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Case Study: Government of Alberta

PROBLEM: Alberta is a large western territory in Canada with a population of over 2.9 million citizens. Culturally and economically diverse, Alberta offers one of the strongest economies in North America, with resources and industries varying from agriculture and forestry to technology. The Government of Alberta (GoA) is comprised of multiple committees, agencies and offices, and is headed by a premier, or head, of the provincial cabinet. A large network of computer systems is utilized to handle the internal workings of the government and includes such devices as: servers, databases, building security, and environmental systems. Consolidation and automation of communication among the various agencies is a top priority, prompting the GoA to invest in a paging solution for territory wide inter-agency communications. In addition, the GoA also utilizes the paging solution to notify technicians when a network anomaly or other event occurs that requires a technician or other employee to respond to and / or remedy the situation.

Currently, the Alberta Corporate Service Centre, ACSC maintains the paging product and is responsible for consolidating communications across the various offices and agencies. The current paging product however has become difficult to support and continually offers less than reliable service. It is felt that the current paging product has not kept pace with current technology trends and as a result is preventing the GoA and the ACSC from utilizing the most efficient communication and integration methods available. Additionally, the fact that the product receives little to no support from its vendor and does not support current server operating systems further emphasizes the need of the GoA to replace their existing notification system.
A wireless messaging solution is needed that supports the current and future needs of the GoA. Furthermore, the new wireless platform must also be backed by a responsive and dedicated support team and support the latest technology and communication protocols. Finally, the solution must integrate seamlessly into the existing applications, provide a web-based graphical user interface (GUI) for administration, and meet the requirements of the GoA’s budget.
SOLUTION: After carefully evaluating several competing solutions including TelAlert, PageAlert, and AlarmPoint, the GoA decided to implement HipLink Application Messaging into their notification center. The intuitive and powerful web-based graphical-user interface and administration of HipLink ensured a smooth implementation and short learning curve. Also, the modular design and scalability of HipLink provided further benefits for the organization, allowing additional features and capacity to be added when needed. Finally, the professionalism and attentiveness of the Semotus support and sales staff emphasized the value for the GoA of choosing HipLink.
RESULTS: HipLink is an integral part of the government’s communication and network monitoring / alert notification system. Seamlessly integrating with several in-house systems including Building Security and Building Control Systems, HipLink allows GoA employees to stay connected to their network and security infrastructure from anywhere, at anytime, and instantly informs them of events and situations that require immediate attention. Also, the automatic failover capabilities of HipLink ensure that critical messages are delivered should the primary communication method fail. Messages are automatically routed to a secondary, or backup, carrier or wireless protocol, drastically reducing communication delays and ensuring delivery of all messages.
Another key benefit of HipLink realized by GoA employees is the ability to consolidate communications among the various government ministries and departments within Alberta. HipLink incorporates a Client / Server architecture, where the client is any supported web-browser-based GUI. Since any platform with internet access can be used as a client, deployment across all government agencies is quick and painless, providing a short learning curve and faster deployment across all offices and departments. Using the supported Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) capabilities, employee information and authentication can be automatically uploaded into HipLink. From a central web browser-based interface, employees are able to generate and send messages, access messaging reports, or configure HipLink based on existing network passwords and access privileges.
Additionally, to help streamline administration functions for all the various ministries, the GoA utilizes the powerful Departments feature of HipLink. This feature allows for distributed administration of user information by incorporating organizational hierarchy into the messaging system, logically organizing users and devices into departments that match the structure of the GoA. This enables individual ministries and agencies to manage their own employee information, thus keeping system records and files updated in the most efficient method. Finally, the HipLink Voice Module provides robust voice messaging and Text-To-Speech capabilities that deliver the right message to the right people, on the device that best serves them.

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