Case Study

Frequency management made easy

Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands (Agentschap Telecom, or AT for short) safeguards the availability of the IT and communications network in the Netherlands. AT manages, monitors and issues licenses for the full radio frequency spectrum used in shipping, aviation, aerospace and by emergency services, defense forces and radio and telecommunications providers throughout the entire country. A new platform solution is simplifying and speeding up license management – and the new tts digital adoption solution (tts performance suite) is playing its part.
July 06, 2021
5 min
Henk Arts Henk Arts

Logo Agentschap Telecom, die Agentur für Funkkommunikation, Niederlande

The core remit of AT is managing frequency licenses – a task that might sound simple enough but, in practice, is actually highly complex. There are essentially three stages to the process. The first involves establishing which frequency ranges are being used and how. Since radio waves take no notice of national borders, their usage needs to be coordinated and harmonized on a cross-border basis, which means having to take into account international laws and directives. The second stage is to allocate frequencies in what is known as the national frequency usage plan – either for a limited period of time or on an unlimited basis. Frequencies might be used, for example, for communication purposes in aviation, shipping, cellular telephony, amateur radio, and radio, television and satellite broadcasting. The third and final stage is dealing with returned licenses and clearing the radio frequency spectrum for new uses. Frequency users might be state bodies, organizations, businesses, event organizers or even private individuals such as radio amateurs.

On a practical level, this management task is exceptionally complex and has major implications for security. Given the scope of the task and its political dimensions, virtually every country manages its frequencies at government level – and the Netherlands is no different. This kind of approach requires a solution that spans multiple ministries and incorporates other government bodies into frequency management. Senior staff at AT therefore decided to roll out a platform-based solution (the RijksZaak platform) that simplifies the entire process of frequency management and ensures that the team at AT can respond flexibly and quickly to new laws and directives.

Support in the moment of need

The first step in the implementation process was to simplify all processes as much as possible. It is absolutely essential to avoid errors when allocating frequencies, which is why senior staff at AT were looking for a solution that would help users come to grips with the new processes as quickly as possible. Another requirement was that it should give users assistance precisely when they need it. This was a smart move, since studies have shown that two out of every three IT projects fail due to the complexity of the tools, a lack of user-friendliness and therefore reluctance among staff to embrace change. “We were lucky enough to be recommended by a change management company that also works for AT. Once we had presented our digital adoption solution, the senior staff at AT were left in no doubt that this solution would fit their needs perfectly,” explains Henk Arts, Country Manager for tts. After all, the tts solution doesn’t just support staff during the process – which is why it is known internally as “ProcessWeb” – it also gives them access to a wide range of comprehensive eLearning solutions. Both conceptual content and practical training courses are available to ensure AT has the best possible tools for imparting knowledge and skills to users.

Arie Huismann, Program Manager, Agentschap Telecom

We’re really happy that ProcessWeb doesn’t just help us provide optimum support for our processes but also gives us a highly practical and innovative solution for pooling know-how and making it available to all.

Arie Huismann, Program Manager, Agentschap Telecom

Safety first when handling data

“The challenges were, on the one hand, to adapt our solution to the IT landscape at AT and, on the other, to satisfy the stringent requirements for data and information security that are imposed by European data protection legislation and the Dutch Police Data Act (Wpg). We overcame both challenges masterfully,” recalls Arts.

Since AT is part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, its IT systems are organized on a Ministry-wide basis and the very highest level of security is required from the outset for data management and all processes. “This is where the ISO 27001 certification of tts is crucially important,” points out Arts. This international standard symbolizes maximum information security and thus compliance with three central aspects.

  • The first of these is confidentiality – tts solutions ensure information is protected from unauthorized access in full compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the German Trade Secrets Protection Act (GeschGehG).
  • The second is integrity – risks are minimized and the completeness and dependability of data is assured to the highest possible standards.
  • The third is availability – only people who are authorized to do so can access information, meaning that maximum process reliability is guaranteed.

Discovering new opportunities

The project to roll out the solution – which included coaching the three key users from AT who would be generating the learning content at the organization – lasted from mid-2020 through March 2021. The next step after that involves training all AT staff so they can use the new system and harness its full potential.

Things were already going very well after the start-up phase at the end of March. “We’re really happy that ProcessWeb doesn’t just help us provide optimum support for our processes but also gives us a highly practical and innovative solution for pooling know-how and making it available to all,” explains Arie Huisman, Program Manager at AT. Staff training and support are indispensable, particularly right now, at a time when remote working is becoming increasingly important. “We put together an implementation plan for each team. ProcessWeb plays a decisive role. In fact, by using it as a basis, we have been able to train certain user groups in the new process very quickly. It is giving company-wide learning a real boost, which we can put to good use,” adds Huisman. The AT manager values the straightforward process for creating content, the option of compiling training courses for each team and the fact the solution can be quickly and easily adapted to new processes and legal requirements.

In future, AT staff will also benefit from the recording function in tts performance suite. This offers a simple means of recording process steps and making them easily accessible to staff in various learning formats. That even applies when process steps are being executed in different applications. 

This variability, along with the benefits that come from using ProcessWeb, make tts performance suite the ideal digital adoption solution for authorities that need the ultimate in data and information security. Another genuine option we are looking into is the context-sensitive provision of all ProcessWeb content using QuickAccess, an exceptionally useful component of tts performance suite. 

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