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DC Water and Sewer Authority

“We have made a major initiative of aggressively changing business practices to become unified, automated, and secure”

Chris Carew
Chief of Staff DC Water

Large Utility:
DC Water
The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) is an industry-leading authority of the District government that provides drinking water and wastewater collection and treatment for a population of more than 500,000 in the District of Columbia. DC Water also treats wastewater for a population of 1.6 million in Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland, and Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia. The Authority operates the world’s largest advanced wastewater treatment plant, with a capacity of 370 million gallons per day and a peak daily capacity of more than a billion gallons. DC Water’s service area covers approximately 725 square miles. Managing such a large facility well is not easy and for that DC Water is frequently recognized. One such recognition is the CIO 100, a prestigious award that honors companies that demonstrate excellence in IT achievement.

“DC Water prides itself on being an early adopter of innovative IT solutions that address real business needs,” said Omer Siddiqui, CIO. “We have made a major initiative of aggressively changing business practices to become unified, automated, and secure,” added Chris Carew, Chief of Staff. For four years in a row, DC Water has been awarded the CIO 100 as industry validation of these statements. One such IT innovation that contributed to this was the installation and usage of the SecureLogix® ETM® (Enterprise Telephony Management) System.

DC Water’s IT department learned about the ETM System and realized it was an essential technology for completing their security perimeter and gaining needed visibility into their voice services.

“We found the technology and loved it, but hadn´t budgeted for it that year,” said Siddiqui. “We really saw the value proposition in the ETM System and wanted to jump on it, so we reshuffled the budget to support an initial deployment.”
How the
ETM® System
is Benefiting DC Water
Capacity Planning and Resource Allocation
Business Problems/Needs:

•  The IT staff wanted to understand incoming call volume
•  Their PBX system had no capacity planning features. They needed to know their peak hour/peak minutes per hour so they could staff Customer Service representatives by call volume and provision the appropriate number of circuits.
ETM Solutions:
•  DC Water used the ETM system´s Usage Manager Utilization reports to confirm that one site was under-provisioned, where, and by how much. Within three months of deployment, Usage Manager reports identified that all three of the other sites were over-provisioned by approximately 30%--some circuits had only 5% utilization--representing a significant cost savings opportunity.
•  The System enables them to manage circuit utilization changes (call volume increases) that occur when the Consumer Services department launches a campaign. DC Water either monitors or pro-actively provisions to accommodate variable loads based on previous Usage Manager trend analysis.
•  It also identifies cost savings opportunities across several typical infrastructure and service usage areas, and Siddiqui estimates that DC Water has recouped twice their initial ETM System investment solely from right-sizing their network trunk provisioning.
Voice Network Security and usage Monitoring
Business Problem/Need:
•  DC Water needed a product that would ensure 360 degree security perimeter.
ETM Solutions:
ETM Voice Firewall Policies and Voice IPS Policies were placed on every monitored voice circuit to granularly control and monitor the following types of calls:
•  911 calls. Across the company, ETM System alerts notify in real-time when a 911 call occurs, and the provided location information for the extension placing the call helps ensure emergency personnel arrive to the scene more quickly.
•  Inbound modem calls. Voice Firewall Rules on all circuits block inbound modem calls preventing intruders from accessing the corporate network through unauthorized or improperly secured modems. The first year the ETM System was deployed, DC Water hired an outside firm to conduct a war-dialing security assessment against their voice network. The ETM System prevented all access. Later, the company was targeted by a war-dialing attacker; the Voice Firewall prevented and alerted them to the attack. DC Water personnel were able to produce Usage Manager reports for upper management on the attack.
•  Authorized fax calls. Voice Firewall Rules prevent modem calls on authorized fax lines, while Voice IPS rules prevent Long Distance Voice calls on authorized fax lines. These rules prevent costly toll service abuse and protect against unmonitored ISP access and the virus threat and potential data leakage associated with those unsecured Internet connections.
•  After hours dial up. A Voice Firewall Policy rule blocks all after hours dial-up modem access, by time of day and call type. This rule protects against a potential virus infection or compromise of corporate data, since dial-up modem calls bypass the IP network firewall.
Real-Time Network Status Visibility and Alerting
Business Problem/Need:
•  DC Water needed visibility into call volume and circuit status.
ETM Solutions:
•  The ETM System Performance Manager dashboard provides real-time call volume and circuit health and status to Help Desk staff. In the event of a circuit error or outage, staff receive real-time notifications and troubleshooting data via the console and through email that help them resolve issues as they arise.
Reporting and Trend Analysis for Day-to-Day Operations and VoIP Migration
Business Problem/Need:

DC Water lacked adequate tools for reporting and trend analysis.
ETM Solutions:
•  Day-to-Day. ETM Usage Manager reports provide key decision-support data for all levels and various departments in the organization:

a) Customer Service managers review reports on their provisioning to ensure adequate availability. Usage Manager trend analysis allows them to pro-actively provision for added call volume when their Consumer Services department launches a campaign.

b) The Help Desk reviews daily reports of call volume and busy and unanswered calls.

c) The telecom managers review weekly reports for circuit status information and planning purposes.

Upper management reviews reports monthly for business planning and trend analysis. DC Water has also opted to pay SecureLogix to provide Managed Services for Voice (MSSV) as an upgrade to their existing customer care package. According to Siddiqui, while the staff is very well trained and proactive in using the ETM System´s capabilities, they are also very busy. He wants to ensure that DC Water reaps all the available benefits from the ETM System and knows that with MSSV he will have industry experts watching his network 24/7, and the added benefit of proactive solutions to industry issues that SecureLogix identifies through their work with other customers. As one example, SecureLogix has amassed a database of known spam callers, such as the Auto Warranty spam solicitors. With enhanced customer care network monitoring services in place, SecureLogix can block and alert on this ever-changing set of abusive phone numbers.
  VOIP Migration. The ETM System resource utilization and base-lining reports played a substantial role with capacity planning and deployment scheduling when DC Water underwent a large-scale VoIP system deployment a few years ago. The migration to a VoIP environment was more cost efficient and secure because they right-sized their acquisition of new infrastructure based on accurate measurements of the types and volumes of calls on their network at that time.

Future Plans DC Water is truly a "Future State" operation as it continues to find innovative ways to resolve its numerous business challenges as a critical infrastructure operation here in the U.S. Using advanced or emerging technologies does carry greater risk but DC Water has always been able to manage that risk by deploying the latest and greatest in IT infrastructure and security elements such as the SecureLogix solution. Recently, DC Water has stepped back to modernize its network infrastructure so that it might better support implementation of new technologies currently in the pipeline for deployment. The SecureLogix ETM System will soon be integrated into DC Water´s Cisco routers enabling a more functionally integrated environment that is highly compatible with most virtualization and network modernization strategies.



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