The state capital, Wiesbaden is a pioneer when it comes to e-government: until the end of 2016, more than 880 users are successively converted to a fully electronic record keeping. For the successful implementation of the project "eAkte based service-oriented architectures" the project team had to firstly create the technical requirements of the IT infrastructure. They decided that Citrix technologies for provisioning centralized application will play a key role.
The future of management in Germany is digital. Federal, state and local authorities will in future be asked to electronically deliver more and more administrative services, in a user-friendly and more efficient way of communicating with its citizens and businesses.
The implementation of e-government initiatives had to overcome numerous obstacles: "The status quo is often still characterized by a lack of standardization and networking, organizational and staffing shortages and limited financial resources," explains Dr. Thomas Ortseifen, Speaker. "The experience so far is that even large-scale projects such as the introduction of an electronic records management are complex transformation processes. This has enormous impact on the processes within the administration and requires major changes to the infrastructure side."
The city council of the city of Wiesbaden launched in 2007 an IT laboratory to life, to holistically consider technical, organizational, human-social and other aspects of digital processes in the Administration Guide: What about the interoperability of the software and Hardware used? Which level of automation can be reached at individual administrative procedures? And how can implement qualification activities most effectively? With these and many other issues, the project team sat apart in the laboratory phase.
Specifically examined was the Office for Social Work, where about one third of the approximately 3,000 employees are employed at workstations. Each worker has 200 cases, so it became clear that the transition to an electronic records management would open up huge opportunities.
In addition to faster information flows, better search and analysis options and cost savings due to increased efficiency, a considerable reduction in space was required: In the archives for the Office for Social Work alone there are 230,000 pendulum files and an additional 8,000 folders on 8km of shelves. The 1,300 square meters room has reached its capacity.
The city of Wiesbaden therefore took the decision to gradually implement the project eAkte and a document management system based on EMC to introduce the electronic transaction processing. Until the end of 2016 more than 880 users are converted from various municipal organizational units to the new solution. "From a technical perspective, the complexity lies especially in the dependencies between the eAkte and the existing specialized procedures," explains Dr. Thomas Ortseifen.
To achieve this goal, the project team put together (with the IT partners T-Systems and the urban data center WIVERTIS) a centralized, service-oriented IT architecture. The Enterprise Service Bus controls and automates the solution to exchange data between the eAkten and applications such as SAP, GES-KA and CABS. The trade methods themselves were shifted to a Citrix XenApp server and are managed in the data center of the city.
"The centralization and virtualization of specialized procedures with Citrix technology was an important step in reducing the complexity of the solution and ensure high operability and availability of electronic records management," says Dr. Thomas Ortseifen.
The great advantage of Administrator view, for client applications like SAP GUI only the software needs to be serviced and kept up to date. The XenApp server farm itself is now completely virtualized and running on a VMware vSphere infrastructure. All virtual machines boot from a standardized master image that is provided on the Citrix Provisioning Services. So the administrators only needs to update the software with one server image and can quickly roll out across the whole of the environment. All servers on the XenApp environment are always on and are identical.
"When a single server fails, the virtual machines can take over. Since the entire infrastructure is spread across two geographically separate data centers, the failure of an entire data center can be covered temporarily," adds Dirk Niedernhausen, Citrix specialist in the project team.
The users who have already been converted in the past few months on the electronic transaction processing,can access all the necessary resources via the Citrix infrastructure central access. First log into your account to the XenApp environment, and then open the DMS client, which runs as a web application in a specially configured Internet Explorer. All other applications are started out of the electronic file and are running on the XenApp servers.
"We have completely decoupled eAkte from the terminal, and thus created the conditions for largely flexible, location-independent access scenarios," says Dr. Thomas Ortseifen "New users can be integrated very quickly. For final assembly only the Citrix Receiver has to be installed. And with Citrix NetScaler, we can continue to offer outside of our network secure access to electronic records."
The NetScaler appliances that were installed as a load balancer for the XenApp infrastructure in the data center of the state capital, are also able to secure web access to the surrounding area. With integrated SSL VPN functionality of Citrix NetScaler all communication between terminals and central servers is encrypted.
Project manager Dr. Thomas Ortseifen even thinks one step further: "Even the mobile access to the eAkte with different terminals will be the future for us. Already users would like to use their tablets or smartphones, for example, at court or during home visits at any time to have access to all relevant information."
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