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Company Size

115+ employees

“I would never recommend that a company incorporate cloud services into their environment without leveraging a single sign-on solution. Once you have it and you see its value, you really can't go back to individual logins. It's that crucial.”



Early Learning Coalition (ELC) is a non-profit early education support organization that was building out a cloud-based infrastructure to support rapid employee growth. They needed to ease user transition to the cloud with simplified, single sign-on access to apps including Office 365, while addressing the IT challenges of secure access, user provisioning and password management. Enterprise mobility management capabilities were also necessary to support field workers’ smart phones.

“We considered building out our own on-premises infrastructure, but that approach would have required initial hardware costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and significantly more time and IT resources than we had available,” he says. “The ease and speed of building out a cloud-based environment made it a better choice. But we needed a strong solution that would help us in the transition.”

ELC began looking for a solution that would provide authentication and single sign-on for the cloud services they were evaluating. Security would be a top consideration in any solution, as well as compliance with state and local government regulations similar to HIPAA. Strong, two-factor authentication for remote users would also be required. And if they could locate a complementary solution to securely manage their mobile devices, it would be ideal.

ELC uses Office 365, Box.com, DocuSign, Lynda.com and Easy!Appointments as a scheduling tool. “From our accounting system to our CRM, we use the same technologies that a Fortune 100 company would use – just on a smaller scale,” says Mena.

Project Drivers

  • Identity consolidation and single sign-on to cloud apps
  • Ease the management of field workers’ mobile devices
  • More secure, multi-factor authentication for remote logins

Aha Moment

“The mobile device management capabilities were a pleasant surprise, as was the ability to set up a redundancy server on Microsoft Azure,” says Mena.

Bottom Line

The company was able to provide employees with easy, single sign-on to critical apps and give IT the ability to manage users’ mobile devices, enable multi-factor authentication and build out a completely new infrastructure based around cloud applications. “Without the Centrify solution we'd need a seven- or eight-member IT team rather than the four we have now, concludes Mena.”