tasks to a fraction of the complexity, time or expense of “traditional” framework solutions. Identity Manager delivered all of the functionality Williams needed, with no business disruptions. While the company’s IT staff previously manually administered 3,000 to 4,000 provisioning tasks per month, Identity Manager has cut that workload by 50 percent through automated identity lifecycle management.

Security for a Connected World

Identity Manager and the rest of the Dell One Identity solutions are part of Dell’s Security portfolio. While big data, cloud computing, mobility, and BYOD present enormous opportunities for businesses today, they also offer many points of entry for data thieves on both sides of the network perimeter. Because today’s threats come from every direction – from malicious external forces and disgruntled insiders, to inadvertent actions by unaware users – organizations need intelligent, predictive security to excel in the connected world. Dell’s scalable, holistic Security solutions help organizations in a broad range of industries to connect and protect from the endpoint to the datacenter to the cloud – assuring workforce productivity and compliance.

Supporting Quotes:

John Milburn, executive director, Identity and Access Management, Dell Software

“Williams Energy needed to replace its unwieldy legacy access request application with an efficient and automated identity management solution that would meet their needs without requiring a lot of customization. Identity Manager’s simplified configuration provided the streamlined functionality and time-saving automation – with no business disruption – that enabled the company’s IT team to become a high-efficiency operation.”

Supporting Resources:

About Dell

Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

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