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Ubusha ID and security architecture drives risk reduction and business efficiency for GSSC

Ubusha Technologies has announced the successful conclusion of an identity management and security deal with the Gauteng Shared Services Centre (GSSC), promising to revolutionise the centre’s security infrastructure and centralise the management of user identities.

The solution proposed by Ubusha promises to reduce the growing risk of fraud and corruption within the GSSC’s financial and procurement departments, reduce the centre’s exposure security threats of all kinds, improve end-user efficiency and reduce administrative overheads.

It also differs substantially from the most-used approach when it comes to the provision of an identity management and security solution. Marius Agenbag, managing director of Ubusha says this project is based entirely on value proposition to the business, with technology simply playing the role of enabler.

“In fact, our initial engagement with the GSSC had very little do to with technology at all,” Agenbag explains. “We were first approached to develop a technology agnostic strategy and architecture that could solve the GSSC’s concerns with regards to security and identity management.

“It was only after this first phase of the project was completed however, that we were asked to stay on as the implementation partner,” he clarifies.

Looking at the first phase of the deal, Andrew Whittaker, Manager of Service Delivery at Ubusha gives insight into the approach used by his company in developing the GSSC’s strategy and architecture.

“Where most projects of this kind would be led by the organisation’s IT department, it was clear that the strategy and architecture needed to support the business’ s objectives and make a tangible difference to the organisation’s efficiency. For this reason, high-level buy-in and input from each department within the GSSC was vital to the project’s overall success,” he adds.

Whittaker says Ubusha in-turn interviewed each of the GSSC’s business heads to ascertain what problems they were face in the day-to-day running of their departments. These pains were then mapped out logically and a solution strategy for solving them through technology developed.

He says the importance of using this approach cannot be underestimated. “When the strategy and architecture is presented back to the organisation’s board, it’s not difficult for the business heads to see where the value resides and what benefits the proposed solution will deliver in their day-to-day lives.

“It’s a vital aspect of ensuring that the IT solutions implemented within an organisation fit in with the business’s overriding strategy,” he adds.

For all intents and purposes the next step would have been for the GSSC to choose a technology solution that best suited the strategy and architecture Ubusha had developed; and then define how that solution should be implemented in terms of an accompanying roadmap.

“Novell was immediately chosen by the GSSC as the most suitable brand of technologies,” says Agenbag. “While the required functionality could just as well have been delivered on any number of available platforms, Novell’s solution was undoubtedly the closest fit to the proposed strategy and architecture.

“It came as a surprise to us, that Ubusha was requested to carry out the physical implementation of the solution. The GSSC however felt that we had the requisite knowledge and ability to keep the project delivering on its goals, since we had developed most of the intellectual property and strategies for it.”

As things stand today, Ubusha is in the thick of implementation on the project. “With Ubusha Technologies’ assistance, we have taken a good hard look at our business processes, authentication, tracking and overall security policies; and embarked on an identity management strategy which will not only simplify the working life of GSSC employees and employees within the Gauteng local government, but will ensure that governance is maintained at all levels,” says Lemmy Chappie, CIO of the GSSC.

“It makes sense that this project should start at the GSSC and roll through to the rest of Gauteng local government, and government at large, because the GSSC was originally formed to allow departments to focus on their core priorities. As such, all local government departments within the Gauteng region make use of the GSSC to fulfil on their human resource, ICT, project management and finance needs.

“With these functions centralised within the GSSC, it stands to reason that the potential for fraud and corruption to take place is massive,” Chappie adds.

“By starting the project at a GSSC level, we have the ability to reduce the biggest area of exposure as a first priority, and then progress to other areas of concern,” he says.

“We believe that in concert with Ubusha and the GSSC, we have provided a blueprint for an Identity Management solution that will solve many of the security issues faced by all government departments,” says Stafford Masie, managing director of Novell South Africa.

“In line with the GSSC’s wishes we intend to make this blueprint and best practise available to government, to not only speed the delivery of services but assist in the integration work taking place at a national government level, assisting to deliver a single view of the citizen from government’s perspective; and a single point of interacting with government from the citizen’s perspective,” Masie concludes.