Microsoft helps provide better access to public services in Georgia

Georgia's Financial Analytical Service started cooperating with Microsoft by signing an Enterprise Agreement in 2012. Photo by N. Alavidze/, 04 Jun 2015 - 13:48, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Financial Analytical Service (FAS) of Georgia’s Ministry of Finance is planning to become a cloud service provider, allowing its services to be accessed by customers from a remote facility via an Internet connection.

This initiative, which will offer Windows Azure IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) to its customers, was part of the Premier Support, which FAS has been receiving from Microsoft since the country signed an Enterprise Agreement in 2012. Premier Support aimed to improve the country’s IT infrastructure and allow locals to gain the most intellectual benefit from Microsoft experts.

Premier Support is believed to have played a vital role in Georgia’s process of full automation of change, configuration and incident management based on the System Centre platform, which is expected to be finished this year.

Before being offered Premier Support from Microsoft, the Ministry’s FAS realised the "critical value” of tertiary education in the IT field. To support Georgia develop its IT sector, Microsoft offered the country a wide range of support services, including health and risk assessments, multiple hands-on onsite trainings for IT staff, and sharing expertise and best practices.

"Multiple assessments were made for Active Directory, MS Exchange and SQL Server deployments. Several critical issues were fixed and recommendations were provided; Potential optimisation vectors were identified and utilised,” said Microsoft about the Premier Support program.

"Every department’s heads, team leaders and several analysts are pursuing ITIL [IT Infrastructure Library] certification with different specialisation, with three top managers currently very close to reaching an Expert level. In this regard, a Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) training held within the Premier Support framework proved to be of invaluable importance to FAS engineers, as much as it uncovered practical aspects of many theoretical insights provided by ITIL,” Microsoft said.

Within the support multiple trainings were held for different products of the Microsoft System Centre during the implementation stage. Integration of Configuration Manager, Operations Manager and Service Manager was completed and "they are actively used since then, while other subsystems are currently being researched for implementation.”

FAS is the largest Governmental IT organisation in Georgia, employing more than 100 people including over 30 software developers. Consumers of their services are main body of the Ministry of Finance and its dependent sub-organisations, such as the Revenue Service of Georgia, the State Treasury, the Ministry’s Service Agency and more.

Complementary to the Enterprise Agreement in 2012, Georgia signed another special agreement with Microsoft in March 2015 to give the country access to legitimate licensed Microsoft products and eliminate the use of illegally pirated software in Georgia.

The country aims to transform its information technology (IT) sector and stamp out the illegal use of pirated Microsoft products.