Microsoft Corp. has announced its new strategy to help governments to interact with citizens and streamline processes. The company says governments will see as a result savings in time and taxpayer dollars.
The Microsoft Citizen Service Platform (CSP) was unveiled at the Government Leaders Forum-Europe in Berlin.
Microsoft points out that even with the diverse needs of differnt cities, many of their government agencies deliver a common set of services to citizens. A culmination of Microsoft's partnerships, programs and projects conducted with governments over several years, the CSP has been developed to satisfy the needs seen across diverse government offices and help deliver the best of these services across different regions worldwide.
Initial offerings include a suite of online services that will be available for customization and integration into existing government solutions for their citizens later this year.
"Governments need to respond to the growing needs of their constituencies and modernize the way they conduct business and engage with their stakeholders," said Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International.
"Technology can help local and regional governments increase efficiency levels and offer modernized services, but many are ill-equipped to meet citizens' needs due to a lack of funding, technical expertise or other resources," Courtois said. "CSP arose from a series of projects among Microsoft, our partners, and local and regional governments. By incorporating past lessons and achievements, we will be able to provide these governments with technologies they can cost-effectively and easily deploy for the direct benefit of their citizens."
Graham Colclough, global vice president of Cities & Regions for Capgemini, said that solutions such as CSP can play a central role in helping governments as they transform services. "There is clear evidence of, and need for, root and branch public service reform -- citizens are demanding this so tax revenues must be stretched further. Public service providers must lead change by building a bridge of trust with their communities -- and they are already starting that process," Colclough said. "Technology that is flexible, affordable and scalable can go a long way toward minimizing costs and ensuring that more of the resources make it through the pipeline to the people who need it the most."
Microsoft has engaged partners to develop applications that sit on existing technology platforms used by local and regional governments. Features such as citizen portals, case management, intelligent forms, community Web sites and document management emerged as strong priorities for governments to focus their IT spending on, according to research conducted by Capgemini.