Implementation Of E-Office Project For Indian Railways By Railtel

Chandra Kishore Prasad, Regional GM, RailTel CorporationDigital Workplace Solution
Railway Board in Oct 2018 decided to digitally transform its workplace by adopting eFile system. The project of implementation of eOffice on Indian Railways which aims to improve efficiency, transparency, productivity and accountability in its office working was assigned to RailTel Corporation of India Limited for 50,000 users in Phase I.

RailTel Corporation of India Limited, a CPSU under Ministry of Railways is one of the largest neutral telecom infrastructure providers in the country owning a PanIndia optic fiber network on exclusive Right of Way(ROW) along Railway track.

RailTel since its inception has been pioneer in the field of optical network and its outreach to far flung areas. While, fostering bandwidth with supreme Quality of Service and stringent Service Level Agreement will continue to be the hallmark and driving force for Digital India program.

RailTel's vision and mission aligns to advance innovative ICT-enabled solutions to empower diverse Indian demographics.

2. Background
On Indian Railways the offices working at Divisions, Zones, Production Units, RDSO, Training institutes etc are still burgeoned with manual ways to handle office documents and files. eOffice is the step forward to digitize and achieve greater efficiency & productivity.

eOffice is a cloud enabled software that is deployed/ hosted from RailTel Tier III Uptime certified data centre. It is based on Central Secre tariat Manual of e-Office Procedure(CSMeOP). The application provides reliable, efficient, and effective way to handle office files & documents. A well planned and coordinated approach by Railtel, NIC, and Rail ways is helping to achieve the eOffice system deployment. RailTel took the initiative to build from ground up to enable unparalleled eOffice infrastructure once the project was assigned by Railway Board The services are delivered through RailNet, built on secure MPLS infrastructure of RailTel.

As per Railway Board requirement, eOffice Lite version is being implemented. The software package has four modules which are listed below. Current Version of eOffice is v5.2.2.

•File Management System(eFile):
It includes DAK & Scanning, Receipt Registration, File Creation, eFile Movement, Digital Signature, Setting due dates, and search.

•Knowledge Management System(KMS):
It includes My Repository(Personal Document Repository, Collaborative work), Document Sharing, Search and Central Repository

•Collaboration & Messaging Services (CAMS):
It includes Calendar,Reports, and Advanced Features

•Personnel Information Management System (PIMS):
It includes Personal Information, History of Services, Certificate Attestation, Family Particulars & Nominations, Previous Qualifying Service, Foreign Service, Record of Service Verification, Leave Record, Details of Leave Travel concession availed, House Building Advance, and a host of features for HR life cycle management.

3.Implementation Strategy
RailTel has prepared the detailed estimate of the work approved in WP 2015-16 for INR 172 Crores (including GST). RailTel has strategized rapid deployment through effective planning, co-ordination, training, monitoring, reporting and phased delivery.

It was decided by Railway Board that eOffice implementation will start from South Central Railway (SCR)and Guntur division and SCR HQ were targeted to be completed by March 2019. The first step was to build the backend IT infrastructure and install and configure the application, databases and directory services. eOffice Application for SCR was configured by RailTel for 10,000 users by Feb 2019.

The initial rollout commenced with Guntur Division. The implementation in Guntur division started with collecting the employee data, email id creation, mapping of the work flow based on reporting hierarchy, training of the nominated officers and staff and supply of DSC. The eOffice application for Guntur was initially deployed in the test server from RailTel DC at Railnilayam. Once all the functional tests were successfully completed the eOffice users were moved to the production server and the Project went Go-Live on 18th March 2018.

RailTel could rollouteoffice in a record time of one month over Guntur Division of Indian Railways making it the quickest rollout of eOffice anywhere else across ministries of GOI as confirmed by NIC team.
RailTel has completed the rollout of eOffice in all the six divisions of SCR including HQ. Also the eOffice application has been implemented for Tiruchirappalli division in Southern Railway, National Academy of Indian Railways and all the six Centralized Training Institutes. The project is on target and will be completed in this year. The secure cloud infrastructure based on SDDC has been implemented for speedier rollout of the project. An eOffice help desk and L1 support has been established to address the issues faced by the users.

The IT infrastructure, Cloud software, eOffice application software, Network provisioning & Security has been deployed at RailTel Datacentre at Secunderabad with DR at RailTel Datacentre at Gurgaon.

3.1. Training
Training is the crucial link for smooth deployment and longterm success and predominant to change management. Understanding the importance of Training, following levels of training are arranged by RailTel.
• User Level Training.
• Master Trainer Training
• Product Admin Training
• System Admin Training.

The Clerical and ministerial staff who are the custodian of physical files are generally reluctant to change from the traditional way of working to the new way of digital working. To address the issue RailTel has adopted change management practices supported by Railway officials to smoothen the transition.

Error in the EMD and role configuration leads to malfunction of eFile workflow. RailTel has been successful to meticulously mitigate the bottlenecks otherwise posed by the change among the user departments.

Error in the EMD and role configuration leads to malfunction of eFile workflow. RailTel has been successful to meticulously mitigate the bottle necks otherwise posed by the change among the user departments.

5. Benefits
The benefit will accrue once the system is fully put to use and manual file system is stopped. It will result in a delightful experience for the end user, eOffice will be a milestone in Digitization of Indian Railways.

Eoffice promises enhanced transparency, increased accountability, data security and integrity, and promotes innovation by releasing staff energy and time from unproductive process & procedures.

Some of the added benefits that will be realized on account of implementation by RailTel are outlined below:-
•The system is Workflow based and extremely efficient
•Email & SMS notification of files
•Facility to dispatch via post/mail
•Keeping record and tracking file movement
•Saves time, effort and money
•Tampered proof noting
•Draft versions get maintained
•Diarize once use always
•Reference tagging and attachment
•A file can be linked with another file

The system will help in faster disposal of files and improve the overall administrative and operational efficiencies and enhance the productivity of Indian Railway

Authentication at eOffice follows a four layered architecture comprising of 1) NIC Email ID (to login to eOffice application, to reset the eOffice account password, to receive emails related to eOffice transactions), 2) One Time Password (to maintain the security and to avoid unintended transactions in eOffice) 3) Digital Signature Certificate(The DSC device will ensure that authorized person only has the privilege to approve/decline the request in eOffice) 4) Role Based Privilege.

Processes within eOffice are standardized and easy to work there by encouraging efficient working environment. eOffice provides robust architecture, easy storage and no loss of data. eOffice provides easy File Search, File Track and Report Generation. eOffice will take the manual work to Online Platform and provides numerous benefits. eOffice will improve the productivity of the entire organization as well as considerably decrease the daily desk working hours for employees which in turn can be utilized by them for better professional & personal growth.

5.1 Security
Indian Railway E-Office application is deployed in secure Cloud of RailTel.This gives an added advantage along with an additional layer of security when compared to services hosted on Public Cloud such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google and others.

The RailTel cloud platform is secured by multiple layers of security provided through UTM (Unified Threat Management) with IPS/IDS (Intrusion Prevention System/Intrusion Detection System) functionality, Antimalware, secure VPN, etc.

Also, the network layer is provided on a secure MPLS The user devices i.e. PCs are provided with End Point security managed from a central location. The user login is authenticated by LDAP for providing user access to the eOffice application.

RailTel IT systems conform to the ISO/IEC 27001 information security standard and the RailTel Datacentres are certified to ISO/IEC 27001 standard.

5.2 Cost Savings to Indian Railways
Substantial direct saving in terms of paper cost, printing cost, printing hardware & consumable, photocopiers & consumables, etc. is envisaged. Saving in staff cost involved in Receipt & Dispatch sections of various units will be achieved. The system will help in faster disposal of files and improve the overall administrative and operational efficiencies and enhance the productivity of Indian Railways.

Indian Railways is the engine of growth and social development.There are more than 13 lakh employees in Indian Railways.Indian Railways need to digitize through large scale, quick and systematic investments in a plethora of areas. For sustainable operations of a behemoth such as Indian Railways, must become future ready and digitization in the form of eoffice is a milestone project.It will also pave path for other ICT enabled solutions to accelerate sustainable development. RailTel through its various initiatives has been playing a crucial role in the digitization of the nation.