The Antigua and Barbuda ministry of information, broadcasting, telecommunications and information technology has signed a new agreement with Microsoft Trinidad and Tobago, which will transform how the government does business, ultimately resulting in increased efficiencies and transparency for citizens, and new opportunities for the academic sector.
Today’s governments face profound changes – an increasingly global, connected world; an aging population; rising citizen expectations; and tight budgets – and all this on top of the pressing need for a safer, healthier environment. Local people have the power to meet these challenges and serve their communities better; however, to transform government services, they need the right tools.
The agreement between the government of Antigua and Barbuda and Microsoft, allows for close collaboration to create a digital portal for citizen services; modernization of IT infrastructure; and sharing resources so educators and school leaders can connect and collaborate, helping students realize their greatest potential.
Frances Correia, country manager, Microsoft Trinidad and Tobago, Eastern and Southern Caribbean, stated that the agreement is an important step as it will empower employees and citizens in Antigua and Barbuda.
This partnership ensures the government of Antigua and Barbuda will work closely with a Microsoft licensing solution provider (LSP) on a project to develop a digital portal for the 81,800 citizens residing in Antigua and Barbuda to enhance engagement between both parties. Public sector employees will also benefit from the significant investment in IT infrastructure, as Office 365 Enterprise offers reliability, security, privacy and support for its users, as well as there will be increased accountability for those working in this sector.
“The modernization of the government will transform the way employees work, improve transparency, and enhance the services provided to citizens,” noted Guillermo Almada, public sector lead for Microsoft Latin America Emerging Markets. “In addition to our joint efforts to help modernize the way the government operates, this partnership also allows us to help impact positively the development of society in key areas, including education.”
The milestone agreement was signed at the office of the country’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, on March 2. In addition to Browne, minister of information, broadcasting, telecommunications and information technology, Melford Nicholas; minister of education, science and technology, Michael Browne; and Microsoft’s Almada were in attendance.
“The technology will improve the delivery of services to our citizens and increase the efficiency of the government work process. We thank Microsoft for partnering with us on this initiative and look forward to additional benefits such as greater transparency and a reduction in the government’s operating costs,” Nicholas said.
Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise E3 is a powerful tool that addresses the challenges governments can face including the rising need to compete with other countries for business, to satisfy always-on citizens who require instant access to information and services, and to meet the demands for high-quality, diverse education. The software provides online conferencing with the use of Lync, file storage and sharing, mobility and self-service business intelligence in excel, which will allow individuals to access critical data and conduct queries if necessary, amongst other easily accessible features. It is also cloud-based, so all of the users’ emails, documents, contacts and shared calendars are always up-to-date.
The government envisions a strengthening of local businesses as they will experience growth through the use of the programme by utilising the wide range of integrated collaboration services offered, coupled with the advanced compliance and IT features. Following the announcement, it is also expected that the E3 Enterprise platform will be rolled out to teachers and students as well.
“Implementation of the Enterprise platform will help the government transform and become more connected, agile and transparent, enabling the people who work in the public sector to realise their full potential. Harnessing advancements in mobile and cloud technologies will also help the government to modernize, empower education, and lead the digital transformation. This provides for citizen-centric services that will make communities better places to both live and work,” Correia added.
Additionally, adoption of Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise E3 will increase the country’s ease of business index and will prevent the wastage of public funds through more efficient and documented management, according to developers.