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Press Release: IBM Software Helps Governments Improve Citizen Services

IBM Software Helps Governments Improve Citizen Services

ARMONK, NY – December 15, 2009: IBM (IBM: NYSE) today announced that it has accelerated the delivery of government services for a variety of public agencies, including Los Angeles County, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the City of Helsinki, and the Finnish Defence Forces with the help of IBM software.

IBM also announced new versions of its portal software and web content management offerings delivering enhanced analytics and Web 2.0 capabilities.

The new features make it make it easier for non-technical users to develop and update their Web portal content and improve interaction with citizens and employees. A government Web portal helps present information from diverse sources in a unified way and delivers other services, such as e-mail and news.

New Software to Speed Delivery of Government Services

With the new software, organizations can now take advantage of a combination of IBM software -- WebSphere Portal 6.1.5, and IBM Lotus Connections social software -- making it easier to bring popular social networking features, such as blogs and community activities into the portal Web experience.

In addition, the ability to showcase graphics, such as detailed charts, graphs and numerical data, including spreadsheets, allow organization to provide a broader variety of information in various formats. Detailed information, such as how often a page or specific function is accessed, can help organizations continually improve their Web portal user experiences.

IBM Lotus Web Content Management software is used to quickly and easily create, maintain and deliver business content across intranet, extranet, Internet and portal sites. This new version includes templates that allow users to more quickly embed a variety of new capabilities, such as blogs and Wikis into a portal. It features improved integration with IBM FileNet, IBM Content Manager and IBM Lotus Quickr software, resulting in easier and more secure access to a wider variety of content sources. The new Web Content Integrator feature allows content consumption from any content repository and third-party sites capable of producing feeds.

Another new offering is a Government-to-Business Portal template, which can be tailored to help constituents quickly locate and navigate through important business services and other information based on customized preferences. Government agencies can quickly set up and manage business portals to help ensure efficient delivery of services to citizens, such as on-line tax information and local emergency and disaster updates. Also, new Web 2.0 capabilities allow participants to engage directly with government on important topics through social networking tools, such as blogs and Wikis.

The software also helps allow access to forms for common business tasks, such as tax and business registration, which are streamlined through the use of IBM Lotus Forms and WebSphere Portal working in concert. Government agencies can easily publish information on the latest content on programs using Lotus Web Content Management software.

Advancing Government Adoption

Los Angeles County has standardized on WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management software for its external site accessed by citizens, as well as for the Department of Health citizen and business portal. The county's solution was recently recognized by National Association of Counties (NACo) for enhancing "access to and delivery of County information and services to its constituents using a common portal platform that promotes localized development and publication of web content and services.” Citizens have visited the portal for timely information, such as school closures and evacuation routes related to the fire this summer.

"We are pleased that government agencies worldwide are using IBM technologies to help deliver exceptional Web experiences to their constituents, and are winning awards for doing so," said Larry Bowden, vice president, Portals and Mashups, IBM. "We expect that they and many others globally will further benefit from the latest portal and Web content management capabilities."

The City of Helsinki uses WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management to provide citizens with a portal that allows them to communicate and exchange information, access the city's health service and reserve appointments. The portal experience is enhanced by IBM Process Server and Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), which provides advanced e-Services for the citizens of Helsinki and surrounding cities.

IBM services, hardware, and software are widely used by governments globally, and WebSphere Portal has been used by 30 U.S. Federal Government agencies, 22 U.S. states, every G8 country and 10 of the 16 Middle East countries. One U.S. state uses portal software to allow jurisdictions to take a unified and simultaneous approach to emergencies and disaster response operations.

IBM portals are widely used by a variety of other industries as well. IBM WebSphere Portal is used by four of the top five U.S. health care insurance companies, by 35 of the Blue Cross Blue Shield organizations, more than 30 major hospitals, clinics and delivery networks worldwide and more than 12 online health care provider sites servicing more than 20,000 users each.

IBM portal software is being used by the top 10 global banks, nine U.S. banks, eight Asia Pacific banks and seven European banks. As part of today's news, IBM has also created other new industry "toolboxes" that help companies tailor their portals to serve customers in other industries, including banking, insurance and healthcare.

Earlier this year, analyst firm Gartner, Inc. ranked IBM as the worldwide market share leader in the Portal Products and User Interaction Tools Software segment. The ranking was based on total worldwide software revenue for 2008.(1)

IBM's new software is available today. For more information about portal and other collaboration software visit

For more information about Los Angeles County and its award, visit and

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission was created as an independent agency by Congress in 1974 to enable the nation to safely use radioactive materials for beneficial civilian purposes while ensuring that people and the environment are protected. The NRC regulates commercial nuclear power plants and other uses of nuclear materials, such as in nuclear medicine, through licensing, inspection and enforcement of its requirements. For more information visit

For more information about the City of Helsinki, visit

For more information about the Finnish Defence Forces organization, which includes the Finnish National Defence University, visit

Excellent word on how IBM/Lotus products and services are being used by various agencies to allow their employees to work smarter!

Are you currently using any of the tech mentioned in this release, like Lotus Connections for example, to address your customer/user business needs? Is your organization more agile as a result? Does your organization get collaboration? Drop a comment on the post with your thoughts!

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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