To enable efficient collaboration between about 8,000 employees and volunteers in the diocese, administrators need to ensure that everyone has access to all relevant information. Manual processes driven by printed forms were slow and lacked the necessary transparency for monitoring and optimizing the administrative workflows.
Günther Penninger, Head of IT at Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, said: "The Catholic Church is one of the oldest institutions in the world and is now increasingly embracing new technology to improve communication, work processes and collaboration between parishes and dioceses. To enable smooth and quick co-operation across organizational borders, we needed to simplify and streamline our internal processes and re-think how we could ensure efficiency in managing large numbers of people with different access rights."
Together with Micro Focus Platinum Partner IS4IT, the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising implemented Identity Manager and redesigned provisioning and other user administration workflows. The solution has been developed and continually fine-tuned to meet the organization's specific identity management needs, which are as diverse as the many individuals who work within the diocese.
The Archdiocese of Munich and Freising runs Identity Manager in its own data center in a virtual environment based on VMware vSphere and virtual instances of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Two people manage the production and quality management systems to ensure reliable operation. The organization has connected a range of systems to the identity management solution including HR software, collaboration solutions, travel expense management, the virtual private network management, file servers, and many more.
When deploying the new identity management solution, the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising took the opportunity to define, stanardize and optimize its processes. Identity lifecycles have been codified and the different phases have been documented. In addition, a range of time-consuming manual tasks have been automated.
Günther Penninger said: "The collaboration with our trusted partner IS4IT could not have been better. The implementation of Identity Manager went smoothly and IS4IT is always open to our ideas, helping us further develop our capabilities. A key to success was that the project manager from IS4IT, Holger Strickling, did an outstanding job combining technical and process competence into successful project leadership."
He added: "Benefitting from our partner's expertise, we are working together to improve data quality across our systems and applications to enable a greater degree of automation and to reduce the support workload."
Using Identity Manager gives the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising the flexibility to manage a highly dynamic user landscape and to apply identity-powered security to its application landscape.
The organization automatically provisions accounts for precisely those people who need them, and removes access rights when they are no longer required. Access rights are rigorously enforced and orphaned accounts are detected and blocked quickly. The elimination of manual processes saves time and reduces the possibility of mistakes.
Günther Penninger said: "Using Identity Manager we have structured existing workflows and established new, more automated administrative processes. Previously, the process to set up a new user was slow: printed forms circulated around various departments and manually processing updated or new data and keying them into different systems could take several days. Today, staff in local parishes can request accounts for volunteers online. Thanks to automation, requests are now processed much faster – within about 15 minutes."
Topics such as process efficiency, communication and traceability that have long been a focus for businesses are now also becoming important in the Catholic Church. To support these organizational changes, embracing new technologies is vital.
Günther Penninger said: "Having successfully automated workflows with the local parishes, we now want to take the next step, creating a comprehensive model for role-based access management and rolling the solution out to up to 15,000 users. This will help us to ensure that staff and volunteers have access to the resources they need to deliver a great service within our diocese."