El Prat de Llobregat is a municipality in the province of Barcelona with a population of 65,000 inhabitants. The staff of the city council consists of 800 people, and in a first phase the Awingu workspace has been implemented to manage the telework of 50 of them.
Like most of the city councils, the one of el Prat de Llobregat had to implement new systems to cope with the need to telework due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In this case, like in many other city councils and companies, the process had to be done quickly and immediately, since the measures imposed by the Government required an imminent confinement.
Remote access within municipalities
For the Municipality of El Prat de Llobregat, like many other public administrations, the digital signature is something necessary in their day-to-day work. The town hall had to make a rapid evolution to be able to provide access to the usual applications and digital signature remotely and securely.
“Using more traditional tactics like VPNs for example, is more complicated and not the best way to maintain high levels of security,” explains Adrián Russo Gallo, General Manager of Indigo, IT partner of the Municipality of Prat de Llobregat:
That is why, when the Municipality of Prat de Llobregat presented its need to Indigo, Awingu was one of the candidates for a proof of concept.
Adrián Russo Gallo had known Awingu for many years, he was aware of the potential and innovative nature of the solution, but the solution was still at an early stage at a commercial level and still lacked expansion at a business level. The product was released in 2014, and at that time the demand was not quite clear. However, there were small occasions the years before, where Awingu was one of the proposed solutions. “I would say that Awingu today is the benchmark for remote desktop solutions, remote applications, … in every aspect!”
Indigo did proofs of concept in which different solutions were assessed, including Awingu’s. During the tests, since they wanted to meet all the requirements proposed by the municipality, the other solutions were gradually discarded, leaving Awingu, in which they saw numerous advantages: from the most technological part to the adaptability, security, speed of implementation, simplicity, … and a very important factor: the cost, which provides sustainability in the future. After the successful POC, technology partner Indigo bought the Awingu licenses for the municipality via the Spanish distributor MCR.
Flexibility, simplicity, and cost-effectiveness as key benefits
From the implementer’s point of view, one of Awingu’s advantages is that it is an integrator, highlighting aspects such as adaptability, rapid implementation, and its intuitive nature. That allowed the municipality to integrate certain heavy solutions from different vendors very easily. “With Awingu we found the perfect balance,” Adrian tells us.
Other advantages are the possibility of integration with Active Directory and MFA (multi-factor authentication), which is already included in the platform itself. They didn’t count on the latter, so they were grateful to have this added advantage: “It’s not that you have to integrate another MFA, because it’s already part of the product. However, if you want to integrate another one, you can do it too, because there is no impediment. Whatever you want, it fits – a great improvement!“
Another important factor is that thanks to Awingu’s adaptability, the Municipality of El Prat de Llobregat was able to set up the solution on-premise. This flexibility was not available with other solutions and was very important for the town hall: “With other solutions it is extremely more expensive to be able to do it on premise. In terms of cloud solutions, maybe there’s not that much difference, but when we set up on premise, the difference is huge.”
Another critical point had been to be able to do the digital signature, which is so important in a public administration. Fortunately, it was also possible to do it within Awingu.
Also, we can’t forget, as mentioned by Joan de la Paz, SiTIC services responsible of the municipality, that entities different from the town halls (such as sport centers, manors, etc.) are normally managed by outsourced companies or enterprises under concession with their own IT infrastructures. In this scenario, Awingu has been the perfect gateway to keep the high levels of security and control requested by the client, giving connection between the different entities under concession and their IT policies.
The advantages of Awingu not only for municipalities, but also for private companies. “If they do a good study of the technical and economic feasibility and the implementation time, Awingu will be the clear winner,” explains Adrián.
Next steps with Awingu
Users have certainly been very satisfied. Currently, the city council is in the first phase of implementation and will soon continue its deployment until it reaches 800 users.
Now, it is only used for teleworking, but later on, they are going to expand the project. It has been a change of philosophy and that took some time, because it is a big adaptation. Furthermore, usability has improved thanks to Awingu.
In conclusion, flexibility, speed of implementation and cost were the main reasons why Municipality of El Prat de Llobregat, together with the partner Indigo, chose Awingu to enable remote working within the public administration.