Oklahoma network installs Provisor

OneNet

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Oklahoma's statewide telecommunications and information network soon will have a service that will reduce costs, improve management, and increase security for its education and government users, officials say.

The integrated IP-based network, called OneNet, is implementing Chicago-based Abridean's Provisor product, designed to help administrators create and manage user profiles and assign users to enterprise applications, other information technology resources and devices.

OneNet, a division of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, has been operational since 1996. Kurt Snodgrass, OneNet's vice chancellor of IT and telecommunications, said OneNet supports videoconferencing and is considered the busiest distance-learning network in the world, supporting about 400 of the state's 546 school districts and all of Oklahoma's public colleges and universities and career technology centers.

But some of those organizations have few full time employees, and it's not cost effective for them to hire personnel with technological expertise, Snodgrass said. Over the last six months, more OneNet users have asked for network hosting of applications, such as Microsoft Corp.'s Outlook and Exchange.

Organizations are looking for products that cut administrative costs and reduce security threats, said Jeff Schultz, Abridean's senior vice president of marketing and product management.

Abridean's tool provides more flexibility and control over user access privileges, account set-up and resource allocations, Snodgrass said. By migrating such applications to the network, it reduces costs for OneNet customers, he said, adding the service will also help reduce costs internally.

A number of OneNet users, such as the National Guard, also use voice over IP. Coupled with a hosted Microsoft Exchange, the network will roll out a unified messaging system, Snodgrass said. Abridean's product would help provide that as a seamless function, he added.

OneNet expects a return on investment within six months.

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