Day two of the Worldwide Government Solutions Forum in review

Day two of the Worldwide Government Solutions Forum got off to a fantastic start, despite attendees battling the horrific weather to arrive at the venue. The morning consensus was very excitable with a full day ahead of us and a fabulous gala dinner to look forward to in the evening.

Opening the talks, Beatrix De Munck Loyola, Deputy Mayor, Council Organisation, Quality and Society Information for Tres Cantos, Spain. Beatrix explained how the city of Tres Cantos created The Citizens Advice Service Online which ensures that the council attends to every citizen; they listen, answer and share and as result the council has generated a new loyalty with their citizens.

The morning included the theme of health innovation, with Svein Holen, Manager of the Department of Health and Social Welfare in Vaga Municipality speaking about how the department will be supporting the increasing number of elderly people with growing life expectancy by helping the elderly stay in their homes for longer.

Peter Hindmarsh, Professor of Paedritic Endocrinology, UCL and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, later led an interesting talk on data driven health telling us how the NHS have developed a portal to support patients and families of diabetes. The portal has dropped Diabetes administration time by 25% and there is better management and access of information for diabetes.


Daniel Batts from Microsoft, hosting the cloud debate at the end of day two.

Matthew Briggs, Programme Director for Tell Us Once at the UK Department of Work and Pensions explained in his talk how they created the Tell us Once programme. The cross-government programme lets people tell central government and local authorities of births and deaths just once, rather than having to inform each public body that needs to know separately. It also helped cut processing time and costs for government.

The morning highlights included Stephen Hart, Head of IT services at States of Jersey who focused his talk on the partnership with c5alliance to develop a number of websites into one single web platform for Jersey citizens. Talieh Ashjari and Kirsten Brogaard from the County Administration Board of Vastra Gotaland Sweden Introduced us to ‘One Way’ a web portal that co-ordinates and simplifies the process for new arrivals in Sweden.

Other speakers included; Gordon McKenzie, Public Sector Director from Be Informed, Roy Fielding, CEO of Coactiva, Arnaud Atoch, Head of Economics Department IT, Organisation for Economic CO-operation and Development, Ester Camara, the CIO of the Municipality of Terrassa and Louise Tustian from Cherwell District Council.

After lunch, Kirsti Kierulf, Global Product Manager of Accenture Connected Government Platform passionately presented some interesting views to us. She spoke of how citizens do not understand nor accept the complexities of governments. She told us to use the cloud and a connected government platform, and how it is a cheap, readily-available and a shared intelligence platform which we should all start using now.

Following Kirsti’s invigorating talk Cigdem Aygun, Government Industry Solution Manager at Microsoft introduced us to the Government modernisation and transformation topic.Geoff Connell, Divisional Director ICT for the London Borough of Newham began the session speaking aboutreducing costs through digitalising the Borough and how they are currently on track to saving 25% in costs.

Nigel Ward of Newport City Homes and Darren Lloyd of Modality Systems then told us how their organisations live up to the initiative: ‘work is what you do, not where you should be’. They told how using Lync has created a new flexibility within their workplaces and they have noticed a massive difference to the employee’s work-life balance. The contact centre is more efficient, productive and effective, tapping into different expertise within the company to meet the customer’s needs more professionally and efficiently. 

The mid-afternoon session was rounded up by Makar German, Head of Perm Region Government Office and Denis Mironov, Head of Perm Krai Information and Development Agency, at the Government of Perm region, Russia. An interesting example of the decision making process when making the move to cloud was demonstrated.

The afternoon had an air of excitement with a cloud Q&A panel discussion moderated by Daniel Batts from Microsoft and with panellists Jon Creese - CIO at Hampshire County Council, Nigel Tyrell - Head of Environment at London Borough of Lewisham, Nigel Spencer - Head of Information Services at The Crown Estates and Adrian Scaife from the UK Ministry of Justice.

Jos Creese began the Q&A by suggesting that cloud is not a new technology and not really a new business model but what has changed is how we can interact with the public sector. A model that is particularly useful for small public services that would usually join larger organisations or outsource. Nigel Tyrell moved on to discuss how the Borough of Lewisham has developed the app ‘Love Lewisham’ in 2004 and now moved the app into the cloud so that it can be shared more easily. This shared data has contributed to a sense of identity for the Borough, especially with the Olympics. "We needed a platform to draw in public engagement and to make people part of something," Tyrell concluded.

During the Q&A Nigel Spencer informed us of how important cloud is for the Crown Estate for collecting, sharing and exchanging data with the public. This was then followed by Adrian Scaife who described the challenges facing the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) agency who do not have their own ICT function but instead share one with the Ministry of Justice. NOMS benefits from exploiting the opportunities that cloud offers to deliver services in a more effective and cost saving way.

The day’s talks, discussions and revelations left a lot to be discussed at the evening Gala Dinner. We would like to say thank you to all the partners, speakers, customers and Microsoft employees who made this event an interesting and successful two days! We shall look forward to seeing you all again next year!