Success Story: State of California

Once a tangle of disparate systems, new centrally-managed file transfer infrastructure lowers cost and secures data.

  • Headquarters

    California, USA
  • Industry

  • Challenge

    Increase efficiencies and reduce costs by consolidating, centralizing and securing file transfer among the state’s many agencies, partners and customers.

  • Solution

  • Results

    • Centralized, scalable file transfer access and support for more than 20 large state agencies and their downstream customers
    • Significant ROI resulting from the consolidation of disparate systems
    • Elimination of the need for physical media to send very large files (in excess of 50 GB)
    • Secure, industry-compliant, automated file transfer

State of California

 

Description

California is the 8th largest economy in the world. In 2008, their gross state product (GSP) reached nearly $1.85 trillion which represents 13 percent of the overall U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Fifty-seven Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in California, a number matched only by Texas. With hundreds of departments, agencies, boards, commissions, and programs and tens of thousands of applications and databases in use by each, IT, as managed by the state’s Office of Technology Services, is big business in California.

A state of confidence in MFT

As a provider of high-volume IT services for local, state, county and federal partners that include more than 130 CIO/CISOs and hundreds of state websites, web services and portals, California’s Office of Technology Services (OTech) has a very big job to do. For the ultimate benefit of the state’s constituents, the agency operates under the mandate of comprehensive, cost-effective service delivery, which includes secure information exchange, business application processing, storage and computing. With cost containment the name of the new game, and with a host of redundant, disparate and insecure existing solutions, OTech knew it was time for a major overhaul to its outdated systems. Yet with increasing file sizes and ever-growing volume, addressing critical file transfer was a real challenge. So OTech engaged with Axway and implemented its managed file transfer (MFT) solution to overcome the unique file transfer complexities of the Golden State.

Government mandated consolidation

In 2009, the state of California named cost containment a major priority and mandated a government-wide IT infrastructure overhaul to centralize, consolidate and streamline. In pursuit of this goal, the state faced not only the challenges of a major corporation striving to maintain a competitive edge, but also a large government body rife with technological shortcomings due to years without cohesive technology policy or governance. It was an IT environment fraught with fragmentation, inefficiency, and redundant and disparate infrastructures across multiple departments and locations — and the state’s file transfer infrastructures were no exception.

With such a massive collection of disconnected infrastructures and no central authority or consolidated view, cost optimization was an immense task, making it very difficult for IT to track its own spending, let alone charge-back to agencies or departments for services such as managed file transfer.

Yet the growth of file transfer needs within the state — both in size of files and frequency of transfers — had burgeoned far beyond the capacity and security capabilities of standard email and/or unsecured FTP servers. Additionally, legacy communications technology all over the state had become expensive, difficult to maintain, and unable to meet increasingly stringent requirements for data security and regulatory compliance.

To reduce costs and solve a host of complex file transfer challenges, the state of California needed to consolidate its disparate, out-of-control file transfer infrastructures to a secure, centrally-managed solution.

A central, secure and scalable solution

Using AMPLIFY Managed File Transfer, OTech deployed a centralized managed file transfer shared service which now provides consolidated, secure, automated file exchange for 22 California state agencies running 54 different projects (with adoption rapidly increasing), as well as hundreds of their business partners and end users. This service is highly scalable, supporting the current needs of agencies, county and city governments and business partners, and is ready to accommodate California’s continued growth.

“It is phenomenal how many problems we are solving using this product.”

Kevin Paddock
Supervisor of Web Services, OTech

 

“AMPLIFY Managed File Transfer has enabled us to deploy consolidated and secure file transfer services across the state, downstream to business partners, and across a multitude of use cases,” reports Kevin Paddock, Supervisor of Web Services at OTech. “It is phenomenal how many problems we are solving using this product.”

Using a centralized AMPLIFY Managed File Transfer application as a state of California-sanctioned service available to any state entity, the state of California now:

  • Relies on a consolidated, centralized critical infrastructure
  • Secures and automates file transfers
  • Saves significant time and money
  • Improves enterprise efficiency and optimizes business processes

The following is a sampling of how AMPLIFY Managed File Transfer solves complex file-transfer challenges faced by multiple departments and agencies across the state of California.

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

The State of California DMV provides vehicle registration and licensing for approximately 23 million drivers, collecting $6.5 billion in revenue annually. As one of the largest entities in the state, the DMV has the busiest website and the highest number of private sector partners of any department.

The DMV was moving data — including confidential information — to and from partners and other state agencies via shipped magnetic media tapes, and over ground transportation, dedicated lines and VPN tunnels, with all the attendant shipping, labor, material, and maintenance costs. With the continued growth of the DMV, and the resulting increase in volume of data being transferred, it’s no surprise that costs were spiraling out of control and data security was at risk. The DMV had a pressing need to:

  • Upgrade and consolidate outdated file transfer systems
  • Streamline and automate data transfer processes
  • Delegate administration and on-boarding capabilities to its partners and other state agencies
  • Improve support and process efficiency
  • Eliminate legacy file-transfer tools such as tapes, VPNs and dedicated lines
  • Accelerate “Green IT” efforts to minimize paper-based processes, reduce transportation and energy costs and their related “carbon footprint” costs, and reduce labor and capital equipment

Using Axway MFT, the DMV not only eliminated its legacy VPN infrastructure; it also jettisoned a tape machine for which it had been paying maintenance costs of $100,000 per year. New levels of file-transfer automation have improved accuracy and cut IT costs, and all DMV connections are now secure. The DMV was also able to reduce IT resources, support and maintenance for mainframe connections, and can now set up and manage its own accounts.

“With Axway MFT, we can scale solutions for our customers, from one or two accounts all the way up to what for the DMV could potentially be more than 30,000 accounts,” said Paddock. “That kind of scalability is just as important to the State of California as it is to private sector companies.”

Using Axway MFT, the DMV now runs on a slimmer IT budget, and the personal information of California citizens is secure.

“With AMPLIFY Managed File Transfer, we can scale solutions for our customers, from one or two accounts all the way up to what for the DMV could potentially be more than 30,000 accounts. That kind of scalability is just as important to the state of California as it is to private sector companies.”

Kevin Paddock
Supervisor of Web Services, OTech

 

The Office of the CIO

The Office of the State Chief Information Officer (OCIO) oversees IT strategic vision and planning, policy, enterprise architecture and project approval and oversight, with the goal of improving quality and efficiency of government operations. There were two file-transfer challenges within the OCIO that urgently needed solving.

First, confidential executive planning documents were being sent to the OCIO via email attachments with no way to safeguard security once the Send button was pushed and no way to automatically save attachments to the OCIO’s extremely busy mailbox. What was needed was an easy-to-use, secure file delivery infrastructure that could ensure the protection of sensitive data in transit and at rest, and provide an efficient line of communication between the OCIO and its many partners.

Using the new managed file transfer service, OCIO can now:

  • Secure sensitive data both in transit and at rest
  • Use automated file routing for on-time delivery to the correct destination, and provide easy access to the CIO
  • Provide end-to-end visibility into all file transfers

OCIO’s second file-transfer challenge was both high-profile and complex. In 2009, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an Executive Order mandating OTech create a publicly accessible website where state agencies and departments would be required to post financial records. The web interface for submitting these documents had to be simple to use; submitting agencies needed easy on-boarding so that reporting could begin immediately and the entire project had to be up and running within three days.

Because the solution delivers centralized, consolidated, managed file transfer capabilities for expense documentation, OTech was able to leverage AMPLIFY Managed File Transfer to build functionality for the Governor’s “data transparency” website within the mandated three days. California citizens are now able to view travel expense records and other statements of economic interest for the state.

“We met the governor’s objective, and we would not have been able to do it without AMPLIFY Managed File Transfer.”

Kevin Paddock
Supervisor of Web Services, OTech

 

The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD)

As part of the California Health and Human Services Agency, OSHPD administers programs in support of the vision of “equitable healthcare accessibility for California.” Like many state departments, OSHPD exports citizens’ personal data from server to server to keep records up-to-date and accurate, in compliance with HIPAA and other regulatory mandates. Not only were these exports unsecured, but support and management for the servers was both time-consuming and costly. And since users entered information directly to database servers, user error could directly impact security and uptime.

With AMPLIFY Managed File Transfer, transfer of information to and from OSHPD is now secure at all times. Moving file transfer activity away from the server and to an AMPLIFY Managed File Transfer gateway has resulted in simpler, less costly support and management of the service, and eliminated the risk of users directly affecting the server. OSHPD is now equipped to fully protect the personal information of California citizens, and can easily comply with all necessary regulations, including HIPAA.

One solution, one service for many agencies

With AMPLIFY Managed File Transfer, the state of California can now provide every state agency with a cost effective, multi-protocol, shared-service offering that enables data exchange between mainframes, servers, desktops, and other systems, including a wide range of internal and external end users. No client software is required, and administration can be delegated so that each department or agency is in charge of its own secure file transfer service and its users, preserving security and autonomy.

Within security guidelines set by OTech, various agencies are able to customize their service just as if they had purchased their own product — setting their own policies, standards, reporting and alerts. And since all of this activity happens within a centrally managed infrastructure, OTech can easily track expenditures and charge agencies and departments for their allocated use of the service.

“Using AMPLIFY Managed File Transfer, we have built one solution that meets every need that has been thrown at it so far. AMPLIFY Managed File Transfer is extremely diverse, providing everything from simple browser upload and download, to fully automated applications in which our services are utilized but never seen. It is of great value to us.”

Kevin Paddock
Supervisor of Web Services, OTech

 

Need to overcome complex file transfer challenges?

Contact

Email