Photo: UNICC/Thomsen

UNICC Presents Azure and M365 Services at Microsoft’s UN Tech Huddle in New York

UNICC attended and presented at the UN Tech Huddle event organized by Microsoft’s Tech for Social Impact (TSI) team at the Microsoft Technology Centre in New York on Wednesday 13 November. The goal of this day-long event was to bring together ICT experts from different UN Agencies and Microsoft leaders to share the latest cloud solutions for common challenges.

Paolo Valenza, Chief of Cloud Services and Gabriel Galati, Head of Azure and M365 Services unit presented UNICC’s Microsoft Cloud services to many of our UN Clients and other non-profit organisations.  They highlighted UNICC’s role in providing managed cloud services offering support for solutions that reside in the cloud.

Cloud services are building blocks at the base of many other UNICC services.

Paolo Valenza, Chief, Cloud Services

An example of a Data and Analytics service built on an Azure cloud foundation is the Data Lake that ICC developed for OCHA, a centralized repository to store the organization’s raw unstructured data from diverse sources in a properly secured and managed way.

Nitesh Kudva, Information Security Specialist; Leiming Yao, Information Security Specialist and Mikiann McIntosh, Intern in the Information Security team also attended the event. Other Agencies present included ICAO, PAHO, UNDP, UNFPA, UN OICT, and UN Women.

During the day, Microsoft shared the latest on comprehensive solutions and best practices. Other topics on the agenda discussed during the session were the UN’s digital transformation and cloud adoption, Terraform on Azure and the PowerApp Platform.

Our Azure Management Services provides a controlled and secure back-end for solutions that we develop on top.

Gabriel Galati, Head, Azure and M365 Services Unit

Microsoft runs UN Tech Huddles on a quarterly basis in Geneva and New York with the goal of sharing knowledge and expanding the impact of UN organizations. UNICC also attended the UN Tech Huddle in Geneva in October, where Gabriel Galati and Shashank Rai, Chief Technology Officer presented the implementation of OCHA’s Data Lake.

Photo: UNICC/Thomsen
Photo: UNHCR

UNICC Assists UNHCR with Migration of IrisGuard to Microsoft Azure

Cash assistance in the blink of an eye

​UNICC recently helped the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) migrate the IrisGuard biometric registration and identification system to Microsoft Azure cloud services.

IrisGuard is a critical system used in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to deliver services to refugees and forcibly displaced populations. It operates by scanning any enrolled refugee or inter-displaced person, then having them select a refugee database transaction like cash assistance, medical care, food voucher assistance, resettlement repatriation, among many others. Refugees can safely enroll in the system from the five countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, and Syria, at hundreds of UNHCR-supported IrisGuard stations.

UNICC provided assistance to UNHCR in the form of project management and solution architecture services. UNICC also coordinated the collaboration of multiple suppliers and internal teams to deliver a successful migration and to help create the IrisGuard.

IrisGuard is a key component of the Common Cash Facility used by multiple agencies to provide assistance in the form of cash and goods to beneficiaries.  It is also part of the UNHCR PRIMES (Population Registration and Identity Management Eco-System) applications.

PRIMES is an integrated service platform, which serves as a single data entry point for all digital interaction between UNHCR and its partners. PRIMES made it easier for refugee registration, case management, monetary assistance, as well as reporting for partners.

Photo: UNHCR

In the future, an integrated PRIMES trust and service platform will be the single entry point for all digital interaction between UNHCR and partners with the individuals who are registered. PRIMES is an enabler for:

  • Registration (biographic and biometric) and certification
  • Case-management (including the principal Protection aspects: Refugee Status Determination, Resettlement, Repatriation, Legal and Physical Protection, Child Protection, SGBV and others)
  • Assistance (cash and in-kind)
  • Data management, including reporting and sharing

PRIMES consist of a centralized repository of all relevant identity data, visible and editable – by UNHCR staff and UNHCR partners with appropriate access rights – from anywhere. Certain self-service functionalities for those registered are being developed.

Operational business requirements at UNHCR led to a need to rapidly re-host the IrisGuard application in the cloud. The project kick off meeting was held on the 3 June and the target date was set for the migration on 29 June 2019. To date, this project has helped over 2 million refugees and other forcibly displaced people obtain the services gravely needed while in-transit.

UNICC’s assistance with UNHCR’s IrisGuard project has provided an invaluable service to the refugee and other displaced populations, who although face some of the greatest risks while in transit, can now receive basic services with dignity and efficiency.

For more information about IrisGuard, read “Iris scan system provides cash lifeline to Syrian refugees in Jordan“.

Photo: UNICC

UNICC Presents at UN Tech Huddle at Microsoft Geneva

Prado Nieto, Chief, Business Relationship Management, Gabriel Galati, Head, Azure and M365 Services Unit and Shashank Rai, Chief Technology Officer, UNICC, attended the first UN Tech Huddle at Microsoft Geneva 7 October.

Gabriel presented UNICC’s Microsoft Azure and M365 services and Shashank presented a Data Lake implementation UNICC implemented for OCHA.

Some of the agenda topics were as follows:

  • Azure announcements and new solution areas – James Pearse (Senior Cloud Architect, TSI)
  • Modern Workplace Updates – Clint Conlin (MS Modern Workplace, TSI)
  • Cloud adoption framework – James Complin (MS Sr. Cloud Architect)
  • Cloud transformation and modernization through Microsoft CSE – Anaig Marechal (Cloud engineer, CSE)
  • UN System Digital Transformation Update – Alex Pinho (MS UN Lead, TSI).

The following was presented by MS partners:

  • Terraform on Azure – Tim Arenz (Senior solutions engineer, Hashicorp)
  • Cloud Security In Azure & O365 – Paul Keely (Born in the cloud).

Microsoft will run UN Tech Huddles on a quarterly basis in Geneva and New York focusing on Microsoft Cloud solutions, partner offerings and ISV solution areas. The next Tech Huddle will be scheduled early next year.