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Microsoft Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Jaynesh Shah, Carmen Gonzalez

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Shibboleth Hosting Enables More Higher Education Institutions to Join InCommon

Fischer International Identity announces free access to its cloud-based Shibboleth Identity Provider (IdP) federation solution for qualified institutions. Institutions will receive implementation and two years Shibboleth IdP hosting with 24/7 management and support for 5,000 users at no charge.

“Fischer is dedicated to the advancement of education and we have been impressed with what InCommon, Internet2 NET+ Services, and OARnet are doing to advance education,” said Andrew Sroka, President and CEO of Fischer. “We are pleased to help additional institutions join InCommon, begin to leverage the cloud offerings available through InCommon and NET+ Services, and will develop a model to obtain affordable and high-value identity services through regional providers like OARnet.”

According to Jack Suess, Chief Information Officer and Vice President for Information Technology at UMBC, and InCommon Steering Committee Chair, “This service will allow additional institutions to quickly and cost-effectively deploy InCommon. Fischer’s program will allow institutions to share in the same benefits as the current 317 higher education InCommon participants -- leveraging InCommon to easily integrate some of the 125 InCommon commercial service providers and 28 Internet NET+ Services in place today.”

Joining InCommon requires an institution to support federated identity management technology. Many institutions have delayed joining InCommon out of concern they don’t have the staffing or funding to meet the technical requirements. Fischer’s offering will enable institutions to meet InCommon requirements without acquiring hardware, software or staff. Fischer’s offering fully supports the latest release of Shibboleth, allowing institutions on regional networks like OARnet to achieve single sign-on convenience for resources such as Internet2 Net+ Services, EDUCAUSE, HathiTrust, and many others. Through Fischer’s service, an institution maintains control of all user passwords, which are never stored in an outside system.

InCommon enables institutions to improve the educational experience by providing access to a myriad of resources and collaboration. Adherence to InCommon policy and technical requirements decreases the cost of user administration and ensures sound security practices. Adds Suess, “Fischer’s generous offer will serve as a catalyst to enable InCommon to better fulfill its mission to enable easier and safer sharing of protected online resources.”

Details are available at www.ignite-federation.com.

About Internet2 and InCommon

Internet2® is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation's leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve common technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research, and community service missions. For more information, visit http://www.internet2.edu.

InCommon®, operated by Internet2®, serves the U.S. education and research communities, supporting a common framework of trust services, including the U.S. identity management trust federation for research and education, a community-driven Certificate Service, an Assurance Program providing higher levels of trust, and a multifactor authentication program. InCommon has more than 450 participants, including higher education institutions and research organizations, and their sponsored partners. For more information, see www.incommon.org.

About OARnet

A member of the Ohio Technology Consortium at the Ohio Board of Regents, the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet) provides technology solutions for Ohio's education, public broadcasting, health care and government communities. Since 1987, OARnet has identified and deployed shared services that reduce costs, deliver quality programs, increase productivity and improve customer service. Communities voluntarily participate in the OARnet consortium because they value these benefits and services. Ultimately, OARnet promotes community and economic development by expanding access to affordable technology.

About Fischer International Identity

Fischer International was founded in 1982 by Addison Fischer, a security visionary whose many accomplishments are recognized globally. Fischer International is the leader in cloud-based identity management and has a distinguished history of providing unparalleled value through its innovation and thought leadership in the security industry. Fischer continues its technology leadership and innovation with its identity services platform that makes identity management cost effective for the masses. It simplifies identity management, scales seamlessly from the smallest institutions to the largest university systems, and can be implemented either as a traditional on-premise deployment or via the Identity as a Service® cloud.

Trademark Notice

Fischer International, Fischer International Identity, Identity as a Service, Ignite IT, Ignite Federation and IaaS are the trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Fischer International Identity.

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