Executive Summary: Federal, state, and local governments continue to update operations to support demand for hybrid work models. But many still struggle to accurately and securely provision their workers in what are increasingly complex unified communications environments. Here’s how automated UC provisioning solutions can help.

The pandemic forced many industries, including the public sector to quickly switch to remote operations. As a result, it raised expectations from citizens in terms of being able to access and interact with government services. Governments must now meet those expectations. On top of that external pressure, internally, government employees expect a more flexible hybrid and work-from-home environment.

New technology, especially a hybrid unified communications (UC) solution, is now paramount to running governments at any level effectively. Manually migrating your government employees to that new, secure, hybrid UC platform takes time, and it can result in major service disruptions for citizens.

Automated provisioning is key for seamless moves, adds, changes and deletes (MACD) of user information to make sure every employee is properly set up with the UC applications they need.

The Situation – Hybrid Work is Here to Stay

During the pandemic, governments and their associated agencies were forced to make drastic temporary changes to their operations to continue to function remotely amidst the shutdowns. Part of those changes for many federal, state and local governments included updating their UC platform to support remote and hybrid work.

Now that it appears hybrid work is here to stay, governments must have a solution to properly provision users across their complex environments quickly and accurately.

The Challenge for UC Engineers – Provisioning Users Securely in Complex Environments

At the federal level, governments are huge, multifaceted organizations with multiple branches and agencies all serving different functions. Even small state and local governments have many branches and teams providing a variety of services for citizens. Provisioning users with the applications they need is a complex undertaking for engineers and HelpDesk personnel as many of them are unfamiliar with Cisco UC.

Governments also deal with a complex mix of on-prem and cloud applications, and many government agencies are migrating from costly PBX systems to UC. Making changes in these complex environments without harming the overall architecture can prove difficult. Any human provisioning error in these environments can lead to service disruptions to essential government services.

Additionally, governments operate on a strict budget, so automated work is necessary to reduce headcount, and save time and money.

Lastly, as with everything in the government sector, security is always a top priority. Any provisioning changes must be done without any potential for a data breach, which means finding a provisioning solution that can enable MACD tasks to be executed outside of the core UC platform.

Solution – Automated Provisioning for Federal, State and Local Governments

Leveraging custom-built job templates, an automated provisioning solution – like Akkadian Provisioning Manager – can help get rid of those costly provisioning errors and inconsistencies while reducing provisioning times from hours to just seconds.

Provisioning Manager also enables your IT and security team to work from a single pane of glass. That means your team doesn’t have to jump from program to program to provision a user. They can do it all from one screen with ease.

Akkadian Provision Manager also helps turn provisioning into a job virtually anyone can do, allowing IT employees and UC engineers to spend their time on more strategic projects rather than on repetitive, manual work.

In addition, using the role-based access feature in Akkadian Provision Manager, those simple, manual tasks can be securely off-loaded to a HelpDesk – an important cost-savings that doesn’t sacrifice security.

Finally, thanks to native integrations with Active Directory and Service now in addition to RESTful API connections and API Triggers, Provisioning Manager can further streamline UC provisioning workflows across many different applications. This helps governments save even more valuable resources.

Other helpful features of Akkadian Provisioning Manager include:

  • Full-cycle, zero-touch automation via integrations with Active Directory and ServiceNow
  • Real-time directory number management
  • API Triggers to extend provisioning actions outside of supported UC platforms (Cisco Collaboration, Webex and Microsoft Teams) to other important third-party applications
  • Bulk provisioning
  • Role-based access to securely off-load provisioning tasks to a HelpDesk
  • Remote phone control to access Cisco IP phones to test, place calls, and change settings
  • High availability for automated roll-over to maximize uptime
  • Multi-cluster support across all your CUCM clusters
  • Detailed reporting using SQL database queries to generate reports from CUCM

Expected Outcomes

Federal, state and local governments that use an automated provisioning solution like Provisioning Manager will ultimately generate cost savings and yield better collaboration across teams and better services for citizens.

It takes only hours to go from implementing Akkadian Provisioning Manager to achieving zero-touch, full-cycle provisioning. Once your solution is up and running, your teams can focus on strategic projects that will have a greater impact on the services which governments provide.

Your IT teams and UC engineers will be happier, too, doing less tedious provisioning work. You can even offload provisioning tasks, no matter how complex, to a HelpDesk while maintaining a secure environment.

Conclusion – Automated Provisioning is Key to Unlocking a More Modern Government

Modernizing government services amidst these new resident expectations brought on by the pandemic is a huge challenge. Even the smallest local government has many different branches and departments that are vital to serving a community. A modern UC environment is critical to collaboration between branches and departments.

An automated provisioning solution can help save time and money while provisioning users more accurately and ensuring uptime. This will give your stretched IT teams the bandwidth they need to focus on more pressing initiatives that lead to further cost savings and better experiences for residents and employees alike.

Looking for support as you shift to hybrid operations in your federal, state or local government? Talk to the provisioning experts at Akkadian to see how our solutions can unlock new efficiencies leading to a better experience for your residents.