The Finnish Police wanted to better support crime fighters by standardizing and modernizing its infrastructure. It previously used dozens of local area networks that were inefficient and expensive to operate. The Finnish Police chose a solution based on Windows Server® 2003 and Active Directory® directory services for the migration. The police are now benefiting from a range of other Microsoft® technologies that offer additional business value and generate efficiencies.
The Finnish police enjoy a well-deserved reputation for excellence in combating crime and protecting the safety of citizens. In 2004, the force decided to standardize its service infrastructure, which had been using dozens of different local area network (LAN) services—including Novell and early versions of Microsoft Windows®. The force employs 140 IT workers responsible for 10,000 workstations and 10,000 police officers and civilian workers.
Johan Ekstrőm, Senior Planning Officer, says: “We wanted the same services and applications for every police officer at any workstation to save money through centralized management and provide round-the-clock security and reliability.” Previously, the LANs needed approximately 20 IT workers to manage a decentralized structure, but the police wanted to reduce the burden on managers and provide a centralized IT help desk of technical experts.
To support the project, the Finnish Police needed a specialized partner capable of transferring knowledge to its employees, a technical support agreement for the new technology implementation, and a low-cost volume licensing arrangement to make the standardization project cost effective. The agency also nurtured ambitions to improve internal communications through the use of new tools—such as real-time collaboration—and to embrace new ways of working for employees through shared workspaces.
The transfer to the new system posed a challenge because the migration needed to be completed by the end of 2005 to meet the targets set by police chiefs. “We needed a seamless migration to maintain continuity of support for our police officers,” Ekstrőm says. “The police have to be responsive to the public round the clock, without having to worry about technology outages.”
The IT upgrade was realized in cooperation with officials at the Ministry of Interior. After several assessments, the force chose a Microsoft infrastructure based on Windows Server 2003 with Active Directory directory services, Windows XP, and Microsoft Office Professional 2003 for the workstations. The flexibility and interoperability of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 R2 reduced the need for expensive third-party products.
“We chose Microsoft technologies because they were affordable, functional, and safe,” says Ekstrőm. “Our critical systems have to be available for police work round the clock without any downtime. We value the reliability of Microsoft solutions and the continuity of development they offer.”
The Finnish Police renewed its three-year Microsoft Enterprise Agreement at the end of 2005 with Premier Support and gained the benefit of a Microsoft Technical Account Manager to guide its IT people through the migration. Microsoft partner Atea Finland worked with experts from Microsoft Services on the architecture, which started with the basic infrastructure and then progressed to services offering added value.
By using Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003, the force achieved its goal of centralized management, while Microsoft Operations Management (MOM) Server 2005 was used for server management. “SMS was a huge step forward as regards information security,” says Ekstrőm. “SMS and MOM have freed up people who were previously committed to work station installations and maintenance tasks. They are now doing more strategic work better suited to their experience and expertise.”
Among the advanced solutions offering added value for the police is Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005, which can be used for managing information within the police service and for IM. Ekstrőm says: “We’re especially interested in the support we now have in our new infrastructure for more effective and flexible working by teams of information workers.”
The new IT environment gives the police a unified and standardized infrastructure that is secure, reliable, and available to police officers wherever they log in. Previously, 20 IT technicians were needed to support the decentralized network, but now only three are required. The new environment is freeing up highly qualified people and ensuring they can concentrate on more strategic work.
● Citizens benefit from more efficient policing because police officers and civilian workers have better IT support.
● Seamless migration to a new infrastructure without any downtime or disruption to police officers’ work.
● With user-rights management based on Active Directory and facilitated by smart cards, police officers are more mobile and can log in anywhere. Officers no longer need multiple ID cards.
● Office 2003 gives users familiar and easy-to-use tools for everyday police work. The capacity exists for officers to use XML forms integrated into operational data systems.
● Centralized help desk is delivering improved customer care and realizing efficiency savings compared to the previous manual system.
● Enterprise Agreement ensures free upgrades to new Microsoft technology and stabilizes licensing costs for the police.
● The Enterprise Agreement simplifies licensing management and compliance for the force’s IT managers.
● Premier Support provides technical support and knowledge transfer to the police’s IT workforce.
● The TAM acts as an advocate for the Finnish Police within Microsoft and understands the special needs of its people.
● By using MOM 2005, police IT workers no longer need to monitor critical systems manually—thereby freeing up people for other jobs.
● Microsoft Services and Atea Finland provide the Finnish Police with an ongoing business partnership, rather than a customer–vendor relationship.
For more information
about other Microsoft customer successes, please visit: www.microsoft.com/resources/casestudies
Software and Services
- Microsoft Server Product Portfolio
− Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003
− Windows Server 2003 R2
− Microsoft Office 2003 Professional
− Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005
− Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003
− Microsoft Operations Manager 2005
− Windows XP
− Active Directory
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Document published January 2007