SOLUTIONS AT-A-GLANCE

 

Single sign-on enables fast access to vital apps and increases employee productivity.

 

Decreased help desk calls to retrieve lost passwords reduces the support burden.

 

Out-of-the-box implementation meets all the association’s required use cases.

 

Employees and customers securely access a wide range of SaaS and other applications.

NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION SERVES UP SAVORY SINGLE SIGN-ON EXPERIENCE

Narendar Sundaram, Chief Architect of the National Restaurant Association, tells how his organization enabled single sign-on (SSO) functionality for a variety of employee- and customer-facing applications.

 

THE OBJECTIVE

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) has the largest membership of any foodservice trade group worldwide. Supporting more than 500,000 restaurant businesses around the globe, the association provides a comprehensive set of tools, systems and applications that help members of all sizes get significantly better operating results.


Accessing myriad applications wasn’t always seamless, however, for either NRA employees or customers, who were required to memorize multiple usernames and passwords. The organization sought a user-friendly solution that would provide authentication, authorization and secure transmission of user credentials within the perimeter as well as across domains external to the enterprise.

 

THE CHALLENGE

Due to growth, users were having difficulty tracking and remembering different sign-on credentials for an expanding number of applications. This in turn led to increased help desk calls, and the lack of fast access hindered productivity. Also, because some of the applications are SaaS-based, there was an added security risk associated with these apps. In addition, the association did not have proper provisioning or deprovisioning in place, so employees could access applications even after leaving the company.

 

THE SOLUTION

NRA implemented PingFederate to enable SSO functionality for both internal applications and external access applications for employees, along with the customer-facing web applications used by some of their larger corporate customers. Employees use PingFederate to access a wide range of SaaS apps, including the UltiPro timesheets program and the Concur expense system, as well as internal applications such as their association management systems.


NRA chose Ping after an extensive proof of concept. A dedicated team from Ping, from an account executive to a salesperson to a solution architect, helped the association capture all of their use cases and identify the solution during the POC stage. “When it came time to go live, it was just a matter of flipping the switch,” said Narendar Sundaram, Chief Architect of the National Restaurant Association.


“It was really easy from a decision-making perspective,” Sundaram said. “The pricing and the licensing model stood out; some of the competitors were charging us for even a non-production environment. The other thing that stood out from a Ping perspective was the ease with which we could implement the solution, as most of our requirements were met right out of the box.”

 

THE RESULTS

Prior to the implementation of PingFederate as an SSO solution, NRA’s support team experienced numerous requests from employees who couldn’t remember their passwords needed to access a proliferation of applications. But once the association implemented PingFederate, all those requests disappeared because it was just a matter of remembering one username and one password—thereby increasing employee productivity and reducing the support burden.

 

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