Security requirements complicate software rollout

The RCMP is rolling out a $1-million e-learning project to 23,000 employees across the country that allows it to consolidate all its courses on one platform and provide customized content to user groups.

The RCMP is switching over to a newer version of academic enterprise program WebCT Vista from what it is currently using, WebCT Campus Version 3. WebCT, which won the bid last June, brought in one of its partners, Bluedrop Performance Learning, based in St. John’s, to help with software implementation and support. The RCMP chose WebCT because it was the only vendor able to match all of its requirements, said Simon Pare, manager of the RCMP’s technology-assisted learning unit. WebCT Vista will enable the RCMP to centrally manage disparate platforms including interactive public Web pages, intranet pages, remotely managed courses and online exams from a central console, said Pare.

“(WebCT) was chosen for their fit within our IT infrastructure,” said Pare, who added the organization had standardized on BEA WebLogic for its app server and PeopleSoft for its HR system. While the RCMP currently hasn’t standardized on a particular database, WebCT works with Oracle’s database product. The RCMP is integrating WebCT Vista with its PeopleSoft system, which will give senior RCMP officers up-to-the-minute access to all officer competencies at all times.

The RCMP’s security requirements, which do not allow any outside parties to access its servers, made it a bit challenging for WebCT and Bluedrop to implement the software. To meet these requirements, WebCT offers what it calls a “mentored install” in which its employees guide the RCMP’s IT department over the phone.

“Security was a very big focus,” said Michelle Peckham, Bluedrop’s project manager. “On numerous occasions there was no ability to access their servers directly. WebCT would have to work through a person at the RCMP because they didn’t have the security privileges to access (RCMP) servers.”

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