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DoveLewis online training

Snappier online training experience for vets –thanks to OpenAthens Keystone

Cloud-based single sign-on (SSO) helps veterinary professionals access online training content more seamlessly on the specialist channel

online training at DoveLewis

When it comes to sharing best practice in the veterinary sector, sometimes it pays to have a camera in the room. That way, vets and other professionals can learn from complex veterinary challenges first hand via online training.

DoveLewis, a US-based veterinary teaching hospital, created – a video training channel that gives vets, technicians, managers and associated professionals a hands-on, unscripted view of specialist procedures and practice.


The business challenge, for DoveLewis, is to keep clients happy by ensuring that the process of signing in to is as streamlined as possible.

Acting in response to a client suggestion, it looked for a single sign-on (SSO) solution which would mean users only have to use credentials of their home organisation – improving the experience for users.

“We didn’t want login and access to be an impediment to day-to-day practice,” says Tess Payne, director of marketing at DoveLewis. “It’s about respecting the user and improving the experience.”

A cloud-based solution: Keystone from OpenAthens

After initial difficulty in implementing single sign-on using SAML – the technology on which federated access management is based – DoveLewis turned to OpenAthens for a simpler answer: Keystone.

The lightweight Keystone solution offers cloud-based access management – simplifying implementation of SSO. Working with a third-party consultant, DoveLewis was able to implement a solution within just three months.

This helped DoveLewis to move forward. “I appreciate expediency on a project,” says Tess. “It helps keep energy up – and avoids languishing in analysis paralysis.”

One of the reasons for the smooth implementation was OpenAthens’s ability to understand DoveLewis’s needs. “From day one, they were helpful and never made me feel stupid for asking technical questions. From a customer service standpoint, OpenAthens were exceptional.”

Benefit: a better sign-in experience for users

For Tess, the most important benefit of OpenAthens Keystone was that it relieved a roadblock to access for users. “Users are able to sign into the network once, and don’t have to log in with us again,” she says.

As a result, is able to meet user expectations of having immediate access to the online training tools they need – without having to remember multiple log-ins.

For example, users are already used to logging in to multiple apps via thumbprint on their phones, so they can expect a similarly seamless experience in other contexts.

“If you’d asked me a few years ago: ‘How much of a roadblock is logging in?’ I’m sure you’d have had a different answer,” she says. “But simple things make a difference.”

 Lesson learned: innovation is continuous

From a marketing point of view, Tess says that DoveLewis has learned about the importance of continuous innovation.

“Just because we hit ‘go’ on a project, doesn’t mean we’re done learning,” she says. “We’re trying to be as nimble and open-minded as possible – and that includes responding to clients and understanding the user experience.”

In future, she says, SSO could play more of a role in DoveLewis’s internal systems. “The act of putting in a username and password seems like small potatoes – but I would not be surprised if we used SSO one day.”

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