Greater public sector efficiency through the application of technology

13 October 2011 | Niels Soelberg, Vice President, Public Sector, Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa

Success in the public sector today rides on not only being able to do more with less, but also being able to meet and exceed citizens’ expectations.

Achieving this is no easy feat, but it certainly can be done. I am a firm believer that technology is an important element in enabling government organizations to keep up with citizen demands for greater levels of transparency in the services they receive.

Two examples of applied technology for the benefit of the public sector are the City of Utrecht and the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund.

City of Utrecht

In a major push towards reducing its carbon footprint, the City of Utrecht is working with Logica on an innovative way of managing its public facilities. The municipality of Utrecht was searching for new ways to reduce the energy consumption of many energy-heavy facilities, including its street lighting, traffic signals, and sewage systems. With this in mind, they started their collaboration with Logica, a Microsoft partner specialising in technology for the public sector. Logica secured a system to remotely manage the city’s lighting, sewage systems, roads, and much more, all from a centralized location. By using innovative technology, it proposed cost savings of up to 20 percent, and energy cost savings of up to 40 percent. The solution is built from ground up using Microsoft technologies, combining Silverlight, Surface 2, SQL Server, and Bing Maps.

Embracing the benefits of the cloud, the solution also uses the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud computing platform, ensuring a low total cost of ownership, flexibility, scalability, and security.

Norwegian State Education Loan Fund

Another example of successful application of technology in the public sector is the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund. The fund administers financial support for higher education.

With 320 employees across six offices dealing with over a million cases each year, the organization needs to engage with a large number of customers daily. The management of the fund was looking at ways to increase levels of efficiency, self-service, and automation of processes, and it required secure, cost-effective, and stable applications to underpin existing organizational procedures. Software Innovation, a Norwegian software company delivering solutinos for document management systems, ended up providing the best solution with their case and records management application, Public 360°, which runs on Microsoft SharePoint and Office. The solution enables efficient and transparent digital administration, collaboration, and citizen services.

There are many other examples that prove that by consolidating operations on interoperable platforms, applications and software, public sector organizations can succeed in converging services, improving connectivity with citizens and external service providers, while realizing greater efficiency and cost savings.

Cross posting from Microsoft in Europe portal.

You can find the full articles on the examples presented above in the summer edition of Touch Magazine, and the autumn issue digital edition is available online now.

Have a comment or opinion on this post? Let me know @Microsoft_Gov. Have a question for the author? Please e-mail us at ongovernment@microsoft.com.

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Niels Soelberg
Vice President, Public Sector, Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa

About the Author

Niels Soelberg | Vice President, Public Sector, Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa

As vice president of public sector for Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Niels drives Microsoft’s efforts to help governments and citizens in the region leverage technology to drive transformation and digitalization in the public sector. Read more