India’s Border Security Force is one of the world’s largest border defense organizations. How could the force help its back-office team to support front-line personnel more effectively?
The force deployed a secure collaboration platform for internal and external communications—empowering the back office to deliver a more responsive service to front-line personnel.
Helpsensure secure communications between government agencies
Enablesback-office personnel to support front-line forces more effectively
Boostsavailability for communications and reduces the risk of unplanned downtime
Business challenge story
Protecting the nation’s borders
Military and paramilitary organizations provide vital support both in peacetime and times of national crisis—but their front-line personnel are only as effective as the logistics networks that support them.
Providing effective support is always at the front of mind for India’s Border Security Force. To guard one of the world’s longest land borders, the organization’s 250,000 front-line personnel depend on an extensive logistics network, delivering everything from equipment and maintenance to healthcare and transportation.
Since the beginning of the digital age, real-time communication has become a prerequisite for effective logistics—and for many years, the Border Security Force has relied on email to help its back-office and front-line personnel to work together.
A spokesperson for the Border Security Force continues: “To fight transnational crime effectively and keep India’s border secure, we need to keep our people supplied with the equipment and services they need. In addition, we must maintain a constant dialogue with the government to keep decision-makers apprised of potential border incursions or criminal activity.
“We see that the information security threat landscape is changing rapidly—and we wanted to shrink our attack surface to reduce the risk of breaches. To achieve that goal, we decided to replace our existing email infrastructure with a more secure, enterprise-class collaboration platform. The aim was to help our 4,500 back-office personnel to collaborate more effectively and securely with internal and external parties.”
Enabling secure, effective communication
Border Security Force selected IBM Domino Social Edition and IBM Notes as the platform for its new collaboration environment. Equipped with public key authentication and developed to comply with the Federal Information Processing 140-2 security standard, the solution delivers rock-solid reliability and security for all communications.
“We were very impressed with the security-rich features and straightforward manageability of the IBM Domino platform,” recalls the spokesperson. “Combined with the IBM Notes client at the front end, the solution enables us to verify users’ digital signatures and encrypt messages and applications—helping to ensure that all messages are processed in line with our rigorous best practices.”
Working together with an expert team from IBM, Border Security Force rolled out the IBM Notes and Domino platform to its entire back-office team. The solution includes IBM Sametime®—enabling personnel inside the organization to communicate in real time via instant messages.
“Without question, IBM Sametime is making it easier for our back-office personnel to collaborate,” says the spokesperson. “The faster we can receive, process and respond to information from our front-line personnel, the better able we are to carry out our mandate—and we are very pleased with the real-time communication capabilities on the new platform.”
In the defense sector, any unplanned communications downtime is unacceptable. To maximize availability, Border Security Force has equipped its IT support personnel with IBM Traveler, enabling them to respond quickly to user support requests by accessing the key information on their mobile devices.
The spokesperson comments: “Working together with IBM in deploying our collaboration platform was a very positive experience. The guidance and support we received from the IBM team helped us to keep the implementation process on track and within budget, and IBM’s workshops ensured our people could quickly familiarize themselves with the new way of working.”
Ready for the futureWith an enterprise-class collaboration platform at the heart of the organization, the Border Security Force is achieving its goal of delivering highly secure, available and open lines of communication throughout the organization.
“Our border force is only as strong as our resources for supply, upkeep, and logistics,” comments the spokesperson. “By enabling better collaboration between our back-office and front-line personnel, we can improve our operational efficiency and effectiveness—helping our people to perform at their best.”
Thanks to its security-rich IBM Domino platform, Border Security Force is driving toward the highest level of information security—strengthening its posture and minimizing the risk of losing sensitive data to network breaches.
“Our senior officers must frequently communicate the latest intelligence to their counterparts in the Ministry of Home Affairs, and much of that communication is done via email,” explains the spokesperson. “Our IBM Notes and Domino platform is helping us to ensure that any messages sent to external parties comply with our watertight security policies—an essential capability at a time when cyberattacks are more common than ever.”
He concludes: “To protect India’s security in a changing world, the Border Security Force is committed to modernization—and our IBM collaboration solutions are a key enabler of that goal.”
About Border Security Force
Established in 1965, the Border Security Force (BSF) is a paramilitary force responsible for guarding India's land border during peacetime and preventing transborder crime. The force is an organization under the Government of India and under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs, and one of the world's largest border guarding forces.
- ICS: Domino
- ICS: Notes
- ICS: Sametime
- ESS: SmartCloud Traveler (SaaS)
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