Today, in anticipation of the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum Europe 2006, Microsoft Corp. outlined a worldwide Public Services and eGovernment Strategy that will provide governments with the prescriptive guidance and technology to focus on a seamless service delivery for citizens through technology. The strategy and solutions are designed to enable governments at all levels to reduce the cost burden of “red tape” and allow increased technology adoption to stimulate economic productivity. Government sources have estimated productivity losses in the area of 100 billion pounds Sterling in the U.K., 400 billion Euros across the EU-25, $17 billion in Australia and $843 billion in the U.S., per annum.
Supporting government administrations’ focus on service delivery will transform operations and enable governments to deliver exceptional service to businesses and customers through the use of well-connected innovative technology. The eGovernment Strategy is part of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to helping governments develop strong, sustainable IT infrastructures that deliver ease of use, value through innovative technology, and a clear road map for future development.
“Governments around the world tell us that to interoperate effectively they need a more structured approach to building information technology systems,” said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft. “Deploying an eGovernment Strategy will help governments improve productivity and service delivery through seamless interoperability — as well as dramatically help cut costs.”
The worldwide Public Services and eGovernment Strategy is based on an innovative blueprint, the Microsoft Connected Government Framework (CGF). The CGF demonstrates how governments and public sector agencies can architect and implement a vision of seamless service. It consists of a positioning white paper, a series of business and technical customer workshops, an architecture blueprint, and reference implementations of the framework.
“CGF captures the experience from numerous successful eGovernment projects around the world and provides valuable architectural guidance — allowing us to base our design on a well-proven foundation, and to deliver a solid platform to support a growing range of eGovernment services over time,” said Aivars Rozkalns, CEO of ABC Software Ltd., a Microsoft partner implementing the Latvian Integrated State Information system.
The strategy is based on core capabilities that are fundamental to government administration and service delivery. The realization of seamless service delivery and government transformation rests on four interlocking capabilities: identity management, CRM/case management, document management, and forms management. Initial deployment has already begun. Microsoft and partner WISeKey SA demonstrated how technology can enable the issuance of secure eID for citizens. “WISeKey with the support of Microsoft is teaming to expand the use of Digital Identification with the aim of increasing digital connectivity to 1 billion people by 2015,” said Carlos Moreira, chairman, co-founder and co-CEO of WISeKey. “We believe the efficiencies of Digital Identification will result in cost savings.”
Similarly, Accenture and Avanade, in partnership with Microsoft, recently released the next version of the Accenture eGovernment Accelerator, a solution for replacing paper forms and automating processes. “Governments can use this solution to enable citizens and businesses to seamlessly access government services online,” said Jim Canning, managing director of the Government Technology Practice at Accenture. “As a result, the solution reduces the amount of paperwork, cost and effort on the part of the government.”
The Public Services and eGovernment Strategy will be discussed during Gates’ address at a Portuguese government event Tuesday and during the third annual GLF in Lisbon, a two-day event that enables government, industry and academia across Europe to explore the use of information and communication technology. The event provides a forum for government delegates to formulate successful strategies in key areas relating to e-government, digital learning, employability skills and the transition to the knowledge economy.
Speaking before the GLF Europe 2006, Gerri Elliott, Microsoft corporate vice president of Worldwide Public Sector, said, “Microsoft is honored to be part of a dialogue with governments, industry and academia across Europe to drive initiatives that we believe will result in positive social and economic development. We look forward to continuing this exciting work across Europe to develop innovative programs and IT solutions that are designed to improve services for citizens, increase IT access and create economic opportunity.”