Microsoft Offers Global Leaders a New Vision for E-Government

SEATTLE, March 27, 2001 — During the opening keynote address at the fourth annual Government Leaders Conference, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates will outline Microsoft’s commitment to empowering governments and their citizenry through innovative technology solutions. More than 400 government representatives from over 80 countries are attending the conference to learn more about e-government technology solutions and hear real-world examples of how these solutions are changing the way government agencies interact with citizens, businesses and other governments. In his keynote address, Gates will describe two such solutions: the United Kingdom’s Government Gateway project, an initiative designed to have 100 percent of government transactions online by 2005; and Accenture’s eGovernment Accelerator, a solution designed to help governments deliver seamless services across agencies via the Internet.

“Nothing will have a greater impact on the way governments interact with citizens and each other than their effective use of technology,” Gates said. “Innovative solutions such as the U.K. Government Gateway project and Accenture’s eGovernment Accelerator, both based on the Microsoft® .NET Enterprise Server platform, will enable governments to improve efficiency, cut costs and be more responsive to citizens’ needs.”

Seamless Integration

During his keynote address, Gates will publicly announce one of the most significant
e-government solutions ever implemented: the United Kingdom’s Government Gateway project. The project, developed as part of the U.K. government’s online initiative, is a solution based exclusively on the Microsoft platform. The Government Gateway is the U.K. government’s central authentication portal for all interactions among businesses, citizens and the government. Various Microsoft technologies were utilized in this solution, including the Windows® 2000 operating system, Microsoft SQL Server™ 2000 and BizTalk™
. The gateway solution leverages the government’s legacy IT systems and provides full integration to a broad array of disparate applications and platforms while creating the scalability to meet the growing demand of its users.

The first phase of the Government Gateway project is focused on businesses. Businesses will be able to complete and submit online forms to Web sites provided by the Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food departments. In the future, any business using Government Gateway-enabled accounting and business software will be able to exchange information directly and securely with the government over the Internet.

New E-Government Platform

Microsoft and its industry partners are a superior source for the expertise and strategic enterprise solutions that empower government leaders, agencies and other branches of government to improve public-sector organizations’ business operations. At today’s conference, Gates will also showcase the Accenture eGovernment Accelerator, a solution developed in alliance with Microsoft and Avanade Inc. This off-the-shelf e-government platform was developed to provide governmental departments with the tools and services they need to start small, scale quickly and deliver on the vision and benefits of interconnected government-service delivery. The Accenture eGovernment Accelerator utilizes a range of robust .NET Enterprise Server platform technologies such as Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000 and SQL Server 2000.

Empowering Government

Microsoft and its industry partners have created solutions to meet the technology demands for the public sector. Recent examples include the following:

  • Taking advantage of Microsoft technology, the Swiss Federal Statistics Office was able to analyze census information a year faster than was previously possible. For the first time ever, the Swiss population filled out questionnaires online by accessing
    E-census. With the agility and scalability offered by Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and the enterprise-level stability of Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, it was possible to create a secure, reliable site capable of handling 23,000 concurrent visitors without any drop in performance.

  • North Carolina Department of Commerce (NCDC) developed a Web site, , using Microsoft SQL Server to enable 24×7 access to standardized, up-to-date information about sites and buildings in the state as well other information in NCDC and other state agencies. Industrial search consultants and other commercial developers can now use the Internet to obtain data from NCDC state economic development programs.

  • Previously, the Oklahoma court system was suffering under the burden of inefficient mainframe — and paper-based systems. Now the state Supreme Court’s MIS department is deploying a powerful, easy-to-manage network based on the Microsoft Windows 2000 platform to log and track cases. This integrated, highly scalable system is allowing the state’s justice system to operate much more efficiently. Already the MIS department has experienced a dramatic reduction in support hours, and has been able to cut trips to court offices by approximately 70 percent.

E-Government Leaders Highlighted

This year’s Government Leaders Conference includes keynote addresses from Roderick R. Paige, U.S. Secretary of Education; and Frank McKenna, former premier of New Brunswick, Canada. Featured Microsoft executives include Gates, CEO Steve Ballmer and Deputy General Counsel Brad Smith.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

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