Public Sector: Frankfurt’s IT services from a citizen’s perspective

Comprehensive digitisation now affects almost all official processes: municipal IT services are used to apply for identity cards, notarise marriages or report a change of residence. These transactions are often urgent and time-sensitive – which is why the city’s specialist applications must be reliable and available 24/7 for over 600 authorities in the entire Frankfurt area.

Over a hundred custom municipal applications for more than 600 authorities with around ten thousand employees: “We operate in a very decentralised environment – ranging from kindergartens and schools to zoos and registry offices,” explains Jens Hübel from the Office for Information and Communication Technology. The municipal IT service provider for the city of Frankfurt operates the IT services for all offices on 500 servers and 2,500 network components. Employees ensure the technical availability of the infrastructure with Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), “…nevertheless, as service managers, we did not know whether the users out there could actually utilise the IT service.

In order to make the availability and performance of specialist municipal applications transparent from a user perspective, the City of Frankfurt has introduced a site-specific end user experience monitoring system for selected representative locations such as the registry office. Servicetrace software robots measure response times 24/7 for network transactions, e.g. logins to e-mail systems or databases. This end-user experience measurement data flows into the central SCOM monitoring platform, which immediately escalates critically poor response times. The service managers are not only pleased with what they describe as “automated support in the proactive error handling process,” but software robots also generate an accurate monitoring database with which SLAs can be created. “We previously charged a flat rate for IT services because we just didn’t have adequate measurements for charging at the service level.”

In the public sector, security is a decisive factor in the selection of IT solutions. “As a public service, we often process highly sensitive data. So, we definitely need a solution that safeguards access and meets the regulatory requirements of data protection,” explains the head of the IT control centre in Frankfurt. Servicetrace scores here with a procedure patented in the USA and Europe-wide for secure access automation. The “no coding required” feature also weighed heavily in the huge IT service provider in the Rhine-Main metropolis choosing Servicetrace from the neighboring city of Darmstadt. The software robots are ready to go with just a few clicks, adding “…it really couldn’t be easier”.

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