Success Story: State of California

Axway MFT dramatically cuts IT costs through file transfer consolidation

  • Headquarters

    California, USA
  • Industry

  • Challenge

    Consolidate, centralize and secure managed file transfer statewide for increased efficiencies and significant cost reduction

  • Solution

  • Results

    • More than 20 large state agencies and their hundreds of downstream customers now have complete file transfer access and support
    • Consolidation of disparate systems provides significant ROI
    • MFT enables sending of very large files (even in excess of 50 GB) that exceed DVD, reel-to–reel, or magnetic cartridge file size formats, eliminating physical media entirely
    • Secure, automated file transfer that is visible end-to-end and complies with all relevant industry protocols and regulatory requirements
    • Centralized, scalable MFT supporting agencies, counties, cities and their many business partners

State of California

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

California IT Is Big Business

The 8th largest economy in the world

California’s economy is the largest of any state in the U.S, and is the eighth largest economy in the world. In 2008, California’s gross state product (GSP) reached nearly $1.85 trillion — 13 percent of the overall U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Fiftyseven Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in California, a number matched only by Texas.

California’s vast government body consists of hundreds of departments, agencies, boards, commissions, and programs, and within each there are tens of thousands of applications and databases in use. The state’s Office of Technology Services (OTech) provides IT services for California state, county, federal, and local government  and its partners, including:

  • Services that help more than 130 CIO/CISOs manage $3B in annual IT budgets and $6B in current IT projects
  • Services that enable reliable and secure interdepartmental and/or interagency information exchange and business applications processing for hundreds of state websites, web services and portals
  • Storage, computing (mainframe and server) and other services that depend on quick, reliable, and secure data exchange/file transfer

OTech’s mandate is to deliver comprehensive and extremely cost-effective computing, networking, electronic messaging, and training solutions benefitting the people of California.

The Case for Consolidation

A sea of file-transfer challenges

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 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 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.

The State of California needed to consolidate its disparate and out-of-control file transfer infrastructures to a secure, centrally-managed solution, in order to reduce costs and solve a host of complex file transfer challenges.

Axway Managed File Transfer (MFT)

Answering the challenge

Using Axway MFT, 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 & city governments and business partners, and is ready to accommodate California’s continued growth.

“Axway MFT 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 Axway MFT application, deployed as a State of Californiasanctioned service, available to any state entity, the State of California:

  • Consolidates and centralizes critical infrastructure
  • Secures and automates file transfers
  • Saves significant time and money
  • All while improving enterprise efficiency and optimizing business processes

The following is a sampling of three use cases demonstrating how Axway MFT solves complex file-transfer challenges faced by multiple departments and agencies across the State of California.

“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. That kind of scalability is just as important to the State of California as it is to private sector companies.”

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.

“Using Axway MFT, we have built one solution that meets every need that has been thrown at it so far. Axway MFT 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.”

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. Within the OCIO there were two file-transfer challenges 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 OTech’s 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 to 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 that OTech create a publically 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.

OTech was able to leverage Axway MFT to build functionality for the Governor’s “data transparency” website within the mandated three days, delivering centralized, consolidated, managed file transfer capabilities for expense documentation. 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,” commented Paddock, “and we would not have been able to do it without Axway MFT.”

The Office of Statewide Health Planning (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 time-consuming and costly. And since users entered information directly to database servers, user error could directly impact security and uptime.

With Axway MFT, transfer of information to and from the Office of Statewide Health Planning is now secure at all times. Moving file transfer activity away from the server and to an Axway MFT gateway has resulted in simpler, less costly support and management of the service, and eliminated the risk of users directly affecting the server. The OSHPD is now equipped to fully protect the personal information of California citizens, and can easily comply with regulations such as HIPAA.

Axway MFT

The right solution

With Axway MFT, the State of California can now provide every state agency with a costeffective, 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 while preserving security and autonomy.

Within security guidelines set by OTech, agencies are able to customize their service the same way 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 Axway MFT, we have built one solution that meets every need that has been thrown at it so far,” said Paddock. “Axway MFT 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. It is all one service, one solution, used across a multitude of applications.”

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