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Case study

Taking the University of the West of England securely into the Cloud

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Addressing student needs for an email service with increased storage, better functionality, and smoother user experience with Microsoft’s cloud solutions.

The University of the West of England (UWE) needed secure log-in procedures and efficient user administration when it moved its inhouse student email service to Microsoft’s cloud-based Live@edu service.


  • Improved security, with user identities and passwords stored in Microsoft Active Directory.

  • Integrated experience, with single sign-on to access the university portal and applications.

  • Controlled costs, as the university doesn’t pay for more users than it needs.

An email service with limited functionality and storage

The University’s inhouse student email system provided limited functionality and storage capacity, and overall use of the email system reflected its limitations. Students were turning to other hosted email services for greater storage, improved usability, and features.

“We had a 20 megabytes-per-user allowance, which was inhibiting our students’ use of our email system. We wanted to enhance the student experience, and not only does Live@edu provide a much-improved feature set, it also offers 5GB of storage per account.” – Alistair Sandford, Senior Project Manager, UWE IT Services

Adopting cloud-based applications can bring considerable benefits, however, the provisioning of software from third parties over a network poses several challenges.

Protecting business-critical or confidential information stored in the Cloud requires both secure log-in procedures and efficient user administration.

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Our identity management platform provides the capability to interface with different applications, both internal and in the Cloud, and provide an integrated single sign-on experience.

Alistair Sandford

Senior Project Manager, UWE IT Services

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Building a cloud-based email service with improved user functionality for UWE’s students

The Kocho identity management solution for UWE provided the university with the processes and technology to manage its identities securely and automatically.

With a reliable identity layout, UWE was able to quickly deploy Live@edu, confident that creating and deleting user accounts and entitlement changes would seamlessly integrate into its new cloud-based email application.

The implementation of Rights Management Services (RMS) provided further security assurances to the university.

The technology enabled the creation of information protection solutions for websites, emails, and documents, and allowed University staff to control what students could do with the information it sent out.

The benefits of the new cloud-based email service

Improved security

With Forefront Identity Manager, all of UWE’s user identities and passwords are created and stored in Microsoft Active Directory but can be used across any number of platforms – in this case, the Live@edu platform.

This eliminates a huge administrative task, and it makes the student email accounts more secure and easier for UWE to control because they aren’t stored in the Cloud.

Integrated experience

Through the use of FIM and associated Microsoft technologies, UWE provides a single sign-on (SSO) platform across a range of its student-facing services.

“Students can simply sign into the university portal and get straight through to their Live@edu mailbox without having to sign in again. This has significant user as well as administrative benefits.” – Alistair Sandford

Controlled costs

A robust and reliable identity platform will help UWE to manage software licensing going forward – and avoid paying for more users than they need at any time.

If UWE decides to adopt additional license-based cloud applications in the future, then they can be confident that they can control their licensing and costs and minimise the potential wastage of paying for extra accounts that aren’t required.

Kocho is the perfect partner for identity management services

Alistair Sandford concludes: “Re-thinking identity management should be the starting point for any organisation looking to access cloud-based applications. You’ve got to consider authentication, administrative controls, where data resides and who has access to it. I would strongly recommend Kocho’s services. They are experts in their field and will deliver an identity platform that will allow you to navigate securely to the Cloud, quickly and seamlessly.”

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