IT Solutions - Feb 9, 2022

Powerful network for the public sector.

The pandemic has magnified the challenges of public administration, says Katja Herzog, Public Sector Sales Director at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. We discussed with Katja Herzog and Steven Handgrätinger, Divisional Director Public Sector at Bechtle, how the network specialist and Bechtle are jointly advancing public clients in the digital transformation.

Bild: Steven Handgrätinger, Heaf of Public Sector, Bechtle AG und Katja Herzog, Public Sector Sales Director at Aruba


Ms Herzog, Aruba has awarded Bechtle “Public Sector Excellence Partner of the Year 2021” in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. What was the decisive factor for the special honour?

Katja Herzog: The award is a recognition of our very successful cooperation over many years. The sustained focus on the needs of the public sector and the local proximity to the customers are among Bechtle’s major strengths. We are proud of what we have achieved together, from the local to the federal level as well as in other areas such as health.

Can you name a few flagship projects?

Katja Herzog: I could certainly pick out individual projects in the school environment, where we have sometimes supported entire cities. Nevertheless, I would rather emphasise our success on a broader scale.


Like us, Bechtle seized the great modernisation opportunity of the Digital Pact for Schools very early on and, together with us, quickly translated it into concrete, bespoke offers for the target group. This has enabled us to make a great deal of progress for our customers—and thus also for the students and teachers—in promoting contemporary digital forms of learning.

In addition, there are significant framework agreements with public sector procurement organisations, which can thus provide optimal conditions and standardised services for their consumers. The fact that Bechtle was able to set up the network infrastructure for a conference of German state presidents organised by the government of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia within a very short period of time last year is perhaps the icing on the cake of its proven efficiency.

Mr Handgrätinger, it sounds like everyone is on point.

Steven Handgrätinger: We are of course very pleased to receive the Public Sector Partner of the Year award. What we appreciate about Aruba is its many years of market knowledge, its excellent product portfolio and, above all, its willingness to listen carefully to what customers in the public sector need. This is the basis of our joint success, which we have been able to scale across the board thanks to Bechtle’s decentralised structure. We enjoy a partnership of equals and we are continuously working to further expand our competencies around Aruba’s technologies.

Speaking of  competencies, do large projects in an area like schools also extend into other public areas?

Steven Handgrätinger: The know-how applied in numerous municipal projects naturally also flows into other areas of the public sector. Be it healthcare, the justice sector or a state authority.

Experiences accumulate and this is how we have also developed the cooperation with Aruba. There were many trailblazing projects that then led to a strategy that today includes managed services for secure operation in addition to the integration of network components and intelligent control solutions.

What role do managed services play for public clients?

Steven Handgrätinger: It is important to us that our customers can choose exactly the support they need for their digitalisation journey from a clearly defined service catalogue. And the demand is growing steadily, especially because on the administrative side, own capacities for operations are limited. We see ourselves here as a kind of extended workbench for the administration—with sourcing concepts that ensure that infrastructures and IT systems run efficiently and securely around the clock. In cooperation with our IT security experts, we offer a closely integrated overall package.  

Katja Herzog: Managed services are an absolute model for the future, precisely because clients have to manage more and more with existing resources. And in many places, digitisation projects are only just getting started. If we look at a company with 6,000 employees, there is always an IT department. But if we look at a vocational school with a comparable number of teachers and students for comparison, professional IT is usually not present. The higher the demands on modern IT become, the more the gap between goals and possibilities opens up. Similar challenges are also faced by providers in other areas of the public sector, be that hospitals, welfare organisations or care institutions.

Picture: Recognition for Public Sector Excellence: Christian Hövekamp (centre), HPE Business Unit Leader at Bechtle, accepts the Partner Award from Katja Herzog, Sales Director Public Sector, Aruba, and Fridolin Kreuzer, Partner Account Manager, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.


If the new federal government has its way, “D” will in future stand for digitalisation. In which areas should we now move forward quickly and substantially?

Katja Herzog: The pandemic was like a magnifying glass—as hard as it was on the one hand, on the other structures were broken up and a rethink began. The general benefits of digitalisation, especially stable data networks, were felt by all and helped to overcome critical phases. The task now is to use the momentum and invest comprehensively in the digital transformation of society. The Hospital Future Act, which was passed in 2020, addresses the high need for action in the digitalisation of the health care system with a programme worth billions of euros. And with the implementation of the Online Access Act, we will see how the usage habits from the private sphere are transferred to the digital services of the entire public administration. Building on this, completely new digital use cases and projects are emerging. All of this must then also be managed sustainably.

Steven Handgrätinger: I agree. The coalition agreement lays out a vision of smart cities, of digitally advanced urban communities. And the implementation of this vision requires resilient networks for a wide range of applications—throughout Germany and Europe. This is an enormously exciting topic that will take shape step by step over the next few years. We are pleased to be able to work on this together with our partners.



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This post was published on Feb 9, 2022.