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Unity Implements Quest Software's Active Directory Management Solution Across Schools in Oldham


London, February 8th 2010 – Unity Partnership announced today that it is rolling out ActiveRoles® Server from Quest Software to manage Microsoft Active Directory across 115 schools in Oldham. The project forms part of the Government’s aims to improve IT in education on a national scale.

Oldham Council recently took part in a pilot of the government’s Home Access programme, and on the back of this have now set up a project to improve access to learning resources in the region.

Part of the local project was to provide greater access to learning resources for 40,000 students and 2,000 teachers across the borough. The project involved the migration of an externally hosted Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) into Unity’s Data Centre, and the creation of a borough-wide domain to facilitate single sign on for all students, teachers and, in time, parents.

Active Directory was required to manage the computers and allow restrictions to be set.  Unity, along with its IT partner Agilisys and Oldham Council’s Children, People and Society ICT Strategy Service, worked with Quest Software to install Quest ActiveRoles Server as the Active Directory management solution for all of Oldham’s schools.

Each school has been given responsibility for running its own Active Directory environment. The solution from Quest allows the on-site technician or teacher / administrator to re-set passwords, create groups and provide teachers with appropriate management rights. The solution is highly time efficient, allowing teachers to spend time teaching pupils and not time liaising with a centralised IT helpdesk.

“Without ActiveRoles Server, the approach we took would have been impossible,” noted David Honeywell, Programme Manager at Unity. “The time restraints meant that a bespoke system was not possible and Quest offered a perfectly good solution. The security aspect of delegating Active Directory rights has saved the council at least two weeks of work during the roll-out alone.”
ActiveRoles Server also facilitates compliance with the Council’s requirements for secure domain administration. The solution enables all on-site technicians to securely manage their own organisational units, allowing them to create accounts in accordance with the Council’s policy. Delegating Active Directory rights in this way without the Quest Software solution would make the environment prone to human error and open to abuse and therefore a risk to security; a significant consideration in the educational environment. In addition, if a technician attempts an unauthorised action an alert is issued, which can be acted upon as necessary.

“ActiveRoles Server gives teachers and technicians the permission rights that make sense for their obligations,” explained Joe Baguley, CTO Europe, Quest Software. “It is an off the peg solution that can be installed quickly, but which caters for all their needs. We’re delighted to be helping in this pilot project, and hope we will see schools nationwide benefit from the level of IT investment that the schools of Oldham do.”

By 2010, Oldham plans to extend Active Directory to at least another 40,000 users to allow access to pupils’ parents for monitoring pupils’ attendance, behaviour and achievements.

For more information on Quest ActiveRoles Server, please visit: -   

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About Unity Partnership
Unity Partnership is a joint venture company between Mouchel and Oldham Council, with Agilisys as the ICT partner. Established in May 2007 and employing over 400 staff, Unity delivers Property, Highways, ICT and Customer and Exchequer services. Its aim is to transform essential public services and regenerate Oldham’s environment.

About Agilisys
Agilisys is the UK's most innovative IT services and outsourcing provider, helping our clients transform their business. Working for both the public and private sector, we have earned a strong reputation and hold deep domain expertise within local government, travel and tourism, retail financial services and healthcare.

We support our clients through a network of offices and centres of excellence throughout the UK, employing over 1,200 people.

About Oldham Council
Oldham Borough Council provides a wide range of services for the people of the borough and manages an annual budget totalling about £500 million.

About Quest Software, Inc.
Now more than ever, organisations need to work smart and improve efficiency. Quest Software creates and supports systems management products – helping our customers solve everyday IT challenges faster and easier. Visit for more information.

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Quest, Quest Software, ActiveRoles and the Quest logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Quest Software in the United States and certain other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Editorial Contact:
Lucy Davies
Edelman PR for Quest Software
+44 20 3047 2304