Customer support team

Always playing catch-up with your locally hosted proxy service?

06 November 2023 • Michael Smith, marketing officer

If it's becoming a problem, we've got the complete solution.

Providing students and staff with reliable, easy access to digital resources is a cornerstone of every organization’s library user experience strategy. 

But as every librarian knows, user expectations keep on growing. The locally hosted proxy solution that seemed fantastic a while ago can look lackluster compared with newer, better arrivals on the scene. 

Chasing a runaway horse?

With a proxy service, as authorization is only done using an IP address, library patrons must log into each publisher’s website separately to make use of personalization features. Once accepted as inevitable, now this is simply annoying.  

The whole user experience is worsened when individuals spend time finding a link only to discover that the proxy configuration is broken. This often generates an increase in support tickets, increasing the burden on library staff. Spending time each day debugging publisher websites and reconfiguring your locally hosted proxy can feel like chasing a runaway horse. 

Take back the reins with a managed proxy service

As authorization continues to be carried out using an IP address, the need to create and sign-in to separate accounts on each publisher website for personalization remains the same. 

Migrating to a managed proxy solution makes it easier to offer a great user experience. Fewer broken links, fewer support tickets, and we manage the proxy configuration (proxy stanzas), allowing you to focus on the important things. 

The OpenAthens managed proxy is an out-of-the-box cloud-hosted solution. It is configured and managed day-to-day by our specialist staff in multiple locations around the world.

Fit for the future

A cloud hosted managed proxy is a huge step forward. Federated access is an even bigger leap, giving learners and researchers the best possible user experience. For example, a publisher offering federated access can develop a fully anonymized personal profile for each user, based on the interests suggested by the searches they’ve made. While personal data is always fully protected, publishers can help people make new discoveries and connections by suggesting related content. And users can save their searches, bookmark content and make annotations. 

Not all publishers offer federated access yet. But, as it helps them improve both reach and security it’s inevitable that they will, in growing numbers. It makes sense, then, to be ready for the future and implementing the OpenAthens complete solution puts you ahead of the curve. It means you can implement a cloud hosted managed proxy and a federated solution straight away, leaving it to us to manage day-to-day updates. We’ll also tackle the bigger changes as more publishers transition to federated access. 

OpenAthens is unique in offering a complete solution of this kind. As we support both federated single sign-on and proxied access, as a customer you can connect to thousands of publishers worldwide. The OpenAthens complete solution is easy to implement, and integrating seamlessly with your local directories enables true single sign-on, allowing your users to gain access to content with one set of credentials. We provide an implementation specialist with each set-up and there’s always help on hand from our support desk and active user community. 

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