Business Internet Services and Business Network Solutions
Municipal Clerk, Municipality of Riederalp
The municipal authority in Riederalp needed to replace its servers, a process that would have entailed considerable investment. Moreover, the introduction of new administration software was imminent, working from home had to become easier, and the authority wanted to improve data security. The local council opted for a complete overhaul of the IT infrastructure.
The municipality of Riederalp has improved its data security with solutions from Swisscom. Staff spend less time dealing with IT and work efficiently and securely, even from home.
Together with his colleagues Katja Volken and Marlene Fux, the municipal clerk Martin Grichting works in a place where other people enjoy their holidays. The municipal authority of Riederalp is accommodated in the school-house in Ried-Mörel, a picturesque mountain village in the Upper Valais. The municipality also has an office with a public counter further up the mountain – 1,900 metres above sea-level on the Riederalp. The municipality num-bers around 480 residents. “However, our infrastructure – e. g. water, waste water, energy – is designed for a small town,” confirms Martin Grichting. With visitor beds available in the municipal area totalling around 6,000, the infrastructure needs to work at full capacity during the tourist seasons.
A few months ago it became apparent that the server in the municipal administration’s roof space needed to be replaced. This would have entailed considerable invest-ment. The district-wide launch of new administration software, staff working from home and improvements to data security were also on the municipality’s agenda. The municipal administration was once attacked by hack-ers, recalls Martin Grichting: “Our data was deleted all at once. We had to restore everything from our backup files.” A backup that also came at a price. Martin Grichting had to take the backup tapes home with him every evening after work. The municipal council weighed up the pros and cons of making selective improvements and came to the conclusion that a complete overhaul of the IT infrastructure would be more effective and economical.
The municipality of Riederalp uses local service providers wherever possible and it presented its requirements specification to the Brig-based ICT specialist and Swisscom partner, Netkum AG. The municipal council was im-pressed by Nektum’s concept, and the company was able to go ahead with the modernisation. The first goal was secure cross-site collaboration with Swisscom Business Internet Services and Business Network Solutions.
« We have minimised the risks. »
Internet access is protected against outage, and a firewall, antivirus package and web filter ensure that the munici-pality’s data has maximum protection against cyber attacks. The Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides additional security: it ensures that access to the corporate network from all locations is separate from the public Internet. Remote Access Service (RAS) enables municipali-ty staff to work just as efficiently from home as in the office – a key advantage, especially during the pandemic. The entire network can also be configured centrally via this secure remote access.
Servers humming away in the municipal administration’s roof space are a thing of the past. All the data is stored in the secure Swisscom Cloud. “This changeover was somewhat tricky,” explains Martin Grichting. “We use software from different providers. For example the cantonal program for taxes, national programs for ID cards, civil registration and the residents’ registration office, plus a software for general administration and management of municipal council meetings. Migrating all these applications into the cloud took a bit longer than planned, but we managed it in the end.”
With the new network at its back and data stored centrally in the Swisscom Cloud, the municipality of Riederalp now has a future-proof IT solution, explains Martin Grichting: “Our data is safer in the cloud than uploaded to a server, and we save the time and expense of backups. Accessing data is straightforward, whether from the office, from the public counter on the Riederalp or when working from home. The local councillors can work from home and exchange files easily using the meeting management tool. Our IT is now stable and runs without a hitch – and we have minimised the risks.”