The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL) represents the governmental, professional and employer-related interests of Sweden’s 290 municipalities and 20 county councils/regions. Its members employ 1.1 million people, which makes SKL the largest employer organization in Sweden.
SKL’s work means it collaborates extensively outside its own organization, through regular dialog with the government, Riksdagen (Swedish Parliament), government agencies, the EU, and other key organizations. IT plays a vital role in this and SKL contributes to 400 different networks where people all over Sweden can collaborate on specific projects, e.g. city planning or healthcare. SKL maintains a project base which currently holds 1,200 projects with 25,000 users.
SKL used a McAfee identity and access solution to manage its users, but this particular solution was set up for internal users and couldn’t easily extend to include the external base, as Jörgen Sandström, Head of section, Digitization division, at SKL, explains: “We wanted to collaborate via web services, single sign-on, and through social collaboration, but our identity and access solution really couldn’t support this vision. Our internal users were reasonably well catered for, but we wanted to provide federated access to the 25,000 project base users, and ultimately to the 1.1 million people employed by our members. This could be a perfect eLearning platform for them. Our aim was to find a platform-neutral solution and we worked with our consulting partner B-IQ to find this.”
Various solutions were evaluated and Micro Focus provided the best fit for SKL, as Joakim Ganse, Partner at B-IQ, explains: “We looked at SKL’s vision of leveraging digital channels and social collaboration and found that it mapped very neatly onto Micro Focus’s vision of the digital world we all operate in. The Micro Focus solutions are platform-neutral and the flexibility in pricing and licensing convinced us it was the right solution for SKL.”
NetIQ Identity Manager and NetIQ Access Manager™ were configured to provide the same functionality as the previous solution initially, but designed so that usage could easily be expanded. The new solution was implemented by application, most of which are web-based. HR was one of the first user groups with Identity Manager used to complete all the user attributes which Access Manager requires to determine user access levels.
Some of the external user audiences are now also included in the new identity and access solution. Healthcare workers access the SKL system on a monthly basis to conduct analysis on healthcare-specific statistics, such as waiting times in ERs; waiting times for an operation etc. HR professionals conduct their own analysis based on statistics from their peers. These user groups gain access to the SKL system through an OTP (One Time Password) module provided in NetIQ Advanced Authentication. As they don’t access the system daily, the risk of losing their password is high and an OTP policy works well for these audiences. As part of their log-in process, a password is emailed to them. Healthcare professionals often cannot use their mobile phones in the workplace and so email is more efficient than SMS in this particular user group. Up to 5,000 users access the SKL system periodically in this way.
Passwords for internal users are managed through NetIQ Self Service Password Reset with password synchronization from Identity Manager to Access Manager. Although functional right now, the roll-out is phased and once this is complete it will save much time in manual helpdesk password resets.
Even in its early stages, the project is already paying dividends, as observed by Sandström: “The Micro Focus solution is so much more flexible. We can add new features really easily and quickly. We used to depend on our HR department to disable user accounts. There was only one way to do this and the account would be gone forever. We now have the option to manage this through either HR or an IT administrator and can choose to put an account on hold or delete it.”
Ganse adds: “Maintenance was a big issue and this has really been simplified with the new system. We designed it very well so that it will be easy to maintain and achieve efficiencies.”
Sandström concludes: “We feel ready for the future with our Micro Focus solution and appreciate that Micro Focus took the time to understand our requirements, both now and in the future, and worked with us to find the best and most cost-effective solution for us.”
We looked at SKL’s vision of leveraging digital channels and social collaboration and found that it mapped very neatly onto Micro Focus’s vision of the digital world we all operate in.
We feel ready for the future with our Micro Focus solution and appreciate that Micro Focus took the time to understand our requirements, both now and in the future, and worked with us to find the best and most cost-effective solution for us.