College self-service password reset enrollment and security challenges addressed

Organization: Montgomery County Community College
Country: United States
Industry: Higher Education

Goal: Increase self-service password reset enrollment rate to reduce outsourced helpdesk costs.
Result: Over 9,000 students pre-enrolled into the system for the Fall semester.
Solution: Specops uReset

Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) knew that their existing self-service password reset solution was outdated and not meeting student expectations. The solution’s onboarding process was not very secure while its reliance on security questions led to continued calls to the helpdesk. Students were either not enrolling in the system or if they did, it was not uncommon for them to forget the answers to the questions they enrolled with.

Robert Gehring, Enterprise Systems Administrator, Montgomery County Community College, says: “In the existing reset system the initial onboarding process was not very secure. The login utilized the student ID, a combination of student name and a randomly generated number that is recorded on a multitude of college documents.”

With the initial on-boarding process posing a security risk and the fact that students were forgetting the answers they input into the system, the system was not meeting desired results. Enrollment rates were actually declining over time and helpdesk password reset related costs were increasing. With a third party helpdesk service charging $6.50 per reset call, calls to the helpdesk alone were driving 12% of their total helpdesk calls.

Improving student enrollment

“As we set out to look for a replacement to our existing self-service password reset solution, lowering helpdesk costs and improving student enrollment and engagement were our primary goals.” says Robert.

On their quest to replace their pre-existing system in time for their 2015 fall semester, MCCC evaluated various self-service password reset solutions. Some of these were not higher-education focused and lacked essential features and desired licensing options while others that were higher-education focused lacked flexibility and did not match the depth of Specops uReset.

Specops uReset was selected due to the solution’s SaaS delivery model, availability across mobile devices not just desktops, built-in helpdesk capabilities, flexible multi-factor authentication and its native Active Directory integration.

“Ease of use is critical for us in a self-service password reset solution as students don’t want to spend too much time on this,” continued Robert. “Specops uReset provides that and even before we advertised the solution, students were using it.”

With over twenty forms of authentication to choose from, many of which lend themselves to pre-enrollment, MCCC was able to pre-enroll more than 9000 students to Specops uReset using their mobile numbers – eliminating more than 150 helpdesk calls in the first month. To date MCCC has deflected over 300 helpdesk calls resulting in over $2000 in cost savings, 4 months post launch.

Robert shared MCCC’s experience with Specops uReset at the 21st Annual Technology & Learning Conference.

With campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, Pa., Montgomery County Community College offers a comprehensive curriculum of more than 100 degree and certificate programs, a robust Virtual Campus, a Culinary Arts Institute, a Municipal Police Academy, and specialized workforce development programs, all of which leverage the College’s nationally ranked use of innovative technology. An Achieving the Dream Leader College, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to increase completion, improve learning outcomes, and remove barriers to access for close to 20,000 students annually. The College is also recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, and community service and service learning opportunities.

arrows facing each other in boxes with lock
See how Specops uReset can work for your team.