With its modern email solution and new outsourcing partnership, the Basel-Stadt cantonal administration is implementing important elements of its IT sourcing strategy. The outsourcing of its email operation yields tangible benefits for Basel-Stadt: a scalable solution with built in flexibility and guaranteed data security. This leads to fresh scope for the high-quality provision of public services and targeted further development in this area.
4,600 people use the central IT services in the canton of Basel-Stadt, generating on average 70,000 emails and 3 tera-bytes of data daily. The need here for well-functioning email, calendar and file archive solutions is self-evident. But what can be done if this solution package is not further refined by the provider? How can Basel-Stadt prepare itself for the future?
The cantonal administration addressed such issues in summer 2009 and decided to replace the Oracle Collaboration Suite (OCS) in use at the time. The Basel-Stadt cantonal parliament simultaneously overhauled its IT sourcing strategy and resolved to buy in universal, standardisable IT services from external providers as long as they promised to deliver a better and more cost-effective service.
The cantonal administration addressed both aspects in the public tender for the new email system. It was looking for a reliable partner for the new system and external operations. In addition, the email system was to be enhanced to include new modules: a modern messaging system, a service for electronic collaboration, a new internal search engine and a tool for authorisation administration. The internal IT costs were set to be reduced and flexibility improved with this com-prehensive solution package and its outsourcing.
Swisscom won the public tender in June 2010. As well as the best price-performance ratio, among other things, the quality and creativity of the services provided were taken into consideration as key determinants as well as the provider's experience, and security of supply. "The quick understanding of our requirements and the mutual trust were equally decisive," adds Kaspar Sutter, General Secretary of the Basel-Stadt finance department.
The migration project started in summer 2010. Its uniqueness – the first time OCS has been replaced by MS Exchange throughout Switzerland – meant both partners were on the alert for the unknown and open to changes during the implementation process. Migration of the file archive took place in mid-December, followed by migration of the 7,000 mailboxes of the email and calendar system in early March 2011. The Swisscom Service Desk (SD) performed outstandingly: approximately 500 trouble tickets were resolved swiftly to the users' satisfaction thanks to the established Incident Management Process, commitment and dedication of the SD employees and specialists in 2nd and 3rd level support. Service technicians also resolved configuration and operation issues quickly with users onsite. The new solution's operation has since been characterised by a high level of stability, reliability and availability. "The quality of the operational services provided by Swisscom as sourcing partner is excellent," confirms Kaspar Sutter.
Swisscom benefits from the partnership with Basel-Stadt in many ways: by outsourcing its email operation, the canton IT gains new flexibility in terms of supporting and adding value to public administration and public service provision and freeing up resources so that it can focus on strategic development work. Basel-Stadt also saves costs by procuring standardised, on-demand services and can use new technologies with a higher service level faster and with greater flexibility. Compliance with Basel-Stadt IT security and data protection standards is fully assured.
The cantonal administration is organised into seven departments. Employing around 100 people, the central IT services (ZID) are affiliated to the finance department, providing IT services throughout.