Municipality of Katwijk

Municipality building of Katwijk

The website of the municipality of Katwijk, the largest municipality in the the famous Dutch Duin- en Bollenstreek (Sand dune and bulb region) with more than 65,000 inhabitants, is a reflection of their IT strategy; down-to-earth, clear and efficient. The plan to move everything to the cloud in the foreseeable future, so that the current IT department (about 21 FTEs) frees up more time for innovation and direction, is the best example of this.

We spoke with Dennis van der Wolf (Functional Manager) and Marijke Ouwehand (Application Manager) about the choice for, and implementation of Enable U 2Distribute, a new solution from Enable U.

What was the moment you decided to work with Enable U for this solution?

“Mid-2022, the choice was made that certain applications, and especially the “Gegevensmakelaar”  (Data Broker), had to be cloud-based by 2023. The current on-premise application did not offer the desired flexibility and the experiences with Enable U’s OpenTunnel solution were very positive. That is why, despite the fact that the requested functionality was not (yet) fully available, we decided to work with Enable U. The experiences with OpenTunnel and the fact that Enable U could present the most future-proof plan were the deciding factors. Our desire to be future-proof is also evident from the fact that we require suppliers to support Haal-Centraal APIs within 3 years in every tender.”

What was the implementation process like?

“Actually, everything went smoothly, mainly thanks to the commitment and knowledge of the Enable U employees. The lead time was only a little longer because Marijke and I also had a lot of other work to do, but the plan was executed to the letter. In November we loaded the test database with existing warehouse data and with the GBA-V. In December, we connected all applications and the GBA-V connection was converted to 2Distrbute VOA and GBA-V. It all went surprisingly well.”

What’s next?

“Eventually, everything will run in the cloud and we have chosen Microsoft Azure cloud for most applications. But like all of the Dutch government, we will build more and more integrations. Because Enable U has already demonstrated their support for initiatives like Common Ground and has proven that they can deliver these types of connections quickly and safely, we were not afraid to take this step. Marijke: To give you an example, recently a user was about to ask me a question about the availability of something when Ruud-Jan Wolters (an Enabler) called me that a server within the municipality was down. That’s how efficient we now work!”

What exactly does 2Distribute do for you?

“2Distribute stores the (personal, company and BAG) data that the municipality needs to carry out her legal task. From the “Basisregistraties” (central application), this data is kept up-to-date, so that the municipality always uses the most recent data. Simply put, Enable U will manage this data for us and they make it available to applications and third parties. These third parties can eventually use this data via HaalCentraal directly or on the basis of local queries in combination with subscriptions and notifications (via the Enable U 2Notify Eventbroker) if they are authorized to do so.”

What has changed for you?

“Actually, nothing has changed! Everything still works the way it did. But for the foreseeable future, this solution is going to give us much more flexibility. The operational management will be implemented in a different way, giving us more time to innovate. Third parties who need our data can be helped faster and we have more time to build new things and improve existing processes.

Karl de Boer of Enable U: “Municipalities will be confronted with many challenges in the coming years. New laws and regulations like DSO, WOO but also initiatives like Common Ground and much more. Taking control and directing suppliers and vendors becomes more and more important. With 2Distribute we ensure that institutions have the confidence they are a reliable and flexible link in the current StUF value-chain distribution chain as well as the fact that they are ready for initiatives like HaalCentraal and the supporting notification services.”

Dennis van der Wolf of the Municipality of Katwijk: “It was an intensive process but with very clear milestones. Especially thanks to the knowledge of Denny Sowirono and Ruud-Jan Wolters (from Enable U), we were ready a week before the deadline so that we had additional time to fine-tune the monitoring process”.