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Seven Key Steps for Identity Management in an Unified Communications World

Aug 4, 2008
Many people use unimaginable figures of 5 applications and 6 different channels for communication every day. The truth is that an increase in tools does not mean a more efficient communication. Actually, when they try for the first time many employees are unable to reach their co-workers, and this can be attributed to the channel options available and not adopting the most efficient method, depending on the status of the colleague. If you do not approach identity management across these systems in an integrated manner, it will result in huge administrative costs, creation of security loopholes, and inhibition of a unified faultless communications experience.

Seven valuable steps are presented here for identity management in an unfired communications world, which can be a great help in achieving improved communication facilities.

1. Choose and Formulate The Directory
Multiple directories are kept by almost all organizations and the number of directories to keep increases whenever an addition of a new technology happens to the communications network. Often they find themselves reuniting user moves, deletes, adds and changes (MACDs) manually, between their IP telephony and directory systems. This process is susceptible to errors and time consuming. That is why it is highly significant to choose and formulate a single directory that is authoritative.

2. Create The PBX
IP telephony allows employees to utilize multiple communication channels. It also delivers message retrieving capability to remote users while they are not in the office. So as to understand the importance of these features, integration must be done between IP telephony and existing systems and directories of the organization. Configuration may be required for the PBX to work with the new scheme of numbering and interpret the new scheme correctly.

3. Integration Into A Broader Provisioning Scheme
Unified communications find high importance with the integration of communications channels that are separate previously into one trouble-free experience. However, the challenge also lies here. In reality, vendors today do not offer a comprehensive suite of unified communications technologies, which accounts for all collaboration requirements inside an organization. Identity integration software is highly recommended. This software is a middleware, which will broker and translate the different directory pieces around the systems. It should have the capability to cover data and voice worlds. It should be easy to handle yet extensible.

4. Merge The People With the Right Talent And Skills
Implementation of identity integration software will rationalize the view and management of identity across systems. Therefore, this will remove the need for specialist skills for maintaining this identity information for each application. Skilled resources will be freed to work on projects, which affect business rather than less important areas.

5. Account for Risk And Compliance
Organizations require auditable and transparent processes, which can be applied consistently throughout all systems for recording the access details of an employee. Due to the fact that generally this process is time and labor intensive, it is advisable to deal with the process via automation and rules, for standardizing the way employees and access are segmented.

6. Necessity of Constant Directory Maintenance
You need to invest in tools, which automate the process of generating accounts for new hires, which change access levels along with the job change of employees, and which remove accounts when employees depart the company. Automating these systems and processes will allow organizations to be less dependant on individual people and the available time they have to maintain the communication. Apart from this, minimization of human error and reduction in risk also occurs.

7. Incorporate the Growth of Organization Into The Plan
Organizations should consider mainstream solution in technology that is effectively backed up and do not depend on custom development and knowledge to keep track with rising demands. A sufficient solution should comprise functionality such as optional web- or form- based user provisioning for streamlining the process and corporate directory look up that is web-based as the workforce of organization grows.
About the Author
Datacraft is the leading independent IT services and solutions company in Asia Pacific. Datacraft combines an expertise in networking, security, Microsoft solutions, storage and contact centre technologies, with advanced skills in consulting, integration and managed services, to craft IT solutions for businesses.
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