An Upgrade to Oracle Identity Manager Gets a Top State University Back on Track

A major state university located within the United States, comprised of over 250,000 identities, operated an overly complex and largely homegrown IAM system. To further complicate matters, the program was managed by a single staff member – the only person at the University with the institutional knowledge of how the system operated. After the staff member announced his retirement, the University was in dire need of help.

To address this issue, the University purchased Oracle Identity Manager, a flexible and scalable enterprise identity management system, and engaged a third-party vendor to perform the implementation. However, after two years and a wide-range of reasons, the system had still not been implemented. The long-drawn-out project stalled the University’s efforts and expectations for finding a more effective IAM solution. To rescue the project, the University selected Focal Point to lead the implementation.


Before Focal Point assumed control of the implementation, the University was on the verge of canceling the entire project. Following years of costly work, including countless poorly developed customizations introduced by the previous vendor, the University no longer expected to receive any substantial value through the implementation of Oracle Identity Manager, which had now been purchased three years prior. Additionally, the combined inefficiencies of the manual legacy system and the stalled implementation created a seemingly insurmountable backlog.


To steer the University’s implementation project in the right direction, the Focal Point team designed a solid, yet resourceful plan to minimize extra rework and added expenses. Focal Point developed an aggressive schedule to fully implement:

  • OIM’s “out-of-the-box” functionalities and processes
  • Automated workflows that improved management and security, preventing the build-up of a change backlog
  • A self-service app to reduce IT service workload
  • Compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act


From project kick-off to “Go-Live,” Focal Point’s project plan lasted just over a year. With the help of Focal Point’s team, the University salvaged their IAM upgrade through the introduction of a new, stronger project management methodology anchored with tested and proven best practices. The project plan turned around the university’s implementation quickly and successfully, and focused on:

  • Scoping requirements and processes with clearly defined milestones and deliverables
  • Scrapping a majority of the previous vendor’s non-standard customizations
  • Steadily working through the University’s backlog of functionality changes by rolling them into the new project developments
  • Avoiding interruption by dramatically limiting the cutover time, often from weeks to just a few days
  • Creating a more flexible resource infrastructure within the IT department of the University


Following the success of their OIM implementation, the University and its IT staff realized the value of the identity governance system, more so than they had originally expected.

Following the success of the implementation, the upgraded system operates seamlessly and is significantly easier to maintain than their legacy system. The new system is configured to address the needs of the University, from fully automating formerly manual processes to offering self-service functionality for users. Now, the University operates a sustainable, compliant, and secure identity governance program.

Case Study:  A Top State University Gets Back on Track with an Upgrade to Oracle Identity Manager 4
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