Hørsholm is a scenic and highly sought after region, north of Copenhagen. Hørsholm Municipal Council has over 1500 staff who service the needs of Hørsholm’s 24,000 residents.
These employees operate approximately 200 software applications and their diverse IT needs such as support, operations, infrastructure etc. are taken care of by the 9 members of the IT Department.
"The size of the task confronting the small team demands that a high level of efficiency on behalf of both the staff and the systems they use," indicates Flemming Pihl Knudsen, who is IT Operations Manager at Hørsholm Council.
Hørsholm Council has been offering employees the option of remote access for years. Their experience stretches back to the ISDN connections that they set up for Directors and municipal councilors.
"After that came ADSL and TDC’s KIK solution which let us extend remote access to more users, like our department managers," recalls Flemming Pihl Knudsen
These solutions however carried a risk that Flemming Pihl Knudsen was keenly aware of.
"They meant giving people a tunnel into the network, which is always a risk, and increases the need for setting security policies and educating people to follow them."
However the demand for even more flexible connectivity continued to grow with more people wanting to connect while they were out traveling and so on.
"To meet this need we installed a Cisco VPN and a Microsoft Terminal Server solution. We also introduced a secure token system with one-time password (OTP) authentication," explains Flemming Pihl Knudsen.
In 2005 they heard about a new product from their IT supplier EDB Gruppen. Having only recently invested in a set of new solutions, interest wasn’t very high. But one key factor did catch the Hørsholm Council IT Department’s attention – simple administration.
"G/On was easier. Much, much easier," says Flemming Pihl Knudsen. "The installation process is also simple for the users, as nothing needs to be installed on the PC. G/On USB is so easy, and the users we tested it on came back with very positive comments."
Strong security features and competitive pricing
"So we started evaluating G/On’s security features. There was no IP address for the local network, which is a big plus, and it had the encryption and the 2-factor authentication."
"This means that now we only need one solution instead of two, plus we aren’t at the mercy of users following security policies."
"With VPNs there’s no easy way of enforcing our security policies regarding what systems and data people can access. However with G/On they can only access systems that they are specifically authorized to use, regardless of where they log in from."
G/On was also competitively priced compared to what else was on the market and we were pleased with the installation price from EDB Gruppen as well.
"Hørsholm Council has a lot of users who need access to a lot of different systems. We have around 1000 regular PC users and another 500 users who occasionally need access," says Flemming Pihl Knudsen. "And as the demands keep getting bigger year for year, we saw that G/On could help our small team be even more efficient when it came to remote connectivity."
Eventually Hørsholm Council would like to give all the council’s employee’s access to their Intranet, via G/On USB.
"We have already given G/On USB key to teachers so they can quickly and easily edit school websites for example, and soon we will also be looking at using G/On for access to systems in a wider context," says Flemming Pihl Knudsen. "It is always a question of optimizing work processes."