For its roughly 125 IT users, the municipality of Stabroek was looking for a way to let their aldermen, chiefs of staff and employees work from anywhere on any device. As they are a local government, and thus handling a lot of confidential data (such as the National Register), security is key within their IT environment. ‘Basically, we’ve closed off the entire network from the outside world. However, we still wanted a safe way in, without running any risks’, says Laurent Grandgaignage (System Administrator, Municipality of Stabroek). ‘We found our solution with Awingu: just enter your login name, password and prove it’s you via their multi-factor authentication and you’re good to go – work anywhere as if you’re at the office.’

IT SECURITY AND COMBATTING SHADOW IT

In Stabroek, the aldermen typically combine their function with a full-time job. That implies that they cannot visit the office very often during opening hours, and they need to work at home, in the evenings. The staff chiefs, too, tend to work longer hours and continue their tasks in the evening. Those two groups often work with legacy applications that are only accessible via the network. With Awingu, they can log in to their unified workspace and use those applications: they’re running within the network, and are virtualized in an HTML5 environment in the browser. ‘That also helps us to combat shadow IT’, says Laurent. ‘It is not easy to defend our data against the WeTransfers of this world and to keep an overview of what documents are leaving our system, but we plan to actively use Awingu as a weapon against those practices. Not only can our people work with their files on any device without a security risk, but they can also share documents securely over our network and without third-party tools via the Awingu file sharing function, which you can restrict by network and time. That allows us to take another step towards GDPR compliance, as well!’

SMARTCARD SUPPORT AND EASE OF USE

‘The overall feedback is very positive, and people enjoy the ability to open the exact same workspace wherever they are,’ says Laurent. ‘That became even more obvious when our mayor Henri Frans was on a holiday when he suddenly (and rather urgently) had to approve some permits via his eID (electronic identity card). Instead of having to drive three hours back and forth to the town hall and back, he simply used Awingu and its smartcard compatibility to sign the documents. Awingu proved to be a real timesaver in that scenario.’

Awingu users in Stabroek would recommend the solution for its ease of use, as well. ‘After logging in – which is as straightforward as can be – people find their way in the workspace very easily’, Laurent says. ‘It is a really friendly interface, even for less tech-savvy people. Ever since our partner IT1 introduced us to the unified workspace, Awingu has clearly fixed a lot of our problems – many of which are typical for a local government setting. I strongly believe that Awingu could provide a solution to other municipalities and cities that are facing the same challenges.’

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