Punjab Government Deploys Microsoft’s Virtualized Communication Solution

PITB_logoThe Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB), the technological division of the government of Punjab, has replaced its outdated decentralized communications technology with a secure and reliable solution.

The solution was deployed by working locally with Microsoft Gold Partner Inbox Business Technologies and has contributed to a rise in employee productivity and reduced operating costs.

PITB is responsible for providing IT infrastructure services to more than 100 departments and divisions within the government and throughout Punjab province.

With advances in technology, old systems were becoming redundant resulting in 15,000 civil employees becoming more and more dependent on email. So it was high time to have a reliable system in place which could provide consistency in services and support. Previously, the government relied on different systems for communications and lacked a centralized infrastructure.

Sajjad Ghani, Joint Director of Databases at PITB explains, “Previously, the PITB email services were hosted by a third party cloud provider and the majority of civil servants used web based email services. The government’s Microsoft Exchange 2007 messaging system – which had around 2,500 active mailboxes hosted on a single server – lacked redundancy and high availability. In addition, the server wasn’t scalable.”

The requirements for the system were that it had to be highly resilient to viruses and malware and automated to reduce cost of operating the data center. Cost was also a huge factor given the current economic climate.

Details of newly deployed solution are given below:

  • Based on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • Active directory services for identity management
  • Microsoft System Center suite for improved monitoring and manageability
  • Microsoft Forefront family of security products

Currently, the solution is already live for 5000 people and the rest are expected to follow suit soon.

The government signed a strategic partnership with Microsoft in 2010 and was able to take out a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement for low cost volume licensing of software which includes Software Assurance for ongoing maintenance and simplified licensing processes.

Aamir Zaffar Chaudry, Director General IT, PITB, had this to say, “In today’s world, technology is the service vehicle for good governance. For this aim the government wanted improved communication within its structure and to provide citizens with a new avenue to communicate with public servants. The project has evolved to be one of the largest deployments in the country for identity management and the first of its kind in the public sector. ”

Over the next few years, PITB plans to completely modernize its IT infrastructure with a standardized collaboration and communication platform for its civil service. It also plans on focusing on reducing operating costs, increasing efficiency and creating the foundation for different services.

Talal is the Editor in Chief at ProPakistani. Reach out at [email protected]