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Fast Facts

  • With zero tolerance for failure, the AEC required a cloud solution that would ensure service resilience, scale and security  

  • AEC became the first federal agency to create an Express Route connection to Microsoft Azure AU Central  

  • After working with Veritec during the 2016 and 2019 elections, the AEC partnered with us again to successfully deliver this project 

Overview

As the agency responsible for conducting federal elections and referendums, the AEC exists in a state of perpetual alert; the moment an election is called it swings into action. It normally operates out of 90 premises around Australia and has 780 staff. When an election is announced that scales to more than 7,900 premises and approximately 90,000 staff. 

Problem

When you think about the AEC, normally they have very modest ICT requirements, however once an election is announced they rely on the professionalism, quality and agility of staff, technology and partners to deliver a successful electoral event. Transparency, integrity and cloud is a big part of that equation.

Failure is simply not an option; it would leave the nation without a functioning government; an election would need to be re-run; and the public’s trust in democracy and government would be damaged.

Solution

During the 2019 federal election, the AEC used Microsoft Azure to develop and manage its first suite of public-facing APIs (Application Programming Interface) which exposed a range of data and services delivered by the Commission. This included information feeds to broadcasters, news services, social media and search engines.

The more channels that their data can be exposed through in a controlled way the better, because that means they can increase the number of people that are participating in the election or what they would call ‘extending the franchise’, opening up election services to more and more people who are entitled to participate.

 “Veritec as always, were fantastic throughout this engagement. They really genuinely worked their guts out to get us a good outcome and facilitated numerous engagements with some of the more high-powered Microsoft teams locally and around the world. For us that was an absolute winner on this engagement,”

Stewart Kerr - Director of Architecture and Modernisation, AEC

 

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Outcomes achieved

  • The AEC was the first federal agency to create an Express Route connection to Microsoft Azure AU Central regions 

  • AEC’s on-premise identity solutions were integrated with Microsoft Azure Active Directory  

  • Beside developing the APIs, AEC also leveraged Azure to manage access to them 

Technologies used

  • Microsoft Azure AU Central regions, which has been designed specifically to support critical national computing and has been rated to Protected status by the Australian Signals Directorate 

  • Azure API Management provided a turn-key solution for the AEC, in which the heavy lifting associated with API hosting infrastructure was managed by the Microsoft Azure platform, which allowed the AEC to focus on developing great APIs for consumers

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