CGI’s recent research identifies a vast increase in budget pressure for our government clients. Clients know that the game has changed and that they ‘need to make something that already exists better, while reducing costs’ and they also want to ‘do more for less’ or even ‘new with less’. Governments, and especially their ministries of education, are looking for high-level and innovative education solutions, while creating efficiencies and keeping control of costs - all without any impact to education standards. Because they are looking to make changes, it is an ideal opportunity for education agencies to harness the potential provided by 21st century IT solutions.
Education is integral to a nation’s growth. By using modern services to share and collaborate, the exchange of knowledge increases, even in remote areas. Project Pléiade in France is a great example of sharing and collaboration. The French Ministry of National Education and Ministry of Higher Education and Research attained their goals of improved communication between central administration staff and the regional education authorities.
Their central administration and decentralized departments needed to improve how they shared their data, so an intranet portal was created to encourage collaborative working between the various departments. CGI’s role is to manage both the CMS and collaborative part of the intranet.
This portal was not just about managing documentation, but an infrastructure. Using Microsoft SharePoint, the goal is to allow for a free flow exchange between education agencies, departments and the central administration. A set of collaborative workspaces were created for all sizes of projects and procedures. These workspaces facilitate functional efficiencies through automation and improve the knowledge of users.
The migration from an outdated ATG technology (CMS) and a Microsoft SharePoint 2007 technology (Collaboration) to a unique Microsoft SharePoint 2010 solution (CMS + Collaboration) is entering its last phase. This Microsoft SharePoint 2010 solution has new functionalities and modules added, and enables increased access to external information and to new web 2.0 services. CGI and the French Ministry of National Education are working together on the production preparation phase.
This exemplary collaboration platform is currently used by 6,000 central administration officials, and will soon be deployed to 150,000 regional employees. This will allow for even further collaboration and sharing of information, encouraging new spirit and motivation among regional academies. This is a great example of how IT is helping education from an administrative point of view. Information technology is also making a huge impact on how education is delivered in classrooms or virtually, how examinations are assessed, and how students’ and teachers’ information is managed.
Interested in learning more? Explore Project Pléiade.