Unicon: Building Custom, Responsive, and Scalable Infrastructure

Obert C. Bowen, Chairman & CEO
Although open source has become the defacto way of building software today, challenges like access security, personalization, and information security dot the open source landscape. Nullifying those challenges, Unicon, headquartered in Gilbert, AZ, provides software engineering, systems integration, and technology solutions for optimization of open source enterprise software and education technology. Unicon specializes in using open source technologies to deliver flexible and cost-effective systems in the areas of identity and access management, student access, mobile computing, learning management systems, portals, online video, calendaring, email, and collaboration. “Unicon solutions are based on open source and community source technologies to increase productivity, while keeping developmental costs low,” says Robert C. Bowen, Chairman and CEO of Unicon.

Unicon’s open source software eliminates licensing fees and puts an end to vendor lock-in, offering control and flexibility with community-derived upgrades and enhancements. “Unicon’s line of open source solutions includes Central Authentication Service (CAS), Drupal platform, and Sakai,” adds Bowen. CAS provides a web single sign-on technology to create a secure way for users to access multiple services. Unicon offers integration consulting to assist with conversion of applications on a variety of web platforms to use CAS for authentication. Moreover, Unicon's consulting services focus on helping organizations and institutions leverage Drupal as the core platform for delivering content and applications on the web. Sakai, an innovative platform for teaching, learning, and research with its Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment (CLE) provides powerful and flexible tools to enhance online teaching. Unicon relies on software engineering and systems integration expertise to offer consulting and custom development services.

With its open source solutions, Unicon has delivered incremental growth and solutions to negate IT business challenges faced by many organizations across the U.S. A case-in-point is of Columbia University who faced the need for accessing data securely and collaborating in the cloud.
At that point, Google Apps was gaining tremendous popularity among higher education institutions and Columbia University focused on Google Apps. They wanted to extend their local proprietary Web Single Sign-On (WebSSO) system called WIND to the cloud. However, they decided to consider a more standard-based approach that offered the promise of less development, and faster deployments, and they focused on the Central CAS, an open source WebSSO application. Columbia engaged Unicon to leverage their expertise in enterprise WebSSO and CAS. Together, they worked out a plan to extend CAS with a customization that would allow their existing home-grown system to continue working, allowing a more reasonable migration plan. Unicon extended the CAS server to speak WIND protocol so that their existing WIND clients could migrate to the CAS server with a simple configuration change. This paved the way for deploying CAS for Google Apps and ensured they had a robust WebSSO platform that could span from local to cloud.


Unicon solutions are based on open source and community source technologies to increase productivity, while keeping developmental costs low


Collaborating with authentication solution providers, Unicon along with Duo Security, a cloud-based security access provider, recently released a multifactor authentication solution for Shibboleth 3.x IDP. This extension allows universities and colleges to implement an extra layer of security for the protection of application and resources. “Unicon’s involvement in this extension exhibits its commitment to open source and the community of institutions that invests in adding an extra layer of security to protect sensitive resources. A collaboration we will continue to develop in the coming years,” concludes Bowen.

Company
Unicon

Headquarters
Gilbert, AZ

Management
Obert C. Bowen, Chairman & CEO

Description
Specializes in using open source technologies to deliver flexible and cost-effective systems in the areas of identity and access management, student access, mobile computing, and learning management systems.