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To enable secure communication via smartphones, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) connected a standardised, secure mobile communication solution to its Novell GroupWise infrastructure.

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About German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is headquartered in Bonn and develops the guidelines and the fundamental concepts on which German development policy is based. The BMZ employs approximately 750 people, of whom some 85 are based in different countries worldwide.

Challenge

Many top officials at the BMZ travel frequently, to speak at conferences and to represent the ministry at different meetings and events. In today’s connected world, personal information management is an important aspect of mobile communication. The ministry’s senior staff need to stay on top of their busy schedules and be able to arrange and confirm appointments quickly and directly, no matter if they are in their offices or on the move in Berlin, Brussels, or at other locations around the world.

In the past, officials could not access their calendar, emails or address book when they were not in the office. They always had to ask people to send requests via email and then sort it out in the office later, or ask their assistants to check their availability.

This made communication and information management complicated and slow.

Novell's Solution

To connect top personnel on the move to its central communication and collaboration systems, the BMZ needed to find a solution in line with the high security and data protection requirements set out by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). In coordination with BSI, T-Systems and Novell, the BMZ deployed “Sichere Mobile Kommunikation” (SiMKo2), a solution developed by T- Systems that implements the standards defined by the BSI. SiMKo2 enables secure data exchange with mobile handsets; all data stored on the customised and certified handsets is encrypted.

The BMZ has been relying on Novell technology for many years. As a ministry with staff all around the world, the BMZ needs 24/7 availability of its collaboration solution. To achieve this, the ministry also implemented Novell GroupWise&#reg; as a mirrored cluster solution across two data centres.

Mission-critical servers at the BMZ run Novell Open Enterprise Server. Directory and user authentication are based on NetIQ eDirectory™ and NetIQ Identity Manager. The BMZ deployed Novell ZENworks Configuration Management for software distribution to keep all desktops up to date and secure.

Working with Novell Consulting, the BMZ connected the SiMKo2 solution to its Novell GroupWise collaboration software. After careful planning and preparation in two workshops, the Novell team implemented Novell Data Synchronizer. Within less than 20 working hours, the ministry’s collaboration system was connected to the SiMKo2 secure communication system. The BMZ then rolled out the SiMKo2 devices to 50 of its top officials.

Results

The implementation of SiMKo2 in combination with Novell Data Synchronizer and Novell GroupWise allows the BMZ to provide a complete and secure mobile personal information management solution to top representatives.

“This is the first secure smartphone infrastructure that passes all security tests required for use within government institutions,” said Jörg Hadameck, IT Security Officer at the BMZ. “Having the SiMKo2 standard solution and being able to access our Novell GroupWise collaboration system is a quantum leap for us and other ministries in Germany.”

Not only can staff access emails, calendars and notes, but the solution is also certified for access to classified information. All documents marked for restricted use, classification level VS-NfD, can be viewed and processed on SiMKo2 smartphones.

“We are very satisfied with our Novell systems,” said Hadameck. “Over the years, Novell technology has proven to be a very secure and reliable solution. That’s exactly what we need to provide protected services and applications to all 750 people working at the BMZ worldwide.”

With this new solution, BMZ’s top officials benefit from secure mobile access to important information through a user-friendly portable device. SiMKo2 was rolled out to a number of other ministries and 5,000 devices were deployed by T-Systems altogether.

“We are currently preparing a pilot project for SiMKo3, the next generation of the secure mobile communication solution,” said Hadameck. “Based on our positive experience with SiMKo2, we expect to expand our implementation by deploying up to 100 smartphones connected to Novell GroupWise.”

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GERMAN FEDERAL MINISTRY FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT AT A GLANCE:

Develops the guidelines and the fundamental concepts on which German development policy is based

Industry:

Government

Location:

Germany

Products:

Data Synchronizer

GroupWise

Novell Identity Manager

Open Enterprise Server

ZENworks Configuration Management

Results:

  • Enabled secure access to emails, calendar and classified information from smartphones
  • Improved mobile communication and made arranging meetings with top officials easier
  • Implemented all relevant standards for secure communication defined by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI)

"This is the first secure smartphone infrastructure that passes all security tests required for use within government institutions. Having the SiMKo2 standard solution and being able to access our Novell GroupWise collaboration system is a quantum leap for us and other ministries in Germany."

JÖRG HADAMECK
IT SECURITY OFFICER
GERMAN FEDERAL MINISTRY FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT

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