Spotlight On Identity Management: MCommunity to Improve IT Service Provisioning at the University of Michigan


MCommunity is a new enterprise directory and identity management system under development at the University of Michigan, a large, decentralized institution. MCommunity will provide a central infrastructure that can be used not only for central IT service provisioning but also for service provisioning within units. Planning for and development of MCommunity is a collaborative effort across both U-M IT units and the many units that will use the new system.

MCommunity will allow the university to know who is and is not a member of the U-M community, enabling central university offices as well as departments, schools, colleges, and campuses to grant and remove access to online resources as needed and appropriate. It will provide identity management, roles management, data sharing and reconciliation, and directory services for U-M. MCommunity will bring together data from multiple institutional sources and will organize, present, and secure the data in a way that is particularly well suited to managing access to university resources.

Planning for this central resource for a decentralized institution began with an ITCommons group consisting of IT professionals from across the university who identified the need. A governance board of decision makers representing key units such as the registrar's office and human resources, some of the larger academic units, and others continues to provide guidance on related policy development.

Alpha testers from across the university are already testing the first visible part of MCommunity, the MCommunity Sponsor System, which will be released in June.

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