Complete Overview of Digital Identities

December 5, 2011 by Christoph Zeidler

BLANCO’s company motto is, “We want to get our customers excited!” And that is precisely what BLANCO IT Services is achieving in its relationships with internal clients. BLANCO Küchentechnik, a sink-center expert based in Oberderdingen, southern Germany, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of domestic kitchen technology for the B2C market. BLANCO CS, which evolved from a former BLANCO division into a standalone business in 2007, operates three business units for the B2B sector – Catering Systems, Medical Care Systems, and Industrial Components – and focuses on the requirements of these professional target groups.

Because BLANCO has numerous subsidiaries around the world, its employees need to be able to access business data quickly and securely, no matter where they are located. This requirement poses something of a challenge because it involves ensuring that user access rights are managed effectively.

More security, less administration

Like most companies that do business globally, BLANCO operates a wide range of heterogeneous system landscapes in which employees access various different applications. Digital user IDs and passwords play a key role in all kinds of day-to-day business activities, such as creating new user accounts. To ensure that access to information is always quick and easy, the company decided to implement SAP NetWeaver Identity Management. “This solution offers the agility our employees need to respond flexibly to business requirements at any time,” says Bernd Schütz, head of IT at BLANCO. “We were also looking to improve security and reduce administration. And we’ll achieve this using the combination of SAP NetWeaver Identity Management and IBSolution’s identity management approach.”

As an SAP Special Expertise Partner that offers outstanding industry experience and a range of in-house developments for the standard SAP software, IBSolution was an obvious choice to implement identity management at BLANCO. Its central task was to create digital identities for all BLANCO users and thus make it possible to manage access rights consistently and, above all, securely. Once internal testing in IT is complete and the necessary organizational structures and role definitions are in place, the solution will be rolled out to all areas of the company in the coming months.

(Photo: BLANCO)

Uniform structures for transparency and security

The new software will be implemented during ongoing operations with the help of preconfigured processes and best-practice functions. The project team’s first task was to develop a strategy for migrating and renaming the user IDs from the various applications and platforms. The second step involved transferring all the user and organizational data from the existing systems into the central, homogeneous IT infrastructure. The software then used this data to automatically generate all the new access rights and to assign each employee to a specific directory – depending on his or her role within the company.

Once the solution is in place, managers will access a specially designed portal in which they can manage access rights independently and distribute them easily and directly whenever they need to. All they have to do is check the appropriate boxes in a predefined screen. In this context, an important advantage of the SAP solution is that it can be used in combination with both SAP and non-SAP applications and systems.

 Access rights under control at all times

“Thanks to SAP NetWeaver Identity Management, we can manage user access rights according to our employees’ individual roles. The workflows required to issue access rights are triggered automatically whenever personnel changes take place within the company,” says Bernd Schütz. Previously, users had to log on to different systems several times a day, and special passwords were required for different applications. Soon, thanks to single sign-on technology, employees will only need to log on to the central portal once a day. This will give them more time to focus on their core tasks and to increase their productivity levels. User departments will be able to make urgent changes to access rights themselves, and will only need assistance from the IT department in exceptional cases. Schütz explains: “SAP NetWeaver Identity Management will help us manage all our user data and access rights securely. It will give us an overview of all identities and enable us to reduce both administrative effort and process costs.”

Ready for future tasks

Thanks to single sign-on and the new, easy-to-use application, BLANCO employees will be more productive than ever before. Bernd Schütz cuts to the chase, “Our company has changed radically in recent years and our employees’ jobs have changed as a result. That’s why we chose to build an infrastructure that guarantees the quality, security, and transparency of user data across all systems: And that’s why we chose SAP NetWeaver Identity Management.”

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