Active Directory Synchronization: a good simple start

Posted by Edward Killeen on Thu, Jun 21, 2012

active directory synchronizationWhen you start work in the morning, you authenticate against Active Directory; when you start thinking about identity and access management, you start thinking about Active Directory.  Active Directory is at the heart of it all but is often oddly neglected.

Identity and access management is a lot of things: user provisioning, user deprovisioning, single sign-on, role based access to systems and resources and my favorite the whitepages.  Seriously, the whitepages.  The whole point is to enable employees to do their jobs and one of the lacking things in many organizations is the ability to find co-workers.

Active Directory provides the mechanism for this but often times is neglected.  Take the "Mike Smith example".  In an organization of over 10 people it is statistically probable that there is at least one Mike Smith; in any organization over 100 people it is a statistical certainty that there are at least three Mike Smiths.  This is advanced math, please trust me.

There are a few ways to tell these Mike Smith Dopplegangers apart...department, title, location, middle initial, picture, et cetera.  And the global address list exposes these.  But what if these attributes are not in Active Directory, as they very often are not.  You have to synchronize Active Directory with your HRIS or other authoritative source.  And do it often because department, title and location change.

Easier said than done, you say?  Well, no, it is as easy to do as say.  Synchronizing Active Directory is one of the most elemental and easy accomplishments in identity management.  Most, if not all, IAM platforms eat this stuff for breakfast.  EmpowerID is configured to do it in the first day of implementation, if not the first morning.

As mentioned above, IAM encompasses a lot of great functionality, but let's start with Active Directory.  Make it accurate and the rest of your day just got easier.  Give us 30 minutes to demonstrate this building block of IdM and we think you'll go out and solve your own "Mike Smith" problem.

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Tags: Active Directory, Identity and Access Management (IAM)