Driving global economies and shaping the environment, cities are about more than changing demographics and untapped potential—they are about people. Microsoft CityNext empowers people—whether governments, citizens, or businesses—to transform their cities and their future. People-first means harnessing the potential of all city residents to create healthier, greener, and more prosperous communities. Through CityNext, people can take advantage of a broad portfolio of products and technologies, a global network of partners, and a long track-record of successful education and social programs.

Today, cities account for more than 50 percent of the world's population and produce 80 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP). At the same time, they face extreme pressure to modernize aging infrastructure and provide more services to citizens while coping with economic austerity and dwindling financial resources. More than a series of challenges, cities are also hubs for higher-education, sophisticated cultural centers, and the home of innovators that advance healthcare, energy, and science.

As urbanization accelerates, cities struggle to scale out services, meet evolving expectations, and find new ways to control costs. Cities have long needed to provide adequate transportation, water, energy, and protection from crime as well as affordable education and healthcare. However, today's governments face additional challenges. For example, they are asked to provide better online access to services and information and to respond faster to everything from citizen requests to natural disasters. And while they modify infrastructure to handle burgeoning populations, they seek energy-efficient solutions to improve quality of life as well as save money.

At a time when all you hear is "do more with less,” CityNext helps cities take advantage of existing resources to build a sustainable model of innovation and support eight critical functions: government administration, public safety, healthcare, buildings, tourism, education, transportation, and energy and water.

CityNext provides comprehensive solutions that improve operations and quality-of-life now and in the future. From automated building management systems that increase energy efficiency to online solutions that improve healthcare and access to education, Microsoft and its partners are helping cities worldwide to thrive. The solutions do more than help cities modernize infrastructure, improve operations, and control costs. Equally important, CityNext initiatives encourage active collaboration between citizens, businesses, and governments. For example, citizens can find and share information easily through their favorite mobile devices and social-media. In turn, governments can respond faster to requests and feedback, and work with citizens to implement new services that benefit everyone.

CityNext solutions help cities meet current and future goals with innovative solutions that integrate civic infrastructure with Microsoft technologies. As a Microsoft city you can:

  • Enable new capabilities through the cloud. By taking advantage of the cloud, you can rapidly and affordably implement new services and expand existing offerings. Connect public and private data sources, enable cross-departmental collaboration, and gain the flexibility and agility needed to do more with less. Benefit from virtually unlimited storage and processing resources and a pay-as-you-go model, with minimal investment in costly, on-premises IT infrastructure. You can also extend existing infrastructure in a hybrid-cloud environment.
  • Gain better access to data. With an enterprise-grade platform that includes web-based applications and mobile devices, government employees can get real-time insight and information anytime, anywhere without compromising security, privacy, or compliance. They can stay productive using their favorite devices, whether PCs, tablets, or smartphones. In addition, mobile access to powerful business intelligence (BI) tools and big data helps them quickly analyze large volumes of information from multiple sources, including line-of-business applications and social media. And with better access and insight into data, they can design innovative ways to improve efficiency and services.
  • Innovate on your terms with a modern solutions platform. You can extend the value of your existing systems and data, update applications and services, or add new solutions with confidence. With a Microsoft platform, you gain support for industry standards and interoperability with products from different vendors. As a result, cities of any size can connect disparate systems more easily. And with help from an extensive network of local and global Microsoft partners, you can design and implement innovative solutions that meet the unique requirements of your city.

Create stronger communities with better access to services and increased citizen participation and satisfaction. Take advantage of CityNext solutions to:

  • Deliver personalized services. Simplify access to information and services with a central interface and single-sign on to multiple resources. Provide a "one-stop,” personalized resource for looking up records, applying for permits, paying taxes, and enrolling in schools. Citizens can find information, take advantage of services, and share information with their communities using the devices they choose, including PCs and mobile devices.
  • Enable real-time dialog through social media. Cities can promote deeper civic engagement and participation by using social media and mobile technologies. By integrating familiar social and communication apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype and Yammer with existing applications, city employees can easily share ideas and collaborate with citizens regardless of location. They can use social media and mobile devices to alert citizens about safety issues and emergency conditions anywhere in the city.
  • Increase transparency with open data. Using applications that expose public data and information to individual citizens and businesses, cities can increase insight and establish productive two-way communications. Cities collect a wealth of information from sensors, daily business processes, and citizen feedback. Now, both citizens and governments can gain insight into the accumulated data and drive initiatives for new solutions that improve quality-of-life.

Economic health depends on the availability of education, resources, and job-training. Cities need a workforce that is not only well-educated, but skilled in new technologies. A Microsoft city can:

  • Enable the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. To solve regional challenges and create a thriving local economy, governments need technology innovators and entrepreneurs. Help people turn ideas into businesses by creating valuable programs and partnerships. For example, local technology startups can benefit from the software, support, and community that Microsoft provides worldwide—at no charge—through Microsoft BizSpark. Or, help citizens connect with government, academic, and industry specialists at all levels through Microsoft Innovation Centers. In addition, Microsoft DreamSpark gives high school and college students, as well as educators, free access to Microsoft design and development tools.
  • Expanding digital inclusion and skills. To compete in the global economy, cities need an educated workforce that can work with the latest technology. By building public/private partnerships through programs such as Microsoft Shape the Future, cities can promote education reform and meet digital-access goals. In addition, multilingual resources such as the Microsoft Local Language Program and the Digital Literacy Curriculum help citizens build skills and gain access to technology in familiar languages.
  • Provide high-quality education. Take advantage of end-to-end solutions, including innovative learning management systems and Microsoft Office 365 for Education, which is offered to students and school faculty at no cost. And with Microsoft Partners in Learning, government leaders as well as educators can learn new approaches to helping students gain 21st century skills. Accredited schools can also use the Microsoft IT Academy digital curriculum and certifications to provide students with the technology skills needed for today's workplace.

To prosper, cities need to produce and attract world-class talent. People everywhere are attracted by the overarching quality-of-life, which includes educational opportunities, affordable healthcare, and safe and enjoyable living conditions. Microsoft CityNext can help you get there. Working together, Microsoft and city leaders can design solutions that generate new businesses and accelerate innovation. Imagine what's next for your city.

What's Next for your City - A CityNext Whitepaper
What's Next for your City - A CityNext Whitepaper
What's Next for your City - A CityNext Whitepaper
What's Next for your City - A CityNext Whitepaper
What's Next for your City - A CityNext Whitepaper