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The University of Ottawa Embraces a Sustainable, Cloud-based Future with Saviynt

The world’s largest bilingual university achieves seamless app integration and management of 800,000 identity types—with 42 fewer servers.


Servers eliminated


Identity types managed

As the world’s largest bilingual public research university, the University of Ottawa’s mission is to prepare its more than 45,000 students for an increasingly dynamic and interconnected future. To achieve this aim, the University’s Transformation 2030 initiative calls for greater investments in sustainability, more advanced technologies, and increased adoption of cloud-based solutions.

The Assignment

More Efficient Governance

The first challenge the University of Ottawa faced was an antiquated identity management system that was incompatible with its updated Workday ERP system and relied on inefficient, error-prone provisioning processes. The old system also ran on 49 on-site servers, causing maintenance problems, potential performance downtimes, and environmental concerns. After a thorough RFP process, the University chose Saviynt IGA for its ability to meet unique app integration requirements, streamline infrastructure, and automate the lifecycle management of hybrid identities.

To facilitate its move to the cloud, the University needed to modernize its identity management system to support complex, role-based hybrid identities and integrate with the newly adopted ERP Workday solution and student administration suite, PeopleSoft.

The University was relying on an outdated identity management platform which was rapidly approaching end-of-life and couldn’t be integrated with Workday without extensive customization.

This legacy identity management system required 49 on-premises servers to operate, making it cumbersome to maintain, prone to performance issues in case of server downtime, and a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. This system wasn’t able to handle hybrid identities; identity and resource provisioning were accomplished through manual processes that were complicated, time-consuming and error-prone. All too often, this led to access creep, resulting in security vulnerabilities.

At the end of an extensive RFP process, the University selected Saviynt’s cloud-native Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) over multiple competing solutions.

The Solution

Easier Identity Governance, from Registration to Graduation — and Beyond

The University’s IT and security teams needed to be confident that the solution they chose could support the existing identity data flows for PeopleSoft, as well as the connections it needed to configure for Workday.

Saviynt IGA was flexible enough to meet these complex business requirements—without the need for customization. At the same time, Saviynt supported automation to create role and group-based permissions and easy-to-initiate approval flows.

Saviynt’s holistic platform contained all the components that the University required to effectively manage 800,000 identities—including users who filled multiple roles at the same time, or who moved between roles over the course of their relationship with the University.

By replacing burdensome manual access approval and provisioning processes with self-service functionalities, the University was able to automate the identity lifecycle for more than 46,000 students, 11,000 employees, and a variety of third parties including vendors, partners and alumni.

The Results

With Saviynt’s cloud-native Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) solution, the University has been able to:


Seamlessly connect Workday, PeopleSoft, Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory, and multiple other source systems in the University’s web services database


Integrate multiple legacy workflows from the previous platform with API-driven connections to modern ERP systems


Eliminate 42 on-premises servers, reducing administrative burden, costs and greenhouse gas emissions


Add self-service resource provisioning functionality for faculty and staff, students, alumni and other third parties through group-based entitlements


Achieve greater efficiency, security, and compliance by replacing complex manual steps and custom legacy processes with automation

Next Steps

Moving toward role-based entitlements and automated user access requests

The University of Ottawa plans to continue moving toward role-based entitlements and automated user access requests, as well as leveraging Saviynt’s cloud-native Privileged Access Management (PAM) solution.

This next step will enable it to consolidate identity and privilege management within a single, holistic platform.

"We are finding that it’s easier to support access to our source systems in ways that enable consistent policy enforcement, Saviynt allows for more automation and enhanced security. Plus, we’re able to provide more tools to end users, so that they can easily gain the access to which they’re required—all they have to do is request it.”

Ronald Monette

Application Manager, Security Services, Project Manager for IAM Modernization and Governance, University of Ottawa

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