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ThiemeMeulenhoff is in the transition process from being an educational publisher to becoming a designer of learning processes. The former publisher of traditional paper textbooks is increasingly developing more personalized and effective education methods. This involves the creation of a digital ThiemeMeulenhoff learning infrastructure for millions of students, teachers and parents. iWelcome provides access to this new digital education infrastructure.
In a world where every publisher of learning materials has its own digital platform ThiemeMeulenhoff develops a comprehensive infrastructure that suits every conceivable digital offering – including even those of competitors. The development is part of the gradual transformation of ThiemeMeulenhoff to becoming a true ‘learning design company’.
IAM manager Rob van der Staaij explains that, with the infrastructure, ThiemeMeulenhoff aims to offer millions of pupils and students easy accessibility to an unprecedented learning environment. “An environment, consisting of three core systems and several dozens of subsystems and micro services. Our organisation’s goal is to align its applications in a modular, streamlined, uniform and efficient way, giving students and teachers all benefits of a central, consolidated and uniform registration of the learning progress and outcomes.”
A smooth and safe learning experience Obviously, ThiemeMeulenhoff wanted a well-oiled digital lock for its learning infrastructure, provided by a reliable solution for authentication and authorization, including Single Sign-On. With iWelcome ThiemeMeulenhoff found the advanced standard IDaaS (Identity-as-a-Service) solution that it was looking for. As ThiemeMeulenhoff’s CIO Mischa Luyf clarifies: “A solution that is robust, scalable and that offers millions of students a smooth and safe start of their daily learning experience. iWelcome was able to provide good guarantees for privacy and security of student data. This is a crucial requirement, since most of the users are minors.”
iWelcome’s met ThiemeMeulenhoff’s requirements in terms of globally supported and established open standards, such as SAML, SCIM, Oauth and OpenID Connect. iWelcome also met strict performance and availability needs, as well as strong efficiency and cost savings goals in comparison to the former infrastructures. Furthermore, ThiemeMeulenhoff expressed its wish to add a multitude of other platforms in the future, serving large numbers of users.
Compliance to privacy and EU security regulations With regards to compliance to Dutch privacy and security regulations, iWelcome proved to be a knowledgeable and flexible partner. In accordance to ThiemeMeulenhoff’s requirements and specifications, iWelcome offers its services from server parks that are located in the EU. The Identity & Access Management (IAM) solution runs in a private cloud, in iWelcome data centres in Amsterdam and Frankfurt. A load balancer constantly monitors traffic and adapts capacity to the requirements, second by second, between these centres. This way, peak traffic is handled responsibly, while limiting the risk of downtime and data loss.
One of the factors that have made the development of iWelcome’s solution for ThiemeMeulenhoff more complex is the fact that some educational platforms that are accessible via this new infrastructure employ less advanced IAM protocols. This is a result of the fact that these platforms – such as KennisNet, SurfNet and Edu-iX – have been developed some time ago. iWelcome was able to able to work out a flexible, solution-oriented integration with these infrastructures. The result of this federation is that students that have access to these educational platforms are subsequently smoothly recognized in iWelcome, resulting in easy and seamless access to the systems on the ThiemeMeulenhoff infrastructure.
Identity platform as future business enableriWelcome’s IAM solution is not only the answer to ThiemeMeulenhoff's current needs, it also helps pave the way to the future, says CIO Mischa Luyf. “The well-functioning infrastructure enables us to develop new products and services.” Business developers at ThiemeMeulenhoff have opportunities for ‘upselling’, with services that enable parents to supervise their children closely. Luyf: “In addition, the information richness of the infrastructure may further increase, by unlocking the content of, for example, libraries. With iWelcome’s IAM solution, ThiemeMeulenhoff’s education infrastructure will further develop as a true digital education platform of global proportions.”
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