Novell Secures NYC Transit Systems

NYC Transit sought a solution that would ensure its employees and contractors could quickly and securely access network applications and buildings. Revoking network and building access for terminated employees was also time consuming and posed security risks. NYC Transit selected a Novell identity and security management solution consisting of Novell Identity Manager and Novell Access Manager to automatically synchronize user identities across multiple access systems and operating platforms. Employees and contractors have role-based access to applications and buildings, based on authoritative user data.

"Now, when a person changes roles they are deleted immediately," said Novell Northeast Area Director of Technology Ben Goodman. In addition, the agency maintains confidential personnel data on its large workforce and manages benefits information for 36,000 retirees and their spouses.

"New York City Transit was looking to cut costs, reduce overhead, and gain great security into and out of its system, while extending the infrastructure to pensioners," Goodman said. In addition, it needed a solution that would work across a mixed operating environment comprising Novell Open Enterprise Server, Microsoft Windows, UNIX and a variety of mainframe and midrange servers.

The agency has been able to reduce time spent on user provisioning by 60 percent and can establish new user accounts in a few hours, rather than a few weeks. With centralized identity management, the IT staff can provide users with a single ID and password to access applications, minimizing the time spent on password technical support. For its 36,000 retirees, NYC Transit provides VPN access to its network and uses Novell SecureLogin to provide secure, single sign-on access, drastically reducing the administrative costs of managing the agency's benefits program.

Sponsored post

"The implementation time was not that long, but a lot of time and effort was spent upfront, planning," Goodman said. "All the application owners, all the business units need to be engaged. As a whole, 17 months in all, but the implementation only took about three months."

For Novell, who used a number of partner solution providers during the course of the project's implementation, the key to a smooth project was having a customer that knew exactly what it wanted and planned accordingly.

"It's helpful to us to have a customer that works as a partner with us. The customer needs to understand that the project is more than simply a technology implementation, it is an important way of doing business going forward," Goodman explained. "New York City Transit was a great partner for us. Though transit is a governmental body, it operates as a business operation. As a partner, I would hold them up against any Fortune 500 company."