Unlocking Efficiency: Lakeland Dairies and IT-Conductor's Collaboration to Automate User Unlock and Password Reset


About Lakeland Dairies

For more than a century, Lakeland Dairies has thrived as a farmer-owned dairy processing co-operative, boasting a legacy of excellence that spans generations. Dedicated to producing and supplying dairy products while fostering sustainable practices and supporting their local communities, Lakeland Dairies has established itself as a pillar of responsible business. Through their commitment to excellence and collaboration, Lakeland Dairies remains a trusted name in the food and agriculture industry.

Customer Challenge

SAP users at Lakeland Dairies who encounter lockouts often find themselves in a situation where they must engage with the IT service desk, initiating a cumbersome process of raising requests to the SAP Security or Basis teams. These requests to unlock and reactivate their accounts are essential to resume their tasks. However, this manual intervention, while necessary, inadvertently ushers in a series of challenges that impact both time and operational efficiencies.

Lakeland Dairies runs 24/7 and at any time a user can lock themselves out of SAP, often while the product is sitting on a pallet to be put on the back of a truck. If the SAP user is locked, this means the product cannot be scanned and therefore cannot leave the warehouse.

In this scenario, the time-sensitive nature of business processes can suffer significant setbacks as users await the resolution of their locked accounts. The need to route requests through multiple channels and teams introduces layers of complexity, extending the downtime experienced by users and affecting the overall productivity of the organization. Moreover, the verification and management of the reactivation process pose additional hurdles for administrators, diverting their attention from more valuable tasks that could contribute to the company’s growth and innovation.


User Unlock and Password Reset Automation Solution

To address this challenge, Lakeland Dairies leveraged the automation solution of IT-Conductor to streamline the process of unlocking SAP user accounts and resetting their passwords. By automating the reactivation process for locked accounts caused by incorrect login attempts, along with password resets, the automation solution ensures prompt resolution, eliminating the need for manual intervention and empowering users to regain access without undue delays.

Given that IT-Conductor is already covering the APM monitoring of the customer's S/4HANA landscape, the integration of this automation solution offers a more streamlined approach. This integration not only aligns seamlessly with the existing monitoring framework but also magnifies the benefits derived from it. By incorporating the user unlock and password reset automation, the entire account management process becomes more cohesive and efficient.

Recovery Actions by Applications in IT-Conductor

Figure 1: Recovery Actions by Application

Deployment Scope

The user unlock and password reset automation solution is designed to cater to the needs of both Dialog and Service users whose accounts have been locked due to incorrect login attempts. It was implemented in both the S/4HANA front-end and back-end systems, addressing the challenge of locked accounts with a unified strategy.

Technical Components

  • Technology Stack Used: IT-Conductor Process Definition, Process Composer, thresholds, monitors, retrievers, etc.

  • SAP Integration: SAP RFC, function modules, etc.

Pre-requisite Requirements

To facilitate the implementation of this automation solution, the following criteria were fulfilled:

  • Configuration of SAP systems in IT-Conductor for monitoring

  • Creation of e-mail addresses in users' master record

  • Creation of SAP back-end admin user with user administration privileges

  • Creation of Robot User account in IT-Conductor

Deployment Process

The deployment process starts with getting the user details and checking them against the specified criteria for different user types. Following the initial verification, the workflow continues to check the user expiration date, set the user password, unlock the user account, and finally notify the user of the results.

User Unlock and Password Reset Process Definition

Figure 2: User Unlock and Password Reset Process Definition

Activity Details

  • Get User Details: This activity gets the username, email address, user’s expiration date, user type, user group, and lock reason, which could be any of the following: locked due to incorrect login attempts, locked locally by the administrator, locked globally by the administrator, or locked on “No password”. 

  • Check Type: This activity is an “If” condition that checks the user type obtained from the Get User Details step against the specified criteria for user types – A and S. 

  • Check Lock: This activity checks the user lock status whether it was locked due to incorrect login attempts, locked locally by the Administrator, or locked globally by the administrator. The outcome of this check will determine the path of subsequent steps. 

  • Check Expiration: This activity checks the user expiration date.  

  • Set User Password: This activity resets the user password by creating an initial password that comprises all the characters in the password policy. 

  • Unlock User: This activity involves unlocking the user. 

  • Notify User/Admin on Unlocked: This activity notifies the user of the initial password upon successful unlock. 

  • Notify User/Admin on Error: This activity notifies the user of an unexpected error.  

  • Notify User/Admin on Expired: This activity notifies the user if the account can't be unlocked due to password expiration/expired validity date. 

  • Notify User/Admin on Locked: This activity notifies the user in cases where the account cannot be unlocked due to it being in an expired state or having been manually locked by the administrator.

SAP Autopassword reset from IT-Conductor has allowed Lakeland Diaries IT to redirect effort away from the cumbersome yet necessary task of user password resets. While giving users and management confidence that the necessary SAP security policies are adhered to, without slowing down the business, 24/7.

- Gerard Quinn, SAP Systems Manager, Lakeland Dairies

Benefits Delivered

Below are several benefits of automating the process of SAP user unlock and password reset:

  • Time Efficiency: This user unlock/password reset automation solution significantly reduces the time required to unlock user accounts and reset passwords. This leads to faster issue resolution and improved user experience. 

  • 24/7 Availability: This automation solution by IT-Conductor enables round-the-clock availability for user unlock and password reset requests, improving service availability and reducing the impact of locked accounts on business operations. 

  • Compliance Adherence: This automation solution enforces password policies and ensures that security compliance requirements are consistently met, minimizing potential compliance risks. 

  • Consistency: This automation solution ensures that the recovery processes follow predefined workflows, maintaining a consistent and standardized approach to user unlock and password reset tasks. 

  • Audit Trail: IT-Conductor automation generates detailed logs and audit trails of all actions performed, aiding in accountability, troubleshooting, and compliance audits. 

  • Scalability: This automation solution is easily scalable to handle increased user demands without proportional increases in human resources. 

  • Resource Allocation: The Lakeland Dairies IT team can allocate resources to more strategic projects and initiatives that contribute directly to business growth. 

  • Cost Savings: This solution will help reduce manual efforts which can lead to decreased operational costs, as fewer resources are required for routine tasks.

In essence, this automation solution represents a transformative stride in reshaping the operational landscape of Landscape Dairies. The automation solution not only expedites account reactivations but also redefines the role of IT personnel, freeing them to make more impactful contributions to the company's advancement. With reduced administrative burden, heightened security, and streamlined processes, Lakeland Dairies is positioned to thrive in a more agile, secure, and productive environment.