Uganda Revenue Authority was set up on September 5, 1991 by the Uganda Revenue Authority Statute No. 6 of 1991 as a central body for the assessment and collection of specified tax revenue, to administer and enforce the laws relating to such revenue and to account for all the revenue to which those laws apply.
The Uganda Revenue Authority is also required to advise the Government on matters of policy relating to all revenue, whether or not this revenue is specified in statute No. 6. broad objectives of URA.
URA sites were operating as standalone sites that couldn't give customers the requisite accurate information on demand hence it took long to serve customers. In addition there was no inter-site voice communication and the few sites that had voice communication relied on the public voice network which was expensive. In respect to the existing telephony network, movements, additions and changes had become very un-manageable due to the fixed nature of the communication infrastructure.
URA also had problems serving its customers; it didn't have a way of enabling the clearing agents access information required for goods clearance hence all agents and customers relied upon URA offices to be served.
SST deployed a WAN connecting all the 60 sites over Uganda Telkom's MPLS/VPN cloud. The connection infrastructure consisted of Cisco routers and switches.
A security infrastructure consisting of redundant Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) and Cisco secure control servers were deployed to protect critical internal URA data and also allow secure access by clearing agents and mobile URA staff to allowed servers.
A Unified Communication infrastructure was also deployed to allow unified communication across all the URA sites. A centralized communication manager was deployed at the two main HQ sites (Nakawa & Crested towers) serving over a 1000 IP phones across all the sites.
In addition to voice communication, a voicemail messaging system was also deployed serving a sub-set of the URA staff.
Cisco Contact Centre express running Cisco agent desktop was also deployed to assist with internal help desk for the 2000+ users.
Network management solutions were deployed to ensure that the whole infrastructure can be managed from a central location; the network management solutions included Opmanager and Cisco unified communications monitoring solution.
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is a friendly service organization which exists for the public good. It offers social protection to all Kenyan workers. NSSF provides social security protection to workers in the formal and informal sectors. NSSF register members, receive their contributions, manage funds of the scheme, process and ultimately pay out benefits to eligible members or dependants.
The client faced the following specific challenges:
NSSF branches operated as disparate branches and information flow between the branches was slow as it relied on phone calls only; staff at remote branches couldn‚??t access critical information from HQ that would enable them serve customers promptly and faster.
Inter-branch communication was very expensive; staff relied on PSTN to route inter-branch calls hence high telephone bills.
There was no way of allowing secure access to database servers at the HQ coupled with the fact that network attacks were prevalent; users used to spread viruses in the network that would make the network unusable.
Managing the existing infrastructure was a nightmare; there was no centralized network management solutions in place hence network administrators had to travel to the various sites for troubleshooting incase of any problems.
To resolve these challenges, the following solutions were deployed:
A WAN connecting all the 37 sites over Telkom Kenya‚??s network. For the HQ and DR site, an enhanced LAN was deployed. A secure wireless network was also implemented at the HQ and across all the 37 branches;
To solve the communication problems, a Cisco unified communication manager was deployed at the HQ serving all the NSSF staff across the WAN. Staff now can make on-net calls and can utilize a centralized directory for user search.
In addition to the connectivity and unified communication infrastructure, security services were implemented at the HQ. To control device access and user authentication, redundant Cisco secure control servers (ACS) were deployed at the HQ.
Network management solutions were deployed to ensure centralized management of the infrastructure. After the deployment NSSF signed a service level agreement (SLA) framework with SST that saw SST manage all NSSF network operations over a secure VPN from SST‚??s offices in Westlands.
As a result: