The Field Technology Service (FTS) at the Global Service Centre (GSC) is a strategic enabler for the United Nations Secretariat worldwide through the delivery of reliable and innovative IT, communications, and geospatial services and solutions. The vision of the Secretary-General is for a stronger United Nations for a better world; the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) vision is for strong ICT for a better United Nations. In line with this vision, the SGITT at the UNGSC has made significant progress in the areas of: Centralization, Remote Mission Support (i.e. mission light footprint model) and Regional Cooperation. The SGITT Centralization efforts are focused on: the optimization of the connectivity and hosting infrastructure necessary to make Umoja accessible to field users from Valencia and Brindisi; the support of the DFS centralized electronic mail system; the support of its centralized field correspondence management solution; the establishment and operations of the Centralized Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) capacity; the support of mobility services to missions; the support of monitoring services that allow the missions to leverage on the FTOC centralized capacity in the area of infrastructure monitoring from Valencia and Brindisi, and on the operations of the one-star or single hop satellite communications network commissioned to support the deployment of Umoja. In addition, the SGITT at the UNGSC successfully provides Remote Missions Support (RMS) services to MINURSO, UNSMIL, MINUSMA and MINUSCA. RMS services are also provided to UNMIL, support to Ebola Crisis, in order to relief the pressure on the mission staff and infrastructure. A three levels (local, regional and global) Digital Radio systems is operated by leveraging on the GITT regional cooperation framework.
The delivery of GITT services is effected via the unique and unparalleled support capacity within the United Nations, emanating from the DFS Twin Technology Centres located in Brindisi and Valencia. Leveraging on its closely integrated infrastructure distributed in two locations, allowing for a high level of operational resilience, SGITT at the GSC provides centralized information and communications technology services, geospatial information systems services and remote mission support services. The services are delivered and governed through cross-cutting service management and information security processes conforming to industry standards (ISO 20000: Service Management, ISO 27001: Information Security Management). Overall the Valencia-Brindisi Twin Technology Centers arrangement proves to be capable of bringing value to the DFS field operations while generating service efficiencies. The Valencia-Brindisi Twin Technology Centers is a single, scalable, secure and highly–available centralized infrastructure system, cornerstone of effective delivery of ICT services to field operations around the world, to the entire Secretariat and to several other UN Offices, agencies, Funds and Programmes.
The deployment of iNeed, Inspira, MS Exchange, Cosmos, Comet, FSS, Umoja and other centralized applications hosted in the Twin Technology Centres is continuing to increase the complexity of the support and management of the ICT activities at the UNGSC. The services provided by SGITT are of a very complex nature and critical to both field and enterprise users. The underlying driver behind the SGITT re-profiling efforts is the need to distinguish between standardized and centralized infrastructure support activities, and mission specific and adaptive intra-mission support services.
The Service for Geospatial, Information and Telecommunications Technologies (SGITT) operates the Field Technology Operations Centre (FTOC) in Valencia and Brindisi. The FTOC serves as the operational arm of the Department of Field Support’s Division for Geospatial, Information and Telecommunications Technologies (DGITT) in the provision and support of global geospatial, information and telecommunications technologies centralized services to field operations.
The SGITT in Valencia and Brindisi has been and will continue to develop itself as a Core Service Area and a key pillar of the UNGSC in its role as a Service Provider. SGITT will continue to position itself as an ICT Centre of Excellence delivering services and business solutions aligned with the needs of the organization. In A/67/780/Add. 10, the ACABQ recommended that the General Assembly request the Secretary-General to take the opportunity afforded by the restructuring of the Communications and Information Technology Service to re-engineer, consolidate and standardize processes in order to achieve improved service delivery as well as greater efficiencies and economies of scale. Additionally, the Secretary-General was also requested to report comprehensively on the restructuring of the CIT Service in his next report on UNLB.
In the overall, the SGITT at the UNGSC acts as the premier GITT Service Provider within the Department of Field Support (DFS) when it comes to the provision of connectivity and hosting services to its clients. Geospatial, Information and Telecommunication Technologies (GITT) services are an essential lifeline to field missions and staff, and business continuity is a critical sustainment element for field missions. Beyond the field mission environment, SGITT client base extends to the rest of the Secretariat, in addition to Agencies, Funds, Programs and Tribunals. The quality and scalability of the underlying GITT infrastructure and support resources arrangements provide for a demand oriented solutions delivery framework which is ideally suited and positioned to support volatile and dynamic peace operations.
Annually, SGITT manages nearly 70,000 service requests from its global client base. The voice, data, videoconferencing and hosting services provided by SGITT at the GSC are both mission and business critical for the field missions, consequently service outages will result into the jeopardizing the mandate of the mission and well-being of staff. Business critical applications such as messaging and Umoja are centrally hosted at the GSC. The safety, security and productivity of field personnel heavily depends on the availability of the GITT services.
The mandate of the GIS Section is to provide various global and centralized geospatial services for field operations, the secretariat, agencies and partners in accordance with the GIS Service Catalogue and Performance Management framework.
The mandate of SISMS is to provide service management and information security framework applicable to all SGITT functional groups (FTOC, RMS, GIS). As a cross-cutting capacity it eliminates silos and provides common process and information sharing among all support areas in SGITT. It also provides oversight to outscored services such as Information Security, Operation Resilience, Service Desk, Network Control Center and Application Performance Monitoring provided by second and third party contractors.
The Satellite Engineering Support Section (SESS) mandate is to provide highly available wide area satellite service connectivity for all its internal and external clients. The Section will strive to provide the mentioned services using state of the art technology in the most efficient and effective manner. The section will endeavor to consolidate and simplify the architecture for optimal use of resources.
The Network Engineering Support Section mandate is to provide highly available wide area network connectivity, voice, radio switching and video conference services for all its internal and external clients. The Section will strive to provide the mentioned services using state of the art technology in the most efficient and effective manner. The Section will endeavor to consolidate and simplify the architecture for optimal use of resources.
The Data Center Support Section (DCSS), enables DFS to support the operations of Peacekeeping missions, Special Political missions, UN Secretariat Dept. of management., UNRWA, UNOCHA, UNDESA, UNDSS operations and other UN departments, programs and agencies, by providing hosting of centralized applications, messaging and collaborative applications, backup and archiving, cloud and mobile computing including remote virtual desktops, and disaster recovery infrastructure. It’s mission is to provide reliable, service oriented, cost-efficient, and resilient data center infrastructure to missions and UN organizations it served. It ensures efficient and effective operation of the following infrastructures: hosting services, centralized systems services management for Active Directory, DNS, NTP, centralized SSL Certificates, and LDAP; mail provisioning and routing, storage; backup and data replication for centralized systems and applications; Data backup and replication for mission’s data; VDI Infrastructure; IaaS (Vcloud); Remote virtual desktops and centralized mobile computing platform.
The Technology Infrastructure Support Section provides management, advice, and technical support related to the DFS and UN Enterprise data centres located in UNGSC Brindisi and Valencia sites. TISS is responsible to ensure that the Tier 3 Certified data centres are maintained and kept in continuous operation. TISS provides technical support to the HVAC Systems, electrical power infrastructure, network cabling infrastructure, physical infrastructure as well as ensuring physical access control and other areas related to ISO 27001 are maintained. In addition, TISS in UNGSC Brindisi provides innovative solutions towards the implementation of Modular ICT capacity in the peacekeeping operations. So called “Modular Command Posts” based on converted sea containers have been developed and deployed to several missions. Maintenance and support is also provided to the Mobile Deployable Telecommunications System (MDTS) which is a Van capable of rapid ICT provisioning during startup phases of Missions and emergency communications provision for humanitarian crises. TISS Brindisi also provides technical support for UNGSC ICT infrastructure, such as fiber optic connectivity between various sites as well as provides for various Radio Communications Technology installations in UN Vehicles destined for Peacekeeping Missions. RFID infrastructure on the UNGSC base in Brindisi and Valencia is also maintained by the TISS. TISS Valencia also operates and maintains a Photovoltaic Solar Farm that produces 800 Mega Watt hours (average) of green power per year, representing almost 48% of the total power consumption at the Valencia facility during daytime hours.
The mandate of DSSU is to cover all aspects of Information Technology customer facing services for the GSC personnel in Brindisi and Valencia. This includes lifecycle management of desktop IT services (software, wifi access, file access etc.), equipment and telecommunications, mobile telephones, MS email services, purchased printers and peripheral devices. Customer specifc areas are Training and Conference rooms, Video Conference support, customized services (I.E. SAOC, WiFi etc.) and Ad-Hoc emergency requirements (I.E. support of evacuees).
The mandate of the PSU is to provide premier customer focused administrative, supply chain, procurement, human resources and programme support services. Excellence in quality and performance of PSU activities are monitored with reporting tools that enable SGITT to attain the maximum capacity of its financial, human and operational resources. The Office will strive to conduct its business with the highest degree of efficiency and effectiveness, actively fostering constructive and cooperative synergy and dialogue with all offices of the UNGSC while consistently striving to promote an environment and culture for continual service improvement, both internally and within the community.
The mandate of the Field Solutions Support Unit is to provide support for a number of corporate and UNGSC centric systems, supporting applications deployed for Field Missions, Field Missions embedded within UNGSC, Field Missions supported entirely or partially by RMS and to the UNGSC itself. These major activities are to act as an ICTD focal point for systems and coordinate system transitions from design to production (TPS), manage systems Definitive Media Library and licenses, coordinate activities on application performance improvement, participate in OR and DR activities; participate in corporate system planning and deployment activities; act as the focal point for Microsoft Professional Services engagement in UNGSC; liaise with ICTD on defining policies related to corporate solution implementations and management; manage UNGSC centric systems including support (Tier-2 and Tier-3) for email, Sharepoint and WEB sites in UNGSC; support special systems deployed in UNGSC like Security systems (RFID), attendance systems, UMOJA, legacy systems like Lotus Notes, SUN/Progen, etc.; coordinate activities with third party contractors in support for systems running from UNGSC; support for collaboration sites deployed at UNGSC like COSMOS and COMET or their derivate.