As both a research institute and operational service, ECMWF operates two initiatives on behalf of the EU-funded Copernicus program:
- Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) provides information related to air pollution and health, solar energy, greenhouse gases and climate forcing.
- Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) provides information about the past, present and future states of climate in Europe and worldwide.
Both services use satellite and in-situ observations and forecast models to support scientists, policy makers and businesses with high-quality information on the composition of the atmosphere and climate change.
As part of implementing the Copernicus services, ECMWF scientists and other professionals manage hundreds of contracts with universities, private companies and other meteorological organizations across Europe. Each contractor supplies from 50 to 500 deliverables, ranging from scientific documents to complex data sets. As such, ECMWF manages more than 10,000 deliverables on a loop- -noting receipt, conducting reviews and communicating approval or denial to contractors for further processing.
In 2006, ECMWF migrated hundreds of thousands of files to the OpenText™ Content Suite Platform for easy search and retrieval. Most ECMWF professionals use OpenText™ Content Server within the organization. When ECMWF was selected to run two Copernicus services several years later, it ensured all deliverables would be managed from the same repository with strict permissions.
Soon after commencing Copernicus management, ECMWF contract officers received deliverables via email. They downloaded the files and placed them in folders, typing related metadata. “It was creating human effort to put the deliverables into Content Server and have it approved,” noted Mithat Ersoy, Senior System Analyst with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.
After careful consideration and rigorous procurement, ECMWF worked with OpenText™ Managed Cloud Services to develop a workflow triggered upon upload. Still, for contractors to enter deliverables directly, registration could be problematic. Issues often demanded time from IT personnel via phone calls with users across dozens of countries, different timezones and occasional language barriers.
To ease advanced sharing and collaboration in the cloud, ECMWF moved to OpenText™ Core Share, a SaaS application that offers a hybrid environment for IT security and a full cloud experience for users.
Through synchronization, when ECMWF adds a user to its active directory, the user is automatically created in Core Share. The system then delivers an email invitation to the new contractor to self-register. “The process of activation is via email and there are no admin skills required.” Ersoy said, noting a reduction in the number and complexity of support calls. More than 300 contractors have selfregistered in Core Share since its introduction and, due to integration between Core Share and Content Server, users access both systems with a single sign-on.
Within Core Share, contractors receive separate folders for uploads and deliverables. While they retain editing permissions for files in the upload folder, those in the deliverable folder are fixed, ensuring document integrity during the fully automated review and approval process. Rejected files land in a folder for contractors to download and edit. Upon reaching established milestones for approved deliverables, contractors then submit an invoice through the same process.
“We have implemented Core Share with the aim of visibility and transparency for ECMWF and our contactors,” said Ersoy. As a result, contractors can respond to required updates with speed and precision, advantageous attributes for weather monitoring and prediction that carry potential to protect infrastructure and save lives.
Enhanced visibility also engenders confidence in output through streamlined auditing capabilities. “This benefit is not only for us,” Ersoy explained.
Furthermore, Ersoy and others can summarize information through thousands of available reports: “All that information is already there. I can demonstrate how well we are doing with the progress of the contracts.”
Among the features of Core Share popular with users is the modern and adaptable interface viewable on desktop, tablet or phone. “The look and feel is adjusted based on the device you are using.” Ersoy said.
Through automation and streamlined functionality for both users and administrators, all professionals can turn instead to other tasks or ideas. They can focus on the mission to empower others with reliable weather data, building knowledge for decision-making that supports safety and sustainability in Europe and worldwide.
Content Server and Core Share meet strict security requirements with encryption from point to point and a recent audit by a security company returned zero high warnings.
Though Ersoy could manage file sharing on-premises, using the Core Share SaaS solution allows him to tend to other pressing needs with the assurance ECMWF has access to the latest capabilities. “We hardly have any downtime,” he noted. “New patches and versions are applied transparently by OpenText.”