Our customer was running a „Network Access Control“ (NAC) project going on with internal resources for the architectural part and external resources for the implementation and rollout. Various tests have been performed and the rollout started globally but didn’t go smoothly and various complaints from the branch offices reached senior management who then asked qedcon for help. Senior management asked specifically to continue the project, but to give it more structure, make progress and issues more transparent and improve communication, especially towards the stakeholders in the relevant branch offices.
qedcon provided one technical project manager to our customer who quickly analyzed the situation, contacted all technical stakeholders first and improved communication within the project team as a start. The rollout was put on hold for the time being and that was communicated broadly with the support of senior management. Once the project team investigated all recent issues and mistakes done in the communication, we changed the rollout procedure and then continued the rollout of NAC in two phases: 1) Implementation of NAC in „monitoring mode“ which means that network access was not blocked at first but network access were simply monitored and allowed evaluation from the project team, 2) Activation of „blocking mode“ which basically prevents any device from connecting to the network unless it is specifically allowed.
The project manager actively also „overcommunicated“, reaching out to all the branch offices prior to the activation of the „monitoring mode“ as well prior, during and after activation of „blocking mode“. qedcon also prepared various communications to senior and middle management and various reports for different stakeholders.
Challenges and dependencies
Technical challenges happened throughout the project and looking back it was the right decision to put the rollout on hold until the project team had the chance to remove those challenges, test their new approach and improve communication. Further dependencies to Group Policies (GPOs) existed which gave the project a difficult time as those details also had to be coordinated.
NAC was successfully rolled our globally after qedcon took over the project manager role. This project significantly improved the security posture of our customer.
qedcon’s resource convinced in this setup with excellent communication, stakeholder management, technical understanding and project management skills. This combination is unparallel and made us very proud. This project showcased how important those skills are and we continue build upon this skillset and experience made.