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Automating IT reduces time and errors in user provisioning

collinchau

 

By Nimish Shelat

Product Marketing Manager, HP Automation and Cloud Management

 

HP_Dreamworks_Library3_441.pngAny IT organization managing even a small number of servers understands how much of a headache it can be to manually provision new users on to disparate boxes. Mistakes get made, whether it’s due to fat-finger typos or failing to follow standards, and it can take an unacceptably long time to fully complete the task — sometimes upwards of a week to grant access to all the servers a user requires. And if provisioning isn’t done correctly in the first place, decommissioning users is even worse. Manually crawling each system to remove every instance takes too long when a user’s access must be terminated. Again, mistakes occur and it doesn’t take much to miss someone from time to time.

 

Let machines do the heavy lifting

Automating user provisioning processes alleviates many of these challenges. All changes are made using the same standards every time, all the time, without exception. Names can’t get mistyped when they are auto-populated from ActiveDirectory! Letting software the large amount of heavy and repetitive logical workloads that drives user provisioning processes is both faster, more accurate and more cost effective.

 

Register for this exclusive webinar: “Orchestrate your IT Processes with HP Operations Orchestration"

 

Turning a manual process likeuser provisioning into an automated flow with HP Operations Orchestration (HP OO) has demonstrated quantifiable ROI with many customers. As this video about an actual customer scenario discusses, one company with almost 700 servers and a small provisioning team was able to save over $270,000 in overhead costs by having OO do the work instead of humans. Provisioning that used to take a week now can typically get done within 10 minutes.

 

How automated user provisioning works

In this particular customer example, which was the work of Virginia-based HP partner pureIntegration, HP Service Manager was already used to automate new user access requests and approvals, but the actual changes were made by IT staff. Using HP OO, the company was able to transition to automated flows for its four main categories of user provisioning: 

1.     ActiveDirectory Group Connections

2.     SAP Role Connections

3.     IBM Group Connections / TSO Role Grants / DB2 Access Requests

4.     Linux/Unix Group Connections and Account Creations

 

In the case, HP OO checks Service Manager every ten minutes for a list of all open ordered and approved line items. It first categorizes each item into the four types of provisioning systems, confirms that the systems required are up and accepting new users, and begins processing them in sequence.

 

Each system has a unique flow, but typically HP OO will go into into Service Manager to grab the salient information — for example, employee ID, the log in, the box it’s actioning against and what the object is it’s trying to touch.

 

In some cases, it also checks the system if the user exists on it. If they do, it will perform the action, connecting him or her as necessary to the TSO Role or the group Connection, for example. But if the user is not yet on the system, it creates it for them and adds a note to the line item, and then completes the action.

 

Final steps

Once the provisioning task is complete, HP OO closes the line item or, if there is an issue at one of the steps, it notes the problem in the line item and moves it to a separate queue in Service Manager for human review and remediation. HP OO will also generates a report for all the processes that occur in a particular flow and sends it to the individuals concerned.

 

Of course, HP OO is not limited to the four categories noted above. There is a huge range of possible provisioning examples — if the server has an IP-addressable interface, HP OO can probably talk to it and execute some actions against it.

 

G8484001022008_JPGHighres_96dpi_800x600.pngGet more details

Register for the 30-minute webinar, “Orchestrate your IT Processes with HP Operations Orchestration”.

 

This session specifically examines automated Service Request Fulfillment and seamless user onboarding. Join our expert panelists to find out how you can use HP Operations Orchestration software to automate IT processes.

 

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About the Author

collinchau

Lending 20 years of IT market expertise across 5 continents, for defining moments as an innovation adoption change agent.

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