Bouwend Nederland wanted to enable access to confidential information, even for employees on the road and at customer sites. How could documents be created, read and edited without compromising security? By providing a secure point of access to internal resources, NetIQ Access Manager makes it easy for remote users at Bouwend Nederland to get the information they need to work effectively with customers.
“Access Manager has enabled us to give employees complete flexibility about where and when they work, improving their productivity and helping to reduce travel time and costs.”Aria KleywegtAutomation Manager, Bouwend Nederland
About Bouwend Nederland
Bouwend Nederland is a trade association for construction companies in the Netherlands. Its activities include lobbying, industry development and the provisioning of a comprehensive package of member services ranging from advice and training to quality certifications.
Bouwend Nederland’s policy-making staff pay frequent visits to members throughout the country, and require secure access to member data and documentation in any location from their smartphones, tablets or laptops.
The information—which includes membership type, company details, history of previous interactions, possible issues and financial information—is managed in WindexCC, a combined customer relationship management (CRM) and document management solution based on Microsoft SharePoint. As WindexCC contains potentially sensitive information on customers and as Bouwend Nederland has other internal resources running on SharePoint, security is a priority.
Aria Kleywegt, Automation Manager at Bouwend Nederland, said: “Information security is a critical factor for our organization. We wanted to give our employees easy remote access to WindexCC and also to Microsoft Office, but we did not want to completely open up our network to the outside world. To find the best solution, we engaged RealOpen IT as our technology partner.”
Based on RealOpen IT’s recommendation, Bouwend Nederland chose to deploy Access Manager to create a secure information portal for mobile employees.
“RealOpen IT designed a solution around Access Manager that met our requirements from the technical, budget and security perspectives,” said Aria Kleywegt. “The NetIQ solution fits perfectly with our virtualized infrastructure and did not require us to deploy any additional hardware. In addition, we knew that Access Manager would make it easy for us to integrate other applications into the portal in the future.”
To use the portal, Bouwend Nederland employees simply download an application to their tablets, smartphones or laptops and then generate a token using Google Authenticator to log in. Access Manager authenticates each user and provides access to the required applications and data through a standard web browser.
Alongside the CRM and knowledge-base functionality provided by the WindexCC software, Bouwend Nederland needed to give its remote users access to two different versions of Microsoft Office: 2010 and 2013. Integrating WindexCC with Access Manager proved as quick and easy as expected, but differences in the protocols used by Office 2010 and 2013 presented a significant challenge to RealOpen IT.
“We wanted to enable employees to edit existing documents or create new ones directly in the portal to ensure that they could work productively in any location,” said Aria Kleywegt. “The integration proved much harder than expected, and we considered limiting ourselves to just the latest version of Office as a compromise. However, RealOpen IT went the extra mile to solve the challenge, and its persistence, professionalism and technical skills made the project a complete success. Despite all of the extra work, the partner kept to the original fixed-price agreement.”
With the new portal running on Access Manager, policy officers at Bouwend Nederland now have secure and convenient 24/7 access to all the documentation they need. When visiting customers, they can easily check the status of projects, share documentation and run presentations. With Microsoft Office included in the portal, they have a fast and convenient way to edit documents on the road.
“Our employees are delighted with the portal, which enables them to prepare for customer visits without needing to be in the office,” said Aria Kleywegt. “Access Manager has enabled us to give employees complete flexibility about where and when they work, improving their productivity and helping to reduce travel time and costs.”
Access Manager uses two-factor authentication—the user password plus a Google token—to ensure watertight security for applications and data within the portal. This gives Bouwend Nederland complete confidence in storing confidential documents and information in WindexCC, ensuring that ease of access to information does not come at the cost of compromised security.
“Access Manager enabled us to meet our primary objective: ensuring secure remote access to internal data,” said Aria Kleywegt. “We are extremely pleased with the results and we are now looking at leveraging the solution to make other SharePoint resources available to remote users.”
- Improved productivity
- Reduced travel costs
- Introduced two-factor authentication
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