CGI, Microsoft target municipalities

IT services firm CGI Group Inc. and Microsoft Canada Co. recently announced the creation of a “joint gBIZ go-to-market strategy” aimed at aiding Canadian municipalities to apply a framework designed to help them surmount the hurdles they face when participating in electronic service delivery (ESD).

“About 80 per cent of Canada’s government services are delivered by the 4,400 or so municipal governments of whom more than three-quarters serve populations of less than 5,000 people,” explained Michael Roach, CGI’s president, Canada and Europe.

“The majority of these municipalities face limited IT budgets and resources that prevent their citizens from enjoying the convenience and other benefits of online access to government services. By taking advantage of the Microsoft .Net Web services framework, we are able offer them an alternative to a costly, skills-intensive entry into ESD.”

According to the companies, the gBIZ solution is a template that expedites the roll out of a broad range of secure e-government online transactions. It was developed in CGI’s Single Window Government lab as a collaborative initiative with Service New Brunswick to create a single delivery platform of government service to that province’s citizens.

The joint gBIZ GTM strategy will involve making available the gBIZ solution through co-development and joint marketing initiatives. CGI will enhance the existing gBIZ solution to run on the .Net architecture and work with Microsoft Canada to market the solution in appropriate markets. Microsoft Canada will provide architectural consulting assistance and sales support.

“This initiative by CGI and Microsoft Canada began with a concept designed by Service New Brunswick, the provincial government’s chief provider of government service to the public, to provide more government services to citizens online,” added Premier Bernard Lord. “It further illustrates the progress we are making in embracing innovation and establishing New Brunswick’s reputation as a centre of excellence.”

In addition, CGI and Microsoft Canada are contributing to the international Delta research project in eDemocracy at the Centre for Social Innovation, University of New Brunswick, in Fredericton. In support of this innovative research into citizen engagement methods and technologies, CGI is providing the use of the gBIZ solution while Microsoft is contributing various software licenses.

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