Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Enterprise management facilities for public authorities

11.05.2005


Public authorities have long needed the equivalent of the enterprise management system – as used by leading companies around the world – but seldom had the resources to afford it. Now a new collaborative-working platform developed under the ICTE-PAN project may hold the solution.

Starting in the mid-1990s, public authorities began making significant investments into IT infrastructures capable of supporting their need to manage large amounts of relatively unstructured data. However concerns about security, especially when using the Internet, tended to limit the exchange of information with other administrations or the general public. The result has been isolated islands of information within departmental intranets, and the lack of an ability to work collaboratively with colleagues or indeed anyone outside of the immediate administrative environment.

The IST project ICTE-PAN aimed to help solve this problem by developing a secure means of collaborative working; a means which could provide the kind of security and controlled access facilities more commonly associated with advanced enterprise management systems. ICTE-PAN researchers planned to create the methodology and software tools that would enable public sector administrations to use innovative technologies and systems to adapt to rapidly changing work practices.



A working collaborative platform

The outcome was the development of MERMIG, an open-source collaborative-working platform that offers a range of knowledge management applications for modern communities and organisations. MERMIG is an extranet application that provides a number of libraries and management tools that address most of the working requirements of user communities sharing a common workspace, be they public authorities or private companies.

The MERMIG platform was presented to the general Public Administration public on 9 June 2004 at the "Gateway platform to e-Government" workshop in Hanover, Germany, on the premises of the Ministry of the Interior of Lower Saxony. This workshop, attended by a broad range of IT specialists and e-government officers, brought valuable feedback on how the application could be enhanced further.

This feedback prompted the ICTE-PAN partners to develop the platform into a complete application capable of supporting public authorities in a variety of activities. In the short time since then, MERMIG has been taken up by a number of public authorities across Europe. It is already being used by one of the German Lander, by an Italian provincial government, by a government organisation in Belgium and a university in Greece.

Project manager Karel Van Isacker of European Dynamics in Athens believes that such fast take-up is because the platform answers a real need. “We embedded a lot of our business know-how into the platform – know-how gained from our earlier work with commercial organisations. Collaborative workflow is not in itself new – what we did was to develop a system that takes such abilities and tunes them to the needs of public administrations.”

The MERMIG user interface is a standard Web browser. Facilities include modules such as a Web manager, document manager, workgroup membership manager, calendar/chat, email and a forum facility, a search engine and online help. Workgroup members can share information, access and disseminate documents or data, manage a private workspace on the internet, participate in virtual meetings or organise events, all from within the same physical location or from anywhere across the globe.

User feedback on the platform has been extremely helpful, Van Isacker acknowledges. “There are functions that we need to enhance – but in general feedback was very positive. That was why we decided to offer the environment to a wider audience.” Although the ICTE-PAN project finished at the end of February 2005, the partners are continuing to develop the MERMIG platform. One additional function, for example, has been the inclusion of Knowledge Management features, while MERMIG is also supporting an e-Procurement Platform.
Shifting market perceptions

Van Isacker notes a significant shift in perception among public authorities in Europe in favour of more open-source purchasing. They are in general, he believes, positive about open-source. The point at issue, he says, is changing public procurement policy. The question being asked is, “What policies do we have to change to use these tools.”

He sees MERMIG as been launched at a significant moment in market perceptions when judging between open-source or proprietary. “We’re quite confident that we have contributed to this shift towards open-sourcing,” he says. “We have found the right market for our product.”

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Smart Computers
21.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists discover species of dolphin that existed along South Carolina coast

24.08.2017 | Life Sciences

The science of fluoride flipping

24.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Optimizing therapy planning for cancers of the liver

24.08.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>