Municipality of ‘s-Hertogenbosch unlocks data in secure and pragmatic way with new Managed File Transfer solution
‘s-Hertogenbosch colloquially known as Den Bosch , is a city and municipality in the Netherlands with a population of 157,486. It is the capital of the province of North Brabant and its fourth largest by population. The city is south of the Maas river and near the Waal.
Data plays an increasing role in our society. This requires various measures to deal with it, process and store data, but certainly also protect it. Managed File Transfer (MFT) is the solution for secure transfer of sensitive and large files and incoming and outgoing file exchanges. By encrypting, automating and securely transmitting data with the new MFT solution, the municipality of ‘s-Hertogenbosch complies with laws and regulations in the field of data security while optimizing existing services with the available data.
The municipality of ‘s-Hertogenbosch aims to collect, process and submit data from various systems and applications to its business intelligence (BI) environment. “We want to make sure that the data in our systems is not only used for our primary processes and applications, but also to work data-driven,” says Paddy Verberne, Change Management Advisor at the municipality of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. “As a municipality, we have more and more data at our disposal, which we can use to improve our services. Because that’s what it’s all about: that citizens and businesses, our customers, get value for money.”
The file transfer software the municipality was using was outdated and no longer met the needs and requirements for data exchange. Subsequently, the API environment was used for this purpose because it provides the link between the systems and the BI solution Cognos Analytics. Only the API environment was overloaded with the exchange of large data files. “Our API environment is not set up for file transfers,” says Verberne. “The exchange of data then takes far too long and we use different security standards for that. Moreover, we wanted to get rid of point-in-time data, because that means looking back. We want real-time insights, so we can manage on current data. The need was high: projects were failing because we needed data that we couldn’t access in any decent way. So we had to look for new file transfer software that would offload the existing systems.”
Verberne: “Eventually we want to move toward an environment where we can offer data using smart techniques and algorithms. But we already wanted to move forward now. Through the integration layer we can exchange data synchronously and asynchronously, for example with other municipalities. We were still missing a good solution to bring in all the data.”
“We drew up a shortlist that included three MFT solutions that fit best both functionally and technically with the systems and applications we already had,” Verberne continues. “And, of course, matched our security policy. One of those three solutions was GoAnywhere MFT, and that’s how we ended up with BlueFinch-ESBD, GoAnywhere’s Dutch partner. We then started a Proof of Concept (PoC) with them, from which it became clear to us that the software met all our needs and requirements. It is a mature product with a gateway component for secure connection to any platform and the possibility for file transfers according to the Zero Trust principle. Moreover, the initial contacts with BlueFinch-ESBD were very pleasant. Ultimately, therefore, we continued with GoAnywhere MFT.”
One of the big advantages of GoAnywhere MFT is the ease of implementation. “Actually, it was boring,” laughs Verberne. “We had already figured out all the functional and technical wishes and requirements, and then we looked at setting up GoAnywhere MFT together with BlueFinch’s specialists. After the PoC, together with two engineers from BlueFinch, we set up the acceptance and production environment within a day. The result: a pragmatic solution to unlock data, which met our requirements in terms of manageability, continuity and security. After going live, we therefore immediately started using the MFT solution to get our projects back on track.”Welke resultaten zijn behaald?
Says Verberne, “For us, GoAnywhere MFT is a weapon in our arsenal for all data requests within the organization. We now manage to access and share data in a uniform way according to our policies. Our business intelligence people can again make good use of all available data and thereby improve the processes and products we have. Because ultimately, as a municipality, we do it all for our customers: the citizens and businesses of the municipality of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. They have no choice but to purchase certain products and services from us. Then they also have a right to the best service and our new MFT solution helps us do that.”
Municipalities are jointly working on a modern way, including technology, for exchanging data: Common Ground. A good MFT solution can certainly support this. “A lot of data is still in silos and belongs to specific processes,” Verberne explains. “But you want to design that linkage between data, processes and applications much looser than is currently the case, so that you can share data between them more easily. That will always require a facility like MFT. We are shifting to open standards, good data security, authentication and authorization to deal with our data in a different, more flexible way. But in that area, we as municipalities and vendors still have some steps to take.”
“We live in a world where business is increasingly transactional,” Verberne says. “But when purchasing a software solution, which is often a complex process, I still prefer to go for a long-term relationship with the supplier. And we experience that feeling in our cooperation with BlueFinch-ESBD. Is there a problem? Then we have a problem together. In that respect BlueFinch-ESBD is a competent ICT partner. The lines are short and the specialists think along with us not only technically, but also organizationally. This is how we arrived at our goal in no time: a modern solution for Managed File Transfer, with which we can securely unlock data.”
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