This major California utility company is the nation’s largest irrigation district. Operating for almost 100 years, it staffs 1,400 employees and offers water and power to 138,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Last year, this district faced a big problem, one that drained resources and choked the flow of information. The company’s SAP system had been in place for seven years, running financial, HR, and other core processes. But it wasn’t optimized. It lacked appropriate user authentication. There was no standardized method to ensure that 1,400 users could access systems they needed and could not access other systems. When internal auditors required compliance verification, the small IT staff had to do time-consuming, manual-labor-intensive steps. This unwieldy reporting process wasted time and money and strained professional relationships.
“Our customer service was never affected by our IT issues,” said Frank Hernandez, supervisor, Corporate Infrastructure Engineering. “But we knew we needed a better system.”
It’s not a publicly traded company and therefore not subject to Sarbanes-Oxley rules. But it is committed to best practices in compliance, so Hernandez went looking for a tool to help.
In February 2007 it found one. After discovering it at the SAP SAPPHIRE event, company executives selected and deployed Pathlock’s solution. It took just one day to install and offered immediate results. Pathlock provides real-time access monitoring. It gives the company a standardized system to manage segregation of duties. It enables staff to generate reports ad-hoc and at regular intervals to meet auditing needs. Overall, IT maintenance and support is more efficient.
The cumbersome reporting process has been replaced by a modern, best practices-based system. “In the past, we downloaded data into Excel files and handed them over to our internal auditors. The auditors had no guarantee that the data wasn’t manipulated,” Hernandez said.
“With Pathlock, auditors see reports generated in real-time, directly from SAP. They know the data is timely and accurate. Pathlock allowed the company to establish corporate policies for data access and serves as a tool to enforce them. Thanks to Pathlock, the professional relationship between our auditors and the IT team is much better. Everyone is less stressed.”
– Frank Hernandez, Supervisor, Corporate Infrastructure Engineering