STCS ENABLES GOVERNMENT
AND INDEPENDENT PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS IN REALISING
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
Independent public institution
Services and Solutions provided
Security, and data migration
“STCS is a completely versatile technology adviser. We trust their insights and their teams, and have always been happy with the results.”
“We are delighted to have chosen STCS to give us a bridge to the future. They have made it easier for us to run our day-to-day affairs smoothly and efficiently, and reduce costs.”
GACA oversees economic and safety regulation, air navigation services and the operations of Saudi Arabia’s 27 existing airports comprising 5 international, 9 regional and 13 domestic airports with a collective passenger throughput of 75 million as of 2014. STCS is engaged on long-term projects with the Authority to deliver technology supporting future growth and new ways of working.
Sensitive information is increasingly at risk to attack. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated at finding ways in, particularly as mobile networks and cloud applications lead to expanding numbers of access points; a most common attack route being through the application layer of an organization’s network. The nature of GACA’s activities requires that there is zero likelihood of compromise.
STCS were asked to create information and network security defences to the highest global standards – in line with ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management certification – to be equally operable across a complex IT environment; any type of technology used by GACA, numerous security layers, and protection for both the physical and virtual aspects of the environment.
Working with its community of leading specialist technology vendors STCS implemented a Defense in Depth (DID) strategy bringing in multiple layers of security controls covering the entire network. STCS Network Operations Center and Security Operations Center monitor and control all activities through the network.
The result is all-round defense that GACA can rely on to underpin current operations and future initiatives. Mobile communications can be undertaken safely in the knowledge that hackers can now not find a way in through the organization’s applications. Constant vigilance is maintained over the core network to make sure that all cloud activity is secure.
Before moving to the cloud any organization needs to ask itself a wide range of questions. What benefits, for example, does it expect? How does it move its data? Will it be safe? When GACA decided to start the journey it had answered these questions, with the help of STCS. The cloud is the shape of the future; enabling many capabilities that companies are starting to depend on – mobility, remote workforces, better collaboration by sharing information, speed of bringing in new services and applications, better user experiences and, of course, lower computing costs.
GACA needed a robust data center solution to support its aviation services long into the future and called upon STCS to deliver a future-proof alternative to allow security of data and agility to scale according to growth.
This requirement involved migrating GACA’s applications and databases located in GACA Headquarters to STC’s Jeddah T4 Data center to expand capabilities. STCS mapped the organization’s legacy systems to be sure that all data dependencies between systems were carefully handled; dependencies are about enabling both the hew systems and the old system to continue to function in parallel until the old system is cut off.
GACA now benefits from a hosted solution covering its network, security and applications.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Saudi Arabia handles the Kingdom’s external relations in the areas of politics, culture, finance, and diplomacy. It employs approximately 10,000 people in its Riyadh headquarters and three other offices within Saudi Arabia. It also acts as the hub for 116 remote embassies globally. Any organization of such a size generates vast amounts of emails, limitless hours of telephone conversations and consumes billions of miles in travel.
Until recently, MOFA based its internal communications on a PBX system in the old-fashioned way; no VoIP functionality, no video conferencing, no instant messaging and no visibility into the communicable status of others. Many of these hours on the phone were being wasted as people tried to locate each other.
Not having remote conferencing capabilities meant that meetings between staff from different sites involved large amounts of travel, fuel costs and accommodation. The Ministry identified the need to overhaul its abilities to collaborate internally, cut wasted time and costs, and enter the modern world.
The path to the future, from a technology perspective, always starts with assessing the state of the past. STCS undertook an audit of all existing Ministry communications arrangements, equipment and network set-up. Whilst it was clear that a Unified Communications (UC) solution would answer the Ministry’s requirements, it was important to understand existing communications and any legacy issues. An enormous amount of preparation was involved given the extent of the estate, its associated international locations, and the high priority agenda around security of information.
STCS conducted a well-planned migration process from MOFA’s legacy PBX system seamlessly integrating its existing network, security and applications with a validated and integrated UC solution which STCS put together in conjunction with specialist partners.
MOFA’s new IP telephony system comprises the latest advances in telecommunications; making people’s phones and laptops their own communications hubs and saving thousands of hour’s previously taken up by meetings. Meetings can now be virtual, conducted by and between participants at any time, from any location.
A true efficiency-driver within the Unified Communications bundle is Presence, which enables users to locate other users as soon as they connect to the network. It makes knowledge workers more easily accessible and eliminates delays in finding out the right information, form the right person, at the tight time. In short, Unified Communications has made a major contribution to achievement of Vision 2030 for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
STCS is committed to continuous improvement for our customers and embracing the future now. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the STC Group, we are the leading ICT services and solutions provider in KSA with over 800 employees serving customers from 35 cities within the Kingdom.
We share a future vision with our customers – where the needs of society, the enhancement of education, the attainment of better citizen and customer outcomes, and safer, securer and smarter environments are not just a long term aspiration; they are achievable now. For STCS achievement thrives on finding better ways of doing things for our customers. This is the true spirit of innovation.