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Why should I connect to the Pika Federation?

Organizations want to offer a secure environment where both internal and external services can be used side by side. Important elements include Single Sign-On, trusted identity and collaboration. 

Identity Providers

An Identity Provider (IdP) is an organization that provides information about the identity of a user so that authentication of a user is possible. An example of an Identity Provider is school authorities. These organizations deliver the identities for their students and employees.

Identity Providers 

Service Providers

A Service Provider (SP) is an organization that delivers content and services that are available online, such as web applications, video services and publishers. However, this could also include school authorities that offer online courses or services specifically for Alberta for students.

Service Providers 

What advantages does the Pika Federation offer for my organization?

The Pika federation allows users to have access to services offered by multiple service providers using one log-in. This means that end users will have the single-sign on experience of being able to access all of their authorized federated services without having to log-in again. As well, the Pika federation facilitates online collaboration in the cloud, both between users within the same organization as between users from different organizations.

Reduced Risk

  • Federated Identity Management requires a “trust framework” that is adhered to by the identity provider and service provider. This "trust framework" includes the privacy and security baseline requirements, that are based on leading industry protocols.

Service Agility

  • School authorities are able to select services from a catalogue of secure options. Because the service providers no longer manage the end-user accounts, it is easier for schools to trial different services.
  • The number of available services is ever growing, as more organizations choose to use the Pika federation.

Reduced Workload

  • School authority’s IT staff no longer have to manage the provisioning (and deprovisioning) of each individual service.
  • You no longer have to implement and maintain a custom made connection to each service or Service Provider separately.
  • You can regulate authorization for entire groups of students and employees easily.
  • You can integrate your internal authorization resources with the Pika federation.

How does it work?

Many school authorities provide their staff and students with a single online identity to access services (such as email, learning resources and software tools). Often these services require separate accounts, which can be difficult for both the school authority and the service provider to manage and maintain.

The Pika federation brings together a pool of users and services. This increases the number of services that school authorities can access, as well as enabling new collaborations between authorities. The federation operates on a secure trust framework, with agreements written in to protect the transfer of data between school authorities and service providers.

Benefits to Service Providers

Approved service providers can join the Pika federation to enable all school authorities in the federation to access their tools and software. This provides a fast and efficient way for providers to reach users, while protecting the private data of the end user.  

Since users’ accounts are managed by the identity providers (and not the service providers), there is reduced overhead for account management and user support. This in turn lowers the cost per user for each service.

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