02 Dec 2021 Municipality of ’s-Hertogenbosch unlocks data in a secure and pragmatic manner with new Managed File Transfer solution
Data plays an increasingly important role in our society. This requires a variety of measures to deal with this, to process and store data, and to protect it. Managed File Transfer (MFT) is a solution for the secure transfer of sensitive and large files, as well as the exchange of incoming and outgoing files. By encrypting, automating and securely sending data with the new MFT solution, the municipality of ’s-Hertogenbosch complies with data security laws and regulations, while optimising existing services with the available data.
By Jaimie van de Braak
Inadequate Managed File Transfer software
The municipality of ’s-Hertogenbosch aims to collect data from various systems and applications, process it, and then make it available to its business intelligence (BI) environment. “We want to ensure that the data in our systems is not only used for our primary processes and applications, but also to work in a data-driven way”, says Paddy Verberne, Change Management Advisor at the municipality of ’s-Hertogenbosch. “As a municipality we have an increasing amount of data at our disposal with which we can improve our services. Because that is what it is all about: providing citizens and businesses, our customers, good value for their money.”
The municipality’s file transfer software was outdated and no longer met the requirements for data exchange. As a consequence, the API environment was used for this purpose, because it provides the link between the systems and the BI solution Cognos Analytics. However, the API environment was overloaded by the exchange of large data files. “Our API environment is not designed for file transfers”, Verberne explains. “The data exchange then takes far too long and we apply different security standards. Furthermore, we eventually want to get rid of point-in-time data, because that means looking back. We were experiencing serious issues: projects were failing because we needed data that we could not access in any reasonable way. So, we had to look for new file transfer software that would relieve the existing systems.”
Solution: GoAnywhere MFT via BlueFinch
Verberne: “Ultimately we want to move towards an environment where we can offer data using smart techniques and algorithms. But we wanted to move forward already. The integration layer enables us to exchange data synchronously and asynchronously, for example with other municipalities. We were only missing a good solution to bring in all the data.”
“We drew up a shortlist of three MFT solutions that best matched the systems and applications we already had, both functionally and technically”, Verberne continues. “And, of course, fit in with our security policy. One of those three solutions was GoAnywhere MFT and that is how we ended up at BlueFinch, the Dutch partner of GoAnywhere. We then started a Proof of Concept (PoC) with them, and it quickly became clear that the software met all of our wishes and requirements. It is a mature product with a gateway component for a secure connection to any platform and the possibility for file transfers according to the Zero Trust principle. Furthermore, the first contacts with BlueFinch were very pleasant. In the end, we decided to stick with GoAnywhere MFT.”
Up and running in no time with new MFT solution
One of the major advantages of GoAnywhere MFT is the ease of implementation. “Actually, it was almost boring”, Verberne laughs. “We had already sorted out all functional and technical wishes and requirements, and then we looked at the set-up of GoAnywhere MFT with the help of BlueFinch specialists. After the PoC we set up the acceptance and production environments together with two engineers from BlueFinch within a day. The result: a pragmatic solution to access data, that met our requirements for manageability, continuity, and safety. After going live, we immediately started to use the MFT solution to support our projects.”
What results have been achieved?
Verberne: “For us, GoAnywhere MFT is a tool in our arsenal for handling all data requests within the organisation. We are now able to access and share data in a uniform way, according to our policy. Our people involved in business intelligence can once again make good use of all available data, thereby improving the processes and products we have. Because ultimately, everything we do as a municipality is for our customers: the citizens and businesses of ’s-Hertogenbosch. They have no choice but to purchase certain products and services from us. They are entitled to the best service possible and our new MFT solution helps us to do so.”
The value of an MFT solution in Common Ground
Municipalities are working together on a modern way of exchanging data, including technology: Common Ground. A good MFT solution can undoubtedly support this. “A lot of data is still siloed and belongs to specific processes”, Verberne explains. “But you want to make the link between data, processes and applications much looser than is currently the case, so that data can be shared more easily. This will always necessitate the use of a facility such as MFT. In order to handle our data in a different, more flexible manner, we are moving towards open standards, good data security, authentication, and authorisation. However, as municipalities and suppliers, we still have some work to do in this area.”
BlueFinch as a competent ICT partner
“We live in a world where business is becoming increasingly transactional”, says Verberne. “But with the purchase of a software solution, which is often a complex process, I still prefer a long-term relationship with the supplier. And we experience that feeling in our collaboration with BlueFinch. Is there a problem? Then we have a problem together. BlueFinch is a capable ICT partner in this regard. The lines are short and the specialists collaborate with us not only technically, but also organizationally. As a result, we were able to achieve our goal in no time: a modern solution for Managed File Transfer that allows us to access data safely.”
If you would like to learn more about how BlueFinch can help your organisation protect its sensitive data and about our Data Security Suite? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and take a look at our solutions.