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Microsoft in Government

Modern service delivery: Spain automates and earns international recognition

19 August 2013 | Kirsten Edmondson Wolfe, Global Industry Director for Public Sector for Microsoft Business Solutions

Bake Eder Knowledge Center, a technology hub developed by the Biscay government

Local governments remain under pressure to improve engagement with citizens and delivery of citizen services. In making these improvements, governments must focus on boosting productivity while continuing to create value for their citizens. Many have found that increasing automation in the back-office and improving citizen-facing processes is helping them meet their goals. All of this must be done while budgets get tighter and tighter.

The Regional Government of Biscay is an example of a local government that is doing just that: automating and modernizing their systems to bridge the gap between citizens and local government organizations. The Biscay County Authority partnered with Microsoft to develop the BiscayTIK Project, a Microsoft Citizen Service Platform that supplies each town hall employee with modern, integrated management applications. At the same time, citizens use a web portal to complete more than 100 of the most-requested services, such as certificates, permits, and applications. Based on a wide range of Microsoft technologies that include Microsoft SharePoint Server, Windows Server, Exchange Server, SQL Server, BizTalk Server, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Microsoft Dynamics AX, the Citizen Services Portal and the integrated local management system can be used by all government administrations in Biscay.

“People-first” approach

Biscay is a great example of a citizen-centered approach to increasing government productivity. A single platform built on Microsoft Dynamics AX provides each of the 112 local government organizations with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to help them manage their back-end processes. Personalized dashboards and tools are used to gain immediate and relevant insight into the current status of citizen requests, improve control over workflows, and standardize daily tasks. Now, local administrations can use the comprehensive framework of the Microsoft Citizen Service Platform to help identify opportunities to better fulfill the needs of the citizens that they support, including the delivery of services to populations located in remote municipalities that might not otherwise have access to these resources. Since implementation, the region has seen an estimated improvement in efficiency of 33% per transaction.

Self-serve access

Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps employees deliver front-line services while communicating effectively with citizens. The citizen portal provides a self-service facility that is important to the local community. Local residents can communicate online with local authorities at any time and from any place. This portal can be customized by individual town councils, providing the citizens they serve with general information or access to more than 100 tasks, such as applying for certificates and permits, and filling out applications. Citizens also can check the status of their requests 24/7 without going in-person to the town hall. 

Eye-opening success

Today, BiscayTIK is being utilized by 101 town councils and eight associations of local entities. All of them are taking advantage of the shared, centralized IT architecture, allowing for shared resources and costs. Since the system is built on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) architecture, each town council can access services online rather than install applications on separate client PCs. BiscayTIK estimates that local governments have reduced costs by at least 50%. Additionally, because of the energy-efficient systems management, fewer citizens are traveling to town halls, employees are using less paper, and carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced by more than 1,000 tons a year. BiscayTIK estimates that local communities are saving millions of euros a year thanks to the Microsoft Citizen Service Platform.

“We had a vision to take advantage of technology to enhance our citizens’ quality of life,” says Juan A. Martin Zubiaur, general manager of the BiscayTIK Foundation. “Working with Microsoft, we delivered on that vision and we are delighted with the progress we’ve made. What’s more, our achievement is already gaining worldwide recognition.  In May 2013, the United Nations awarded the BiscayTIK Foundation with one of the United Nations Public Service Awards, the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service.”

Modern solution for modern government

Through the Microsoft citizen services platform, BiscayTIK has brought local governments and citizens closer together, improved the quality of services provided by the government, and enhanced operational efficiencies across municipalities. It’s a modern solution that provides:

  • Anytime and anywhere access for its citizens
  • Flexible, proactive tools for employees that boost productivity
  • Accessible, innovative user interface concepts including Microsoft Office “look-and-feel”
  • Ability to collaborate and adapt business processes to meet changing legislative and administrative requirements
  • Reduced costs and increased productivity through shared services

Have a comment or opinion on this post? Let me know @Microsoft_Gov. Or e-mail us at ongovernment@microsoft.com.

Kirsten Edmondson Wolfe
Global Industry Director for Public Sector for Microsoft Business Solutions

Microsoft on Government Blog posts

About the Author

Kirsten Edmondson Wolfe | Global Industry Director for Public Sector for Microsoft Business Solutions

In her current role, Kirsten helps government organizations of all levels develop out-of-the-box solutions to address their unique challenges. Kirsten was formerly a marketing VP in Deltek’s GovCon unit and global VP for public sector at CA Technologies. Read more