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This article excerpt, by Suzanne Choney, originally appeared here: http://bit.ly/1qEf9U1
Queensland, the second-largest state in Australia, will partner with Microsoft to bring Office 365 to 149,000 government employees as a major step in the state’s Information and Communications Technologies strategy to transform digital services, take a positive step toward the standardization and simplification of ICT across government, and enable new forms of knowledge sharing, collaboration and interconnectivity. With a population of 4.7 million, about half of Queensland’s residents live in the capital city of Brisbane, with the rest living in other areas of the sprawling state, which is larger than Alaska and is home to the Great Barrier Reef. Tourism is a major economic driver in Queensland, as is the export of coal, natural gas and iron ore.
Queensland’s “ICT Strategy 2013-2017” is a blueprint designed to improve services for Queenslanders by better use and analysis of government data, and by using modern, cost-efficient technology. Queensland’s use of Office 365 for messaging and email, and the enterprise social network Yammer, will help government employees communicate and collaborate in a more seamless fashion.
“It’s a good news story out of the Queensland Government’s ICT Renewal Agenda and ICT Strategy 2013-17 that benefits government and Queenslanders,” said the Hon. Ian Walker MP, Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts. “It is also a significant step forward in our plan to modernize the government ICT environment and move toward the vision of ICT as a service,” Walker said. “It sees us move from a government-owned and -operated model to one that leverages world class solutions to deliver flexibility and economies of scale that drive innovation and transformation.”
Using Office 365 means that the government will have always up-to-date IT services, with access to the best and latest cloud technologies from Microsoft. It will help drive improvements to the Queensland government’s digital environment and provide greater capabilities for the government to engage with Queenslanders in new and innovative channels so it can provide services to its constituents more effectively.
Office 365 will also underpin better workforce flexibility, mobility and collaboration, and facilitate creative approaches to problem-solving. It will also provide a foundation for standardization and simplification: All employees will have access to the same capabilities and tools, which means information can be exchanged more easily.
More broadly, this new partnership with the Queensland Government has the potential to transform the state’s digital ecosystem through local industry participation and enable the government to become a leader in the innovation space.