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SADA & Google Apps Success Story: Byrant School District

Large southern school district makes swift move to the cloud

Customer
The Bryant School District currently serves approximately 7,800 students in the city of Bryant, Arkansas and its surrounding communities. Bryant, AR is known as “a new town with a traditional all-American community” where “commercial retail has boomed.” Bryant’s population and community growth, low unemployment rates, and incredible community involvement recently earned the city a spot on CNN’s Money Magazine Top 100 “Best Places to Live” in America. Bryant School District itself is comprised of ten individual schools: seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and 1 high schools where approximately 400-450 students graduate each year.

Partner
SADA Systems, Inc. (http://www.sadasystems.com) is a privately held information technology consulting, outsourcing, and development firm founded in 2000. SADA started as a Google partner for its search technology, and is proud to be one of the world’s first 10 Google Apps partners, having participated in the Google Apps official launch campaign in February of 2007. SADA is highly experienced in Google Apps migration, implementation and deployment for the enterprise, education, non profit and government sector.

Challenge
Running a single sign-on environment in Google Apps prohibits users from being able to manage expiration of their Active Directory. With over 9000 email users, Bryant Schools was looking for a more efficient way to provision its users to Google Apps while retaining alignment between the new cloud platform and existing work flows.

Solutions
SADA Systems was engaged to develop a tool that allows a user to manage expiration of their passwords in a process that emulates related functionality of Active Directory. This tool enables SADA’s SSO solution to more closely reflect password-related account statuses and/or policies present in the current Active Directory.

In addition, SADA helped implement requests from Bryant Schools such as a custom branded SSO log-in page, password expiration notifications, easy change password links and automatic periodic user provisioning based on group membership.

Results
With the help of SADA’s custom user provisioning tools, Bryant Schools was able to migrate 9000 users to Google Apps in record time. Strong project management from both sides kept the migration and deployment on schedule. Tait Shrum, IT Director at Bryant School District says “[SADA’s] management team was great and their support team and programmers made this project a success… Thanks SADA!”

Bryant Schools was able to enhance their Google Apps experience with SADA’s Google Apps application such as the User Renamer for Google Apps and Authentication Magic for Google Apps (password sync solution). Shrum asked “how would we rename them when the time comes? How would we ease the strain on users by syncing passwords with our internal directory service?” As teachers get married, leave or retire, curriculum’s and other important documents need to be preserved. The User Renamer allowed IT staff to quickly and easily change names so documents to be accessed with brand new user names. In contrast, Authentication Magic for Google Apps helped IT administrators manage user credentials, password changes and locks-outs by syncing Active Directory credentials to Google Apps.

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