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UK utility company Southern Water identified Identity & Access Management (IAM)as the cornerstone for protecting and offering IT-services. They contracted Capgemini and iWelcome to enable access for employees and contractors to their IT-services, with guarantees for a seamless end-user experience that integrated security management and governance. Next on the roadmap: offering the same user friendly and secure experience to (end) customers, both commercial and domestic, to improve the customer journey whilst crucially maintaining security standards.
Southern Water is a private utility company providing water and wastewater treatment services across Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and parts of Surrey and Berkshire. The company supplies drinking water to roughly one million households through its 95 water supply works and 13,700 kilometres of water mains. Wastewater is treated by the company’s network of 370 wastewater treatment works and almost 40,000 kilometres of sewers. Southern Water directly employs just over 2,000 people and has over 4,000 people employed by their 3rd party partner organisations.
For this essential role, Southern Water is part of UK’s critical ‘National Infrastructure’. This status increases the challenges for a company that wishes to implement seamless access to its infrastructure for employees and contractors and for its retail and wholesale customers. Following DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and CPNI (Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure) regulations, Southern Water is required to have robust information security controls in place. Compliance with these rules safeguards continuous protection and monitoring to reduce breaches, minimise recovery efforts and lower associated costs.
Southern Water, a private utility company, had every reason to rethink its IAM strategy. With Southern Water’s increasing reliance on the use of information to run its business, Information Security has become a major concern over the years. As attackers become more sophisticated every day, the threat for Southern Water has increased. In a landscape where applications and data are increasingly cloud based; Southern Water expressed a desire to have more control over these critical digital assets and applications and were looking for an efficient and effective way to manage identities organisation-wide.
Meanwhile, the pressure was on the organisation to improve user experience, from both Southern Water’s 2,000 staff as well as from over 4,000 people employed by their 3rd party partners. Engineers often had to contact the helpdesk for password resets or work around the system by getting the helpdesk to perform tasks on their behalf, resulting in significant operational costs. Multiplying systems, devices and logins led to high operational costs, inadequate security and frustrated users.
Increased performance, tighter security and a better user experience for their employees, customers and 3rd parties were high on Southern Water’s wish list.
Capgemini had already helped Southern Water to examine their business requirements, understand conceptually how these could be met and analysed the current state. The iWelcome Identity as a Service (IDaaS) was then selected and procured by Southern Water after a competitive commercial process.
Together with IT strategy partner Capgemini and IAM partner iWelcome, Southern Water implemented and executed its new Identity and Access Management (IAM) strategy to consolidate identities, simplify logins and increase security. With the implementation of iWelcome’s IDaaS solution, Southern Water completed the first phase of its five-phase roadmap. This roadmap will allow customer identities to be managed and provide ease of access and a better customer experience, while safely communicating with the company’s infrastructure to report malfunctions, check their invoices and usage data and more. It is the long-term strategy and commitment that led Southern Water to select Capgemini as IT strategy partner and the iWelcome full featured IDaaS solution.
Southern Water selected iWelcome as its IAM partner based on multiple criteria, which included functional criteria for authentication, Single Sign-On (SSO), federation, authorisation, administration, session management, configuration, audit/logging and reporting, service monitoring and resilience. Equally important were the non-functional criteria such as guaranteed European data residency, interoperability, private cloud architecture, scalability, the Professional delivery model and the ongoing customer engagement model.
Service delivery in weeksThe iWelcome core service was connected and available in a matter of weeks with several business critical applications within four months. The immediate benefits were reduced number of helpdesk calls and security now invisible to the end user. The delivery involved teams from Southern Water, Capgemini and iWelcome. Capgemini developed and delivered business and technical architecture and design. iWelcome configured and deployed the new Service in line with this and Southern Water’s IT Managed Services supplier made the necessary changes to Southern Water infrastructure to facilitate the integration with the iWelcome Service.
Now employees have immediate access to approved applications and 3rd Parties are able to logon externally via the new Identity portal and the future promises to make it just as easy for its customers to easily interact with Southern Water services.
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