Early learning coalition drives operational efficiencies using IDAAS

ELC leverages CyberArk for Single Sign-on, Multi-factor Authentication and Enterprise Mobility Management.

Mixed race children using digital table in library

Company profile

Early Learning Coalition (ELC) of Palm Beach County Florida strives to ensure that families in the community have access to high quality, affordable early learning programs and services. ELC is a non-profit, funded through state and federal programs and through a partnership with the Children’s Services Council.


Build out a cloud infrastructure to support rapid company growth. Ease the transition to cloud with single sign-on to Office 365 and other apps. Include two-factor authentication for stronger security. Protect and manage company smart phones with EMM.

Nearing the end of a contract that outsourced the community services ELC supervised, the company decided to bring the services in house and offer them directly to the public. It was a large undertaking that would require nearly 100 new employees and the opening of new satellite offices. Success would depend on an environment that could support the company’s 300% growth projections.

“We didn’t have the infrastructure or services necessary to handle the anticipated increase in employees,” says Luis Mena, Director of IT at Early Learning Coalition. “So we were under a tight deadline to roll out an entirely new infrastructure.”

Mena decided to leverage the cloud to the greatest degree possible. “We considered building out our own on-premises infrastructure, but that approach would have required initial hardware costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and significantly more time and IT resources than we had available,” he says. “The ease and speed of building out a cloud-based environment made it a better choice. But we needed a strong solution that would help us in the transition.”

ELC began looking for a solution that would provide authentication and single sign-on for the cloud services they were evaluating. Security would be a top consideration in any solution, as well as compliance with state and local government regulations similar to HIPAA. Strong, two-factor authentication for remote users would also be required. And if they could locate a complementary solution to securely manage their mobile devices, it would be ideal.


ELC evaluated three SSO and EMM providers and selected CyberArk Identity for its more secure technology. “We didn’t like the fact that other solutions cached Active Directory credentials in the cloud,” he says. “With CyberArk Identity, none of our data is replicated, so no credentials could be compromised if there were an intrusion. That was a key differentiator between the services.”

Another important component was CyberArk Identity’s Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) features. “We selected Samsung as our smart phone provider precisely because of the pre-existing integration between Samsung Knox and CyberArk Identity and the capacity to build security policies into our devices,” says Mena.

ELC wanted to leverage CyberArk Identity’s ability to provision company- owned mobile devices and to apply corporate policies to enforce device encryption and password guidelines. The company realized they could create a separate set of policies for user-owned devices managed through CyberArk Identity as well.

ELC was also looking to further boost security with CyberArk Identity’s Multi-factor Authentication. “Our sites are all trusted sites but when a user is logging in remotely or from home, they can go through the CyberArk Identity authentication window to access any of the services they need.”

Due to a lack of internal IT resources and minimal experience in rolling out identity management technologies, ELC used CyberArk Identity’s professional services for the implementation. “CyberArk professional services helped us work through several service provider shortcomings. They were able to integrate Office 365 without any assistance whatsoever from Microsoft,” says Mena. “And they helped us with services like DocuSign, Lynda.com and Easy Appointments.


Simplified device provisioning and management. Increased security through two-factor authentication. More rapid user onboarding and off-boarding. Easy user access to critical applications whether on site or in the field.

“The beautiful thing about CyberArk Identity is that the user only has to remember one username and password — all authentications happen behind the scenes.”

– Luis Mena, Director of IT, Early Learning Coalition

Today, every time an ELC employee logs into their system, they get automatic access to email, Box.com and a number of other corporate applications. Because authentication through CyberArk Identity is seamless, users don’t even know it’s happening. IT can now easily set up new users in any location. “We have new users starting every day and I set them up remotely with one password that allows them into their computer and virtually all the services they need,” says Mena. ”And when employees leave it’s as simple as disabling one account and all their services are disabled with it. It simplifies onboarding and offboarding and saves time and money. And now, weeks go by without us having to reset a single password or unlock an account.”

The state of Florida requires that organizations keep the Social Security numbers of parents and children on file, as well as W-4 forms and other documents that need to remain secure at all times. “Every year, we’re subjected to state audits, so we look for HIPAA compliant services like CyberArk Identity, because that usually means they will be compliant with our guidelines as well.”

ELC now has strong authentication controls and drives operational efficiencies with CyberArk Identity. “The fact that your single sign-on provider can also be your mobile device management provider and your multi-factor authentication provider is definitely a positive. In modern IT, you have to cover a lot of bases with a lot of overlap, and dealing with one vendor rather than two or three is optimal.”

Key benefits

  • Simplified device provisioning and management during a rapid growth of personnel
  • Enhanced workforce productivity by easing access to applications whether on site or in the field
  • Seamless user authentication across corporate applications
  • HIPAA compliant solution securing the access to personal identifiable information

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