Iceland Government enhances knowledge-sharing and collaboration with a Lotus and WebSphere solution from Nyherji

Published on 14-Jan-2010

Validated on 13 Jan 2014

"The time it takes to set up a new employee has been reduced by more than 65 percent – so the workload for IT staff is significantly lower, and the users get access to the systems and resources they need more quickly." - Guðmundur H. Kjærnested, IT Manager, Iceland Government

Customer:
Iceland Government

Industry:
Government

Deployment country:
Iceland

Solution:
Empowering People, Information Integration, Optimizing IT, Optimizing IT, Service Management

IBM Business Partner:
Nyherji

Overview

Iceland is arguably the world’s oldest parliamentary democracy: its current parliament, the Althing, was founded in 1845 as a re-establishment of an older democratic assembly originally founded in AD 930. Today, the Althing has 63 members; the government has 12 ministries, and many semi-autonomous committees are responsible for all central policy and legislation governing the country’s 319,000 citizens.

Business need:
The Iceland Government wanted to find a way to improve communication and collaboration within and between ministries and committees by uniting different tools and sources of information into a single online platform.

Solution:
Nyherji, an IBM Premier Business Partner, helped the Iceland Government design a solution based on IBM WebSphere Portal, providing access to IBM Lotus Domino email and applications such as GoPro, as well as IBM Lotus Quickr document management and collaboration tools. IBM Tivoli Identity Manager provides automated user provisioning and management across all these systems.

Benefits:
With a single platform providing access to information and core systems, government employees and committee-members are better informed and can work more productively. Storing confidential documents in Lotus Quickr increases security and reduces the risk of losing data. Tivoli Identity Manager automation reduces time taken to set up new users by more than 65 percent.

Case Study

To read an Icelandic version of this case study, click here.

Iceland is arguably the world’s oldest parliamentary democracy: its current parliament, the Althing, was founded in 1845 as a re-establishment of an older democratic assembly originally founded in AD 930. Today, the Althing has 63 members; the government has 12 ministries, and many semi-autonomous committees are responsible for all central policy and legislation governing the country’s 319,000 citizens.

To help government employees, committee-members and parliamentarians share information more effectively and work more productively, the government decided to review and examine the IT landscape, looking for opportunities to improve communication and co-operation.

“We had a situation where each ministry had its own systems, and information was stored in a variety of different places, with little standardisation,” explains Guðmundur H. Kjærnested, IT Manager for the Iceland Government. “Sometimes committees' documents were even stored on people’s PCs, so there was little security and no proper backup. It could also be difficult for employees of one ministry to find out what was going on in the others, so opportunities for cooperation and knowledge-sharing were often lost.
“We wanted to solve all these issues by building a single portal that would act as a central repository for all information and documents, and would provide tools to help people collaborate more effectively.”

Selecting the best integration platform
The Government IT team analysed the requirements and asked its three main IT vendors to submit proposals for such a portal. As well as creating an integrated collaboration platform, the team was looking for proposals that would also address security and confidentiality concerns.

“We wanted a solution that was flexible enough to integrate with all our main systems: our Lotus Notes and Domino email, our GoPro case management application, which also runs on the Lotus Domino server, and ultimately our Oracle Business Suite applications too,” says Guðmundur H. Kjærnested.

“Nyherji, our IBM Business Partner, made a proposal based on IBM WebSphere Portal, IBM Lotus Quickr, IBM Lotus Sametime, Tivoli Access Manager and IBM Tivoli Identity Manager, which seemed like it would fully meet our requirements, so we asked them to help us a set up a pilot to prove it.”

Moving to full-scale deployment
The pilot was very successful, demonstrating portal capabilities, extensive collaboration functionality and strong identity and security features, so the IT team decided to go ahead with a full-scale implementation for 700 users, including government employees and committee-members.

“A project team from IBM and Nyherji set up the software, developed the portal to our specifications and rolled it out to the first ministry within a few months,” says Guðmundur H. Kjærnested. “The other 11 ministries followed soon afterwards. Nyherji displayed excellent project management skills, ensuring that the whole project was completed within the time-frame we defined. Our close relationship with Nyherji was a huge advantage: they understand how we work, and we can almost treat them as a part of our own team, rather than an external company.”

Collaborating securely on the Web
The solution uses IBM WebSphere Portal to create a single online platform that gives users easy access to their Lotus Domino email and applications such as GoPro via a standard Web browser. The portal leverages IBM Lotus Quickr to provide document management capabilities and other Web 2.0 collaboration tools such as blogs, wikis and discussion forums.

“The combination of WebSphere Portal and Lotus Quickr is particularly valuable for our committee members,” says Guðmundur H. Kjærnested. “They are often not government employees, so they don’t have access to the same resources as our own staff; but at the same time, they do important government work and often deal with sensitive or confidential information.

“The new solution gives them access to online workspaces where they can store documents securely and find them easily. They can also collaborate with each other online in ways that just weren’t possible before – which is important because they do not work together full-time, and may not see each other except at committee meetings.”

Securing data and identity
IBM Tivoli Identity Manager has also been deployed to simplify user management across the whole infrastructure. When a new employee joins the government, the HR team accesses a portlet that allows them to input the relevant information about which office they will be working in, whether they need a PC or a BlackBerry, and which systems they should be able to access via the portal. This information is then directed via automated workflows to the appropriate channels, and user accounts are created in Lotus Notes and Domino, Microsoft Active Directory and other systems.

“The automation provided by Tivoli Identity Manager is an excellent example of how the new solution makes life easier for users and for the IT department,” comments Guðmundur H. Kjærnested. “The time it takes to set up a new employee has been reduced by more than 65 percent – so the workload for IT staff is significantly lower, and the users get access to the systems and resources they need more quickly.”

The team is also using IBM Tivoli Access Manager to provide single sign-on for the portal – so users only have to remember one password to access all the systems they need. In the near future, the government hopes to introduce keycard-based authentication, which will allow employees to access the portal securely even when they are not in the office. This will promote workplace flexibility, and enable many users to work from home.

Creating tomorrow’s Iceland
With the IBM solution, the Iceland Government now has a single technology platform that will be easier to develop and extend in the future. Instead of different ministries building systems on different technologies, the central IT team will now use Lotus Notes and Domino and WebSphere Portal as the basis for all new development work. This should help to simplify integration and reduce the costs of IT maintenance and support.

Guðmundur H. Kjærnested concludes: “Nyherji has provided a comprehensive solution, built on a suite of fully integrated IBM software, that meets the needs of government users and committee members while also reducing administrative workload for the IT team.

“We plan to keep extending the solution – for example, to integrate our Oracle Business Suite applications – and we are confident that Nyherji will continue to provide excellent advice and help us develop highly innovative technical solutions that deliver real benefit to the government and people of Iceland.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
WebSphere Portal, Lotus Quickr, Tivoli Identity Manager, IBM Domino

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2010 IBM Danmark A/S Nymøllevej 91 2800 Kgs. Lyngby Denmark Produced in Iceland January 2010 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Domino, Lotus, Notes, Quickr, Tivoli and WebSphere are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at: ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. IBM and Nyherji are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Nyherji makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.