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User populations with special problems

Password Manager effectively addresses the following special problems:

Mobile users

Problem: Mobile users are especially difficult to support:

  • They may not sign into the network operating system regularly, so may not get early warning of password expiration. As a result, these users are frequently locked out, and require service.
  • They may require password resets on their own local PC, or on dial-up servers. This is technically challenging, as password management systems are centralized on the network.

The Password Manager solution: Password Manager provides mechanisms to allow remote users to reset their own passwords, including telephone access via Interactive Voice Response technology, and remote user access.

Passwords for vendors and partners

Problem: Vendors and partners work off-site, and have similar problems to mobile users. As well, vendors and partners may access corporate systems infrequently, and forget their own passwords regularly. Some users who work for vendors and partners may make a password reset call every time they try to sign into the corporate systems.

The Password Manager solution: Password Manager makes it easy for vendors and partners to securely manage their own passwords.

Language support

Problem: Global organizations must provide user support in multiple languages. Routine password management and password resets must both be available in multiple languages -- on the same server, for the same set of users and target systems, at the same time.

The Password Manager solution: Password Manager's fully customizable interface is already available in multiple languages (English, Spanish, French, Dutch, and Japanese), and new languages are added on request.

Infrequently used systems

Problem: When users sign into a system infrequently, they tend to forget the login process and password in the interval between logins. For example, a user who signs into a time tracking system just once a month may regularly forget that password, and so make regular password reset support calls.

The Password Manager solution: Password Manager synchronizes passwords, giving users just one password to remember, and eliminating the problem.

Cost impact

Support costs

Most IT help desks report that:

  • 20% to 40% of total call volume is due to password resets.
  • These calls cost $25 to $35 to resolve.
This can amount to a significant IT expense.

Direct cost savings with Password Manager

Direct cost savings accrue from reduced workload, and reduced or reassigned head count, at the IT help desk. Support workload is reduced as follows:

  • Password Manager addresses password complexity, and can significantly reduce the total number of password problems that users experience. Successful deployments can eliminate 80% or more of password problems.

  • Self-service directs some of the remaining password problems away from the help desk. Typically 60% or more of remaining password problems never reach the help desk.

  • The cost of remaining password reset calls is reduced, through a more streamlined call resolution process. Password calls are typically resolved by the help desk in about 1 minute with Password Manager.

  • Password Manager can eliminate the need to staff password support analysts on a 24x7 basis.

  • Password Manager significantly reduces the peak volume of password resets, especially in the morning after weekends and holidays. This eliminates the need to staff the help desk for peak load, and underutilize that capacity at other times.

Together, these benefits can reduce 90% or more of password-related IT support cost.

Improved user productivity

Users typically spend twice as long with a password problem as the help desk. They try to sign in, fail to, try again, call the help desk, wait for service, identify themselves, authenticate, receive the service, perhaps wait for password propagation, and try to sign in again.

The cost of user productivity, though not appearing on any single budget line item, amounts to about double the direct support cost.

Password Manager can recover this lost productivity, by eliminating problems before they start, by providing a self-service interface, and by make assisted resets more efficient.

Support statistics

The following table shows the historical and projected trend of password resets handled by this company's help desk:

Password targets Year 2006 Year 2007 Year 2008 Projected Year 2009 Projected Year 2010 Projected
NT/Active Directory          
Win2k          
Novell          
Unix          
AS/400          
OS/390          
Oracle          
PeopleSoft          
Lotus Notes          
Custom apps          
Total resets          
Cost of resets          

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