e2Campus is First Alert System to Offer Single Sign-On with Shibboleth

Additional new features in e2Campus version 3.1 include enhanced user management and password strength

Nov 05, 2009, 10:57 ET from Omnilert, LLC

DENVER, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- From the show floor of EDUCAUSE 2009, Omnilert® LLC today announced the release of e2Campus® version 3.1, the leading unified emergency notification system for education. Most notably, the latest release of the service integrates the Shibboleth® single sign-on platform. This technology, combined with Omnilert's participation in the InCommon® Federation, means that existing Shibboleth-enabled organizations will immediately benefit from e2Campus' enhanced user management and single sign-on convenience without additional integration.

Single sign-on capabilities enable users to leverage their home institution's login credentials to jump from one secure online application to another without having to set up and then remember multiple passwords for each resource they use.

InCommon is a trust federation in which members like Omnilert agree to use a standards-based authentication protocol (like that provided by Shibboleth) for their interactions. InCommon participants agree on a set of shared policies, processes, and technology standards. This greatly streamlines collaboration among multiple organizations because federation members agree on shared policies and processes once, rather than each time they sign a contract with a new partner.

By the end of June, 2009, Penn State University and University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) finished collaborating with e2Campus on the initial development of the InCommon interface. Today, UMBC, University of Maryland Baltimore, and Lafayette College are among the first to take advantage of this convenient single sign-on integration for use with the e2Campus service.

"We are extremely pleased with the Shibboleth implementation in e2Campus which allows us much greater flexibility in the way we provide our critical emergency notifications to our faculty, students and staff through the InCommon Federation," said Mike Carlin, assistant vice president of infrastructure and support at UMBC.

"For instance, we are now able to set up dynamic groups based on student attributes enabling us to better target our emergency alerts to affected groups on campus. As an example, if a certain dormitory is impacted by an emergency event, we now have the ability to alert just the impacted students and staff in that residence or other specific groups as is appropriate to the issue."

Carlin added, "We are most excited about the dynamic real-time updates to stay on top of user churn. When students, faculty or staff leave the university, we can automatically remove them from e2Campus. In addition, we can focus internal marketing to the select people that still need to opt-in to e2Campus, without bothering those that have already subscribed."

Kevin Morooney, the incoming chair of the InCommon Steering Committee and chief information officer and vice provost for information technology at Penn State University, explained, "One of the primary goals of federations like InCommon is to allow universities to provide access to a wide range of off-campus resources while still protecting the security and privacy of their students, faculty, and staff. We who are involved with InCommon are pleased that this new release of e2Campus takes advantage of the benefits of the federation."

Nick Gustavsson, Omnilert's chief technology officer, said, "We are very proud to be part of InCommon Federation. With more and more schools upgrading to e2Campus, Shibboleth integration is a major decision point for new customers. There is no easier way to integrate your existing school data with any ENS system than with Shibboleth and e2Campus."

Additional upgrades in e2Campus 3.1 include many new administration functions such as: enhanced user management to include adding single users and viewing user details; enhanced session timeout functionality; and the ability to configure password strength for admin accounts.

About InCommon

InCommon provides the U.S. higher education and research community with the common framework for trustworthy shared management of access to online resources. InCommon facilitates the development of a community-based common trust fabric, allowing participants to make appropriate decisions about the release of identity information and the control of access to protected online resources. InCommon is intended to enable production-level end-user access to a wide variety of protected resources. For more information, visit http://www.incommon.org.

About e2Campus

Used by more than 650 schools around the country, e2Campus is the first and most trusted unified emergency notification system in education. The award winning, CAP compliant, Tier-1 notification system enables non-technical staff to administer and send custom or predefined messages instantly to the entire campus community for improved crisis communications. There is no traditional software to install, no hardware to buy and no additional phone lines needed. Through one unified interface, e2Campus instantly and simultaneously sends multimodal alerts to a subscriber's mobile phone (via SMS text message), landline phone (via voice message), computer desktop (pop-up), and e-mail accounts, plus school infrastructure such as PA systems, digital signage, alert beacons, Facebook Pages, Twitter Accounts, and relevant school Web pages. To learn more, visit http://www.e2Campus.com.

About Omnilert

Omnilert, LLC is the leading provider of unified mass notification systems for better business continuity, emergency management, and routine communication. The easy-to-use, self-service, Web-based system enables a single person to communicate timely information to thousands of people anywhere, anytime, on any device or service. The company's 1,750 clients include the U.S. Army, GE, Harvard University, Boeing, UNICEF, Sanofi-Aventis, and the National Institutes of Health. Omnilert solutions are sold under the brand names e2Campus, Amerilert, and RainedOut. The privately held company is headquartered in Leesburg, Va., and at http://www.omnilert.com online.

Omnilert, e2Campus, Amerilert & RainedOut are trademarks of Omnilert, LLC. All other trademarks, trade names, or company names referenced herein are used for identification only and are the property of their respective owners.

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