IBM Helps Finnish Defence Forces Improve Crises Management Systems
CAMBRIDGE, MA - IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it is helping the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) create a networked coalition that will bring together diverse military and civilian organizations to better respond to crises as part of the FDF’s Network-Centric Operations (NCO) strategy. The FDF’s Major General Markku Koli will be presenting the details of the project to global business and IT leaders during this week’s “Leadership for a Networked World” conference being held at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
NCO is widely used by US, UK and European governments to gain competitive advantage through better networking and information sharing among geographically dispersed forces.
Networked coalitions enable various constituencies such as the Air Force, Navy, police, hospitals, and other military and civilian groups to more easily communicate with each other in times of crisis. However, sometimes the communication can be delayed or can completely fail due to incompatible technology that is being used among the different offices. The FDF, which consists of the Finnish Defence Command, Army, Navy, and Air Force, selected IBM’s software based on its ability to connect virtually any technology so that emergency workers can communicate without requiring they replace their existing systems. Additionally, IBM Global Business Services is helping develop and execute the FDF’s long-term strategy.
The FDF project using IBM technology is known as the Finnish Network-Enabled Defence (FiNED) and is based on a service oriented architecture (SOA). An SOA enables an organization to reuse existing technology and make it more closely aligned with strategic business goals. For example, the SOA that supports FiNED will help transform Finland’s homeland security and crisis management infrastructure through greater and more flexible inter-agency and international collaboration. This includes collaboration with groups such as customs, border patrol, police, fire, state ministries, industry, and international organizations such as NATO, the European Union and the United Nations.
“Using a combination of IBM technology and services, FDF is able to focus on achieving our strategic vision of network-centric operations through the combination of technology, organizational processes, and a co-operative culture,” said Major General Markku Koli, chief of operations, Finnish Defence Forces.
The IBM-based SOA that supports FiNED has helped reduce costs and boost productivity for FDF. Previously, FDF had over 300 legacy IT systems; many of which performed the same functions but in different locations or in different divisions. Now, these duplicate systems can be consolidated onto a common service, reducing the number of discrete systems to tens, instead of hundreds. This has allowed the FDF to reduce maintenance costs of non-strategic and duplicate systems while realizing productivity improvements through more efficient business processes.
“FiNED is an ambitious program that will radically increase the FDF’s effectiveness in both military action and civilian crisis management,” said Jorgen Rosqvist, vice president, IBM Global Technology Services. The FDF’s success illustrates how a standards-based information technology strategy can be replicated at various local, federal and state agencies to best serve our communities"
The FDF is using a combination of IBM middleware software to integrate and manage its information technology infrastructure. In addition to its homegrown and legacy applications, the SOA that supports the FDF is based on IBM WebSphere integration middleware, a DB2 information management database, WebSphere Portal and Lotus Notes for a standards-based interface, and Tivoli infrastructure management software.
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