How Alef Education makes connected learning easier with secure access
students and 40,000 teachers using SSO
faster SSO integrations compared to alternative providers
“The more platforms that we add, the more we want to make sure that, for our users, we minimise the amount of complexity to just have one single username and password. Customer Identity Cloud is helping us develop our educational ecosystem.”
Amjad Khan, CTO
The future of education is one where each student can thrive, thanks to learning experiences individualised for their needs. Alef Education, a leading K-12 education technology company that is changing the way students are educated, is on a mission to customise lessons for different types of learners so that everyone receives the level of support they need.
The company uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide personalised learning experiences to students through their products: the Alef Platform, Abjadiyat, Arabits, and Pathways.
Alef Education’s main challenge was connecting more than 1 million students and 40,000 teachers and principals on one platform. Amjad Khan, CTO, says, “We wanted to have an integrated platform for our students and teachers and to ensure that when they sign in, they only had one single login. That was the key project.”
A custom SSO solution would require full-time engineers
Alef Education needed a way to seamlessly connect students across its suite of products. “For students, it's difficult because we don't want them to memorise a login for their device, then a login for Google Suite, then a login for the Alef Platform,” says Khan.
However, Alef Education quickly realised that building their own solution would not be a good use of their resources. Khan recalls, “We would probably have allocated at least two engineers full-time” to create custom authentication software. “There's no point in building a complete security system if I can buy something off the shelf for a fraction of the price,” says Khan, adding that the do-it-yourself route could take years.
Alef Education turned to Okta Customer Identity Cloud, powered by Auth0, to facilitate secure access to all of their platforms, connecting all their users in a data-driven e-learning environment.
Integrations in hours instead of weeks
It was not easy finding the right authentication software, and Alef Education was very thorough. They wanted a solution that could handle enterprise-scale security concerns, scale quickly, and also had all the bells and whistles that could help them stay ahead of security issues. “We looked at everything, and Single Sign On (SSO), came on top in terms of the features it could give us within our two to three-month time frame.”
Alef Education was able to implement the solution across all platforms in a couple of months. “Having something like SSO here allows us to expedite and minimise the amount of time it takes to set up a new integration. It just takes a matter of hours,” says Khan.
He notes that with SSO his team could deploy new integrations 93% faster than compared to other providers. “I was told 15 days just recently from a provider installation, and with SSO, it took a day. That's it, no more than a day.” This allowed Alef Education to concentrate on product development, explains Khan. “Our focus should be on education.”
The added benefit of strong security
For a company dealing with user passwords and personal information, security was also a prime focus. “We pride ourselves in having a secure platform,” says Khan, adding that, when it comes to authentication, “we want to work with enterprise-level products.”
Alef Education uses the Customer Identity Cloud to monitor authentications performed by its users and identify suspicious activity. “We are able to see abnormalities in user authentication by using the monitoring logs provided by Customer Identity Cloud,” says Khan. This allows Khan and his team to gain the trust of students and teachers alike, connecting multiple e-learning tools in a single platform while protecting user data.
Alef Education scaled to more than 1 million users and counting
Moving forward, Alef Education has plans to continue growing with its Identity management solution. “We know Okta Customer Identity Cloud can scale. We know it can scale up to millions of users if needed, but it also has a huge amount of features and services which we have yet to utilise, everything from multi-factor authentication to being able to detect breaches,” says Khan.
Khan says the company aims to use the solution to integrate more e-learning tools, saying, “The more platforms that we add, the more we want to make sure that, for our users, we minimise the amount of complexity to just have one single username and password. Customer Identity Cloud is helping us develop our educational ecosystem.” Instead of worrying about security, Alef Education can focus on transforming the education sector.
Alef Education is a leading global education technology company at the forefront of using artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to create personalised learning experiences that transform how the world is educated.
Alef Education, alongside its products, the Alef Platform, Alef Pathways, Abjadiyat, and Arabits, has a growing presence in key education markets worldwide, including the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Indonesia, and Morocco. The award-winning Alef Platform provides AI-powered learning and teaching solutions that leverage real-time data to drive improvements across the education ecosystem.