CUSTOMER PROFILE

A multinational professional services provider with an active presence in over 150 countries, this organization boasts Fortune 100 status and is known for its commitment to quality and professionalism in delivering services to its clients.

With a history dating back to the Great Depression era, this longstanding provider now differentiates itself in part via its technology chops and has garnered attention for its work with advancements like cloud, synthetic data, and AI.

  • INDUSTRY:

    Professional Services

  • COMPANY SIZE:

    Large

  • LOCATION:

    Global

PRODUCTS
  • IBM® Domino (now HCL® Domino)

Update 80,000 users or face a security liability?

The best business partners don’t react – they advise.

THE PROBLEM

PENDING IBM® DOMINO RELEASE UPGRADE LEAVES GLOBAL CONSULTING FIRM WITH LINGERING SECURITY CONCERNS​

A leading professional services and consulting firm is strongly associated with tech innovation thanks to their continued work with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence. The organization’s global technology estate is sprawling, with a healthy mix of new and legacy systems across multiple geographic regions. An HCL® Domino implementation with around a decade of active service, became a topic of internal discussion due to known security vulnerabilities lurking in the unsupported software CVE-2018-1771, a buffer overflow attack that could allow bad actors to achieve remote code execution on impacted systems.

OEM support wasn’t an option with a system that had been embedded for such a long time, which made stakeholders assume an update to a supported version number was the only possible path forward. However, the implementation contained 80,000 users, all of which would need to be upgraded and introduced to a new UI. The difficulty of the move itself was also a source of concern; with so many users, any problems that emerged during the mass upgrade were essentially guaranteed to snowball.

Obviously, no situation in which 80,000 users of an active system undergo sudden, substantial change is optimal. But without updating, the company faced a potential remote code execution disaster that wouldn’t fall within the OEM’s service envelope. While they were already under contract with Origina, the stakeholders were not aware that we could help their team avoid the forced upgrades.

THE SOLUTION

ORIGINA BRINGS A PREEMINENT INDEPENDENT HCL® DOMINO EXPERT INTO PLAY

The company had initially raised a ticket with Origina for help updating a Domino installer. Our team of independent Global IBM Experts (GIEs) assigned to the account at the start of the service contract assessed the infrastructure and discovered the request was part of the larger push to upgrade Domino to a new version.

The plan to update 80,000 users to mitigate a single issue gave the GIEs immediate pause. One member of the support team, a recognized IBM® Domino admin and expert said he had helped customers under nearly identical circumstances in the past, and the company’s concerns regarding CVE-2018-1771 could be addressed locally with hardening measures. This would eliminate any need to upgrade and would keep several of the organization’s internal projects – that would have otherwise needed to be shelved due to Domino interoperability issues – moving forward.

A deeper dive revealed additional potential concerns. A member of Origina’s Security Services team found that several known vulnerabilities in the new version would manifest in the estate once the upgrade occurred. These vulnerabilities did not exist in the currently active version of Domino and would need to be addressed immediately, adding hefty damage control costs to an already unwanted project.

This wasn’t the easiest news to pass on. Members of Origina’s Executive Leadership Team, Customer Success Division, and Security Services Team each reached out to several levels of the customer’s organization and communicated with the company repeatedly to help ensure the organization understood the challenges it would face.

With the gravity of the situation, the company opted to let Origina address CVE-2018-1771 instead of pushing a forced version upgrade to 80,000 users. The company will be able to keep using the version they have as long as they need with Origina at the helm providing service, support, and security.

Based on the quality and thoroughness of the support they received throughout the hardening process, the organization decided to utilize their active contract to a greater extent and to bring Origina in as a primary adviser and provider of service, support, and security for their global Domino installation. This move will free internal resources to focus on what matters and gives the entire business greater control over where their roadmap ultimately lands.

Third-party software maintenance would allow them to keep the software they currently had, with no need to update all the user accounts and software.

THE RESULT

By allowing Origina to secure the 10-year-old Domino implementation, this company avoided a massive upgrade that would’ve severely altered their technology roadmap. In addition, they: 

  • Achieved flexibility to follow through on several projects that would’ve been canceled due to interoperability concerns with the new Domino version

  • Saved budget and security resources that would’ve been spent on damage control measures following the update

  • Bypassed several new security vulnerabilities that appear in newer versions of Domino, but not the version they currently run

  • Built greater understanding of the truly one-of-a-kind IBM® and HCL® software expertise they gained access to by contracting with Origina



Think an IBM® or HCL® software upgrade is the only way forward? Think again.

Talk to Origina and keep the software you have. Third-party software maintenance can save you money and increase your access to top-tier, dedicated expertise.

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