EAST LANSING, Mich. -- As a large police agency with 1,500 law enforcement professionals, the Michigan State Police needed to provide its employees with greater accessibility to information and applications while maintaining the security of confidential information within its network and complying with federal security mandates.

Working with Novell Worldwide Services, the state developed an architecture using the company's Nsure and exteNd technologies to provide secure access to criminal justice records and applications based on the user's identity, while providing a solid foundation for future growth.

The Michigan State Police uses a variety of operating platforms, programming languages, databases and criminal justice applications, which are critical for its local police departments, courts, state troopers and federal authorities. As the environment became more complex, the management of it across the organization was becoming more costly and less efficient. The state was committed to offering Web-based access to several critical applications, but with shrinking budgets, the state knew it had to be creative to find a cost-effective solution.

Using the company's eDirectory, Nsure Identity Manager and iChain, the department centralized all its user identity information and can now automatically synchronize it across multiple applications and use it to verify a user's credentials, enhancing security to protect confidential information. When users log in, they view a personalized page with links to the criminal justice applications they are authorized to access based on their identity and role within the organization. The Michigan State Police has also improved security with the ability to track user access to information, ensuring that only the right people can access confidential data.

State troopers previously had to wait in the office for access through common terminals, but now via the Internet, they can get access from their own office or from their car, allowing them to spend more time serving the community. Each user now has single sign-on access to state resources, eliminating the need for multiple passwords, which has tightened security and reduced administrative overhead by 40 percent.

Using exteNd, the Michigan State Police integrated several critical applications into an identity-based portal. The department can now develop new applications much more quickly, and the department is planning to integrate additional applications into the portal, maximizing the organization's existing investments. In addition, the state can now provide a single help desk for the portal, instead of one for each application, which has reduced the call volume by 30 percent.

The portal has been so successful that Michigan plans to add systems from other state agencies that will include applications for human resources, laboratory management and commercial vehicle management.

Miriam Jones  |  Chief Copy Editor