Trusted by more than 2500 companies with over 5 million users

Fortune 100 Retailer

Challenge:

Build a biometric interface for OWA to achieve single “touch and glance” sign-on.

Industry: Retail

Products: Messageware Custom Line of Business Applications

Messageware Rings up Security & Savings for Large National Retailer

Situation

Millions of retail transactions are processed in the U.S. every day. Whether it’s for someone who desires to grab a quick bite to eat before they head to the office, or those needing to purchase fuel for their car, the retail industry drives nearly 70% of the U.S. economic activity. Thanks in part to rising transactional volume and increasing fraud, retail stores have more at stake than ever in their goal of increasing security and customer service.

A large Fortune 100 retailer with more than 70,000 retail employees across the U.S. faced this same dilemma – how to manage access to their critical systems for hundreds of staff using shared computers without affecting customer service or compromising security. Unfortunately, at the time, staff were continually forgetting their network passwords that provide access to the cash registers and corporate applications, including Microsoft Exchange Outlook Web App messaging (OWA). Contrary to their security policies, passwords were often written down so as not to be forgotten and there was an overwhelming volume of calls to the help desk requesting assistance with password issues.

The retailer thought they had rung-up success when they implemented a new biometric access solution that provides access with a simple finger press or iris scan, but they soon discovered their dream of having a single sign-on for all systems wasn’t possible as their email system, Microsoft Exchange OWA, did not natively support biometric authentication.

Solution

The retailer trusts Messageware software to secure their Microsoft Exchange OWA infrastructure, so it was natural for them to turn, once again, to the OWA experts at Messageware for assistance. Messageware, the world’s leading provider of enterprise security, productivity, and customization solutions for OWA, specializes in helping organizations develop unique line of business solutions for everyday enterprise problems that cannot be solved by packaged products.

The Messageware team first conducted a comprehensive review of the organization’s goals and technology, determining that it would be feasible to provide the functionality needed to use their biometric access solution with OWA. The resulting solution would work with both Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG), a security solution that protects against web-based threats, such as malware, URL filtering, and intrusion prevention, and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 OWA. After documenting and reviewing the requirements, Messageware set out to create a unique interface for OWA that allows the retailer’s staff to authenticate their OWA logon with a simple biometric touch, no longer needing to remember or enter a single password.

On time and on budget, the Messageware technical team created the first-ever commercial biometric user interface for OWA, supporting both fingerprint and iris scanning. Once a user opens OWA with the Internet browser of their choice, they are presented with a simple interface. The interface provides the option of logging into their OWA account using biometric authentication, or standard Forms Based Authentication (FBA) with their username and password.

Results

The organization reports that the Messageware developed interface works perfectly, and, immediately after implementation, their help desk call volume dropped significantly. They noted that this significant reduction in calls has saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars in IT staff time.

More importantly, thanks to the Messageware custom development team, their employees are more productive and the organization can push forward on their mission to secure their systems while providing fast and efficient service to their customers when it’s needed most.

About Messageware

Founded in 1993, Messageware develops and markets solutions that secure, enhance, and customize Outlook Web App. A trusted Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and a Global Exchange ISV for over 15 years, our applications give companies of all sizes a greater return on Microsoft Exchange. Messageware products are used by over 2,500 enterprises and 4 million users worldwide, from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, in every industry including banking, education, financial services, government, healthcare, and legal services.

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