Taller and three times longer than San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Denmark’s Great Belt Bridge is a landmark engineering achievement and a vital link for people traversing Denmark.
The Great Belt Bridge has about 200 employees to ensure the daily operation. Around half are subcontractors such as G4/S who service customers in the toll booths, ISS who service the bridge, and IBM who are responsible for Great Belt’s IT infrastructure.
Outsourcing these functions makes good financial sense for Great Belt by ensuring a high degree of flexibility in their daily operation. This strategy, however, poses a challenge for the IT administrators tasked with managing the many users who need access to different applications.
Some users just need occasional access to specific applications, others sometimes require 24/7 access to critical IT services. All of these different IT needs and competencies – including the security – is facilitated using G/On.
”G/On has clearly saved us money on our IT operation.
It has streamlined network administration, and reduced our hardware and software expenditure. For example, we no longer need to provide a specially configured PC to engineering consultants working on short-term projects, plus we don’t have a big complex security system to maintain,” explains Peter Christensen, Great Belt’s IT Manager.
Simple and secure access – also on the move
Previously, Great Belt relied on traditional access solutions for securing employees’ access to the network, including secure tokens, VPNs, and DMZs.
Installing G/On didn’t just solve a series of complex IT challenges for Peter Christensen – it opened the door to totally new ways of working.
”With G/On we are not restricted by physical boundaries or the traditional terms and conditions of employment. Now it doesn’t matter if you are an employee or an external subcontractor, or whether you are sitting in Korsør, Copenhagen or overseas – what’s important is getting the job done,” says Peter Christensen. “We have employees who constantly travel around Denmark. G/On lets them focus on work instead of technical issues because G/On finds its own way to the server and the programs they need.”
Great Belt uses G/On USB for more than 50 internal and external staff.
Their external partners include, for example, experts in bridge or rail maintenance. Great Belt uses G/On to give these people secure access to information on their Intranet. Similarly, people responsible for maintainance assignments on Great Belt can use G/On to access information about their tasks from any PC – without Great Belt Bridge having to worry about their network being infected by virus, spyware and so on.
What’s more, setting up access for these subcontractors now takes hours instead of days.
G/On lets Great Belt’s own employees also be mobile. As in many other companies, a lot of Great Belt’s staff used to carry a PC back and forth to work and overseas. Today, all they need is a G/On USB key to securely access the programs they need. That goes for secretaries as much as managers, now it’s the work that’s in focus.
IBM: G/On is the way forward for Great Belt Bridge
IBM is responsible for the implementation and operation of Storbelt’s IT infrastructure. This includes everything from the toll booths’ payment system to the organization’s overall IT infrastructure in the company – in other words, all the other functions that an internal IT department would usually handle.
Per Riisberg, an IT expert with IBM Denmark who works full time with Great Belt and was responsible for implementing G/On, has no doubts about the value of the solution.
“I have never seen a better solution for secure mobile access than G/On from Giritech. I have seen many VPN solutions, but Giritech’s approach represents a radical change from traditional VPNs. We have people using it all over the world, and we have never had any problems. They aren’t dependent on any PC and the security is first class. G/On is the most complete solution I have seen to date,” says Per Riisberg.
G/On gives IBM’s staff full control over Great Belt’s IT systems 24/7 via a secure remote connection. The G/On Server authenticates the users and can be used to enforce rights and policies regarding who has access to what. For example, a G/On USB key can be made that lets external consultants access a time and project administration system and nothing else.
”G/On is the ideal solution for working from home because it is so simple and secure for both users and administrators. I am constantly finding new ways of using it and see a big future for the product,” concludes IBM’s Per Riisberg.