SNCT: outsourced infrastructure in operation
Early in 2012, SNCT sa, the National Society of Technical Control, officially inaugurated a new era. Until then, it had operated as a department of SNCT sarl, renamed SNCA in 2012, and responsible in particular for vehicle registrations and the administrative management of driving licences.
A splitting-up process was then undertaken to enable SNCT to operate as a private company and to set up as a commercial competitor with other actors authorized to enter this deregulated market.
Beyond the separation of activities, a profound change of the operational resources was thus required for the Luxembourg vehicle technical control organization.
After a transition phase, the company effectively lost the resources of its parent organization. These included the IT teams and solutions.
The decision was then made not to set up a specific IT department – "It’s not our business," says Armand Biberich, SNCT director – but to look for external providers. Firstly this was the case for implementing professional applications, and secondly for hosting and managing the infrastructures (systems, storage, network and communications).
The decision was then made for complete outsourcing. "We wanted a partner of relatively similar size to us, who could work closely, dynamically and personally with us, and for whom we would not be just a number," stresses Armand Biberich.
As for the more technical prerequisites, the specifications set out high requirements in terms of efficiency and technological competence, as well as for the very high system availability of the essential functions and rigorous data security (transfers and processing).
Following the invitation to tender, System Solutions was selected. Its PSF status (Financial Sector Professional) certainly weighed in the balance. "We guarantee to our customer that no data leaves Luxembourg territory at any time," states Alain Maringer, commercial director of System Solutions Luxembourg.
This guarantee is based on a robust data center infrastructure, with perfectly redundant duplicated sites, and the latest technological equipment offering scalable space and resources.
In terms of security, access to data is duly protected; transfers between the central servers and the mobile equipment of the SNCT inspectors are minimized thanks to the selected option of a Citrix/thin client solution.
Moreover data is systematically replicated between two data centers which operate in active-active mode, with a 3rd site in addition which acts as a tape archiving location and which, in the event of a problem with one of the two main sites, instructs the other site to takeover, says Alain Maringer.
Directeur - SNCT
«We are very satisfied with the services provided by System Solutions. Efficiency is guaranteed, which lets us concentrate on optimizing the professional applications.»
From 2016, System Solutions has been offering four types of services to SNCT, starting with the data center services and a full set of support services to end users, whether administrative staff or inspectors operating in the field.
Thus the company is providing their workstation support and the helpdesk service, in three languages (French, German, English), for 6 days out of 7.
Third major component: telecommunications services. Indeed System Solutions has to ensure efficient, flexible and secure Internet and mobile connections between its cloud and all the sites where SNCT is operating. And there are many: apart from the four directly managed inspection sites, some forty independent garages and repair shops are effectively SNCT approved.
"The purpose of this network is to make drivers’ lives easier and to allow them to take the technical control near their home or workplace," notes Armand Biberich.
Teams of two SNCT inspectors thus plan inspections throughout the Luxembourg territory. Equipped with mobile thin client computers, they download the IT tools they need and send back their inspection reports to the central SNCA database.
One mobile "site" was even provided. This takes the shape of a truck, affectionately named "Blue Monster", tasked with carrying out the technical control of trucks (Luxembourg or foreign) on the roadside, together with the Police and Customs Administration.
There is a fourth area where System Solutions is assisting SNCT. This is "global delivery" services, which in particular means assistance with project management, legal compliance and management of the governance model. "This set of services," explains Alain Maringer, "especially covers reviewing KPI and SLA reports, ensuring customer satisfaction, discussing future professional needs in terms of IT services, defining a strategic computing roadmap, etc."
"We are very satisfied with the services provided by System Solutions," Armand Biberich is pleased to say. "The transition to complete outsourcing took place efficiently even though the timetable was tight. We are now in the cruising phase. Efficiency is guaranteed, which lets us concentrate on optimizing the professional applications."