OneIT door-access automation project saves staff time, increases security

Iowa Now – Campus

Updating electronic door access is a much smoother process at the College of Engineering thanks to a OneIT subproject.Managing door access at the college used to be a complex and time-consuming endeavor involving both technical and administrative staff. Even without its new annex, the college has 177 doors with electronic access control. The Iowa One Cards of nearly 3,000 faculty, staff, and students had to be manually provisioned to swipe into appropriate classrooms, labs, conference rooms, and offices.

The beginning and end of each semester were particularly hectic, with a large number of new students requiring basic building access and recent graduates needing their access rights removed. Many employees, student organization leaders, and students enrolled in various courses needed access to specific spaces as well.

But the card-provisioning process became easier and more efficient in the past year thanks to a door-access automation initiative—a subproject of the OneIT Identity Management Project.

Now, a UI student or employee’s Iowa One Card door access can be automatically provisioned based on data feeds from UI systems such as MAUI (the student-record system) and human resources or housing databases. Along with reducing the effort of assigning door access, automation increases security by ensuring that door access is automatically removed when the cardholder is no longer eligible.

Dan Mentzer

“The new automated method means that basic access provisioning and class-based space access happens automatically, with no further intervention by departmental administrative staff or engineering IT staff,” says Dan Mentzer, senior systems administrator in the College of Engineering. “That workload has been completely removed.”

Some ad-hoc provisioning remains for a handful of exceptions and for access requests that aren’t based on MAUI data, but the total number of transactions is much smaller. Mentzer conservatively estimates that the college saves nearly 40 hours of staff time every semester—time and talent that can be reinvested in …

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