Bavarian Red Cross

UMRA Simplifies User Management at the Red Cross

Bavarian Red Cross logo

Bavarian Red Cross

  • With the help of User Management Resource Administrator (UMRA) from Tools4ever, local IT coordinators are now responsible for user management, for which they utilize user-friendly forms. The organizational structures of the BRK can also be depicted in UMRA, thereby meeting reporting requirements
  • The introduction of a provisioning tool and decentralized master data management has drastically reduced the number of support ticket requests from users. The time taken to process user queries has been reduced from days to minutes. Via the reporting functions both IT officers and senior management have a constant overview of what is happening

Convenient decentralized operation and straightforward user support on-site

The Bavarian Red Cross (BRK) is a public corporation and part of a worldwide community of people in the international Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. It is made up of 5 district associations and 73 local sections. Red Cross helpers run more than 600 facilities, including homes and kindergartens but also lifeguard and mountain rescue services. Typical of an aid organization such as the BRK is the decentralized structure with facilities distributed over the entire state. Of the 17,000 workers throughout Bavaria, some 5,500 have user accounts for the IT infrastructure. Despite the decentralized structure and limited IT resources, the BRK needs to ensure that staff has rapid access to their resources, including when problems arise.

Low-Cost Solution Needed

Five years ago the BRK's state office therefore commenced the process of setting up a central IT centre. This centre is responsible for tasks such as providing internet connections for the facilities and email postboxes for staff and maintaining the security of these functions; it also handles reporting tasks. To ensure clearly regulated access rights the BRK uses Active Directory. According to IT manager Henric Töpper, user management was originally going to be centrally controlled. "But that would have needed between five and seven staff. Because of the high cost, we therefore opted for a decentralized solution." The aim was to entrust the necessary tasks to local staff. Töpper initially wanted to use the relevant Microsoft solution for this. "However, that would have involved a great deal of training and the update requirements had become too expensive." In its search for an affordable solution the Bavarian Red Cross came across User Management Resource Administrator (UMRA) from Tools4ever.

"We are very close to government agencies and in some cases may even be inspected by the Ministry of the Interior. This means that the quality of our reports needs to be very high."

Henric Töpper, IT manager

Simple Implementation

In addition to its functional possibilities, another reason for choosing UMRA was that it could be adapted precisely to the BRK's decentralized structure and required no additional prior investment. Moreover, there was little that Töpper needed to do in advance. "We had simply drawn up a rudimentary catalogue of requirements with the necessary specifications." On this basis the Tools4ever experts were able to implement UMRA within a week; this was followed by a test run involving five different sites. According to Töpper, the experience thus gained made individual adjustments possible. The complete implementation process including these adjustments took only three months. The Bavarians now use UMRA to regulate important basis tasks such as assigning group memberships, blocking and unblocking users and resetting passwords.

Much Less Work for the Support Department

With the help of UMRA, the decentralized structure of the Bavarian Red Cross can be extended to include administration and support. Seventy IT coordinators have been trained to assist users in the different regions with hardware and software problems. They are also responsible for the work carried out with UMRA. "This has enabled us to significantly reduce the extensive training of IT staff; we now work only with IT coordinators who can be very quickly and easily inducted", says Töpper with pleasure. One person can now do the work which previously required three customer care staff and one back office assistant.

Reporting Regulated State-Wide

UMRA can also be used to meet the very strict safety, data protection and reporting standards that apply in the healthcare sector. For example, standard reports have been prepared that make it very easy for the IT department to comply with reporting requirements. The features provided include logfiles for users, rights and the granting of rights which can be made available to auditors or management. The IT manager comments: "We are very close to government agencies and in some cases may even be inspected by the Ministry of the Interior. This means that the quality of our reports needs to be very high." It was also important to the Bavarians that reporting at regional level should be possible. Töpper therefore wanted each IT coordinator to be able to view his reports. UMRA enables reporting to be adapted precisely to the organizational structure of the Bavarian Red Cross and hence to be designed exactly in accordance with the requirements of the helpers.