New MIDAS Release Enables Enhanced Alumni Support

July 23, 2015
New MIDAS Release Enables Enhanced Alumni Support

For Harvard Alumni, a close-knit relationship with the University doesn't end at matriculation — if anything, it strengthens. And when it comes to the information technology resources that help Alumni maintain solid ties with their alma mater, the Identity & Access Management (IAM) team at Harvard University Information Technology is pleased to make a contribution with the release of MIDAS 2.6 on July 21, 2015.

MIDAS — "Managing Identity Data & Affiliation Securely" — is the online application for managing identity data at Harvard University. Depending on the level of access granted, MIDAS users can perform a variety of important business functions related to individual identities, including looking up people to verify affiliations, updating contact information or privacy flags, retrieving ID numbers for Library borrowers, consultants, and contractors, and more.

With the 2.6 release, MIDAS now offers lookup functionality for more than 350,000 Harvard Alumni that have been added to Harvard's identity registry, known as IdDB, this year. This has a number of benefits in improving ease of use for support staff, as well as better facilitating "white glove" service for Harvard's Alumni population:

  • Improved ability to support Alumni at both the Alumni Affairs & Development and IT Service Desks — as well as other Harvard facilities and services where Alumni might seek help in person or by phone
  • Easier process for validating general information for service staff engaged in triaging requests
  • Quicker identification of call-in users through the addition of School, degree, and year information for Alumni
  • Improved ID matching and identity management due to additional name data, such as married name
  • In-MIDAS display of Alumni status to alert users to the potential need to alter standard workflows or instruction sets for more Alumni-specific approaches

"We're very excited about the increased level of support that this latest MIDAS release enables," says Jane Hill, director of IAM project management. "The ability to readily correlate Alumni roles with the other active and prior roles held by users will only enhance the University’s ability to serve the Alumni population."

As with all IAM efforts, this latest MIDAS release was developed with utmost attention to the security of individual users' information. Like all records in MIDAS, access to Alumni data is granted only to those with a "business need to know" — and while approved users will be able to see Alumni role information, they will not have visibility into personal contact information such as email or postal address. (The summary details of an Alumni record's role — School, degree, and year — are not considered confidential information.)

Adding Alumni to Harvard's main identity registry was primarily undertaken in order to be able to offer authentication and authorization services to Alumni during this fall's HarvardKey rollout, but with these added benefits available in MIDAS, the positive impact is already making itself apparent.

"We've heard a great response so far from units who are happy to be able to see if someone who is contacting them is a Harvard alum," says Gretchen Grozier, IAM community program manager. "And the benefit for Library is big, too — when Alumni who return to campus visit Widener to request temporary access, the staff no longer has to look them up in a paper directory!"

Want more information about MIDAS, or how IAM services enhance Harvard's ability to better support our Alumni population? Contact Gretchen Grozier to learn more.

>> See all news from the Identity & Access Management program