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    UK/gov/Sa/Gov/Aspect/Kaz/eprocrurement---every cit http://www.socitm.gov.uk/public/egovindex/technologies/portals/faqs.html
    Information Age Government Technologies
    What is a portal

    What features differentiate a portal from a web site

    Where can I look at different types of portals

    What suppliers are marketing portal development products

    Do portals have a place in the future

    Are portals part of the government ICT Strategy

    What is the government timetable

    What is ukonline.gov.uk

    What are the benefits - to the customer and the portal owner

    What should my authority be doing

    What other reading will be useful

    1 What is a portal
    The definition of a portal varies.
    One view is that it provides information and services for a particular market, user community or topic of interest through a combination of site information and links.

    Another view is that it is simply a gateway to other sites, providing 'one stop' site access to a subject or market.

    Portals can be focussed on a Community or business sector, or be a Corporate or Enterprise portal.

    Extract from Is eGovernment Really Accessible to Today's eCitizen? By Mark Ellis Computer Associates

    "What does a portal do? Simple - it brings together information from many disparate sources - it secures it, and then presents it through a web browser. But here is the most valuable thing; I select which bits of information are important to me, and get a personalised view of my information. Not only that, but it learns from me, and presents me with new information without me having to look for it.

    Let's just look at what an eGovernment Portal would do for me - not only would I get simple representations of the information I want, but I would also be able to see breaking news from my Government. All the documents and forms would be automatically categorised, searchable and available at the touch of a button. If I have an urge to understand car taxation policy, or see what the foreign office is doing - then I can simply add this to my portal.

    What does this do for my Government? - I can share information across departments, educate my staff more quickly and build collaboration. My projects would run smoother with virtual communities and information exchange. I'm also keeping my "customers" happy, they don't need to call in for information, and the standard of education will rise."

    In many ways an EIP is really just an amalgamation of business software programs within the enterprise (ERP, CRM, supply chain, Sales Force Automation, Web sites, data warehouses, legacy mainframes, etc.)..........................

    Questions and Brief Answers on Portals by Howard Strauss, January, 2000

    What is a portal
    What differnet kinds of portal are there
    Why have a portal
    And many more

    Essentially a Portal channels the functionality of all the applications you use through one program, the portal. Described as the solution to the problem of 'infoglut', a portal is the single window gateway to all the information you need to do your job. Knowledge workers will require slightly or greatly different sets of information to do different jobs and hence portal technology must allow rapid customisation of the portal for individual users and user work groups.

    .............people thought portals were something to do with a ship but today portals are being hailed as the future of the internet. ........But what are portals and how will they affect your on-line usage and more importantly, your online presence?
    Undated report

    Over the past two years, hundreds of software vendors have begun to use the term 'portal' in their marketing collateral.

    Gerry Murray of IDC(USA) "distinguishes four types of corporate portals.
    Enterprise Information Portals connect people with information by organizing large collections of content on the basis of subjects or themes they contain.

    Collaborative portals enable teams of users to establish virtual project areas or communities along with the tools for collaboration they offer, and to work cooperatively within these communities.

    Expertise Portals link people together based on their skills and expertise, as well as their information needs.

    Knowledge Portals do everything the first three types do and an unspecified something "more."

    Defining the Enterprise Information Portal

    'Enterprise portal is a new Catchphrase, but definitions vary' by James C Luh

    2 What features differentiate a portal from a web site

    According to Ovum, portals should be built on eight underlying functionality areas. The combination of different technologies is synergistic and the business value of the whole is considerably more than the sum of its parts.

    These eight areas are:

    Personalization - allows users to decide what information they want to see.

    Search and navigation- the basis for most of the successful public Web portals, and are no less important in intra-corporate or marketspace portals, which exist to support business-to-business or business-to-consumer e-commerce.

    Collaboration and groupware- collaboration support is a key requirement for knowledge portals. It is also important in, for example, supply chain portals, in order to help suppliers and their customers manage their relationships.

    Task automation and workflow- workflow technology is undergoing a renaissance, partially driven by its potential to help automate business-to-business e-commerce transactions. A portal should be able to prompt its users when they have tasks to perform as part of a workflow-automated business process.

    Push- 'push' technology when embedded in portals, is in an ideal position to deliver its full business value.

    Applications- many portals exist primarily to provide access to applications: for example, ASP (application service provider) portals.

    Infrastructure- the runtime infrastructure associated with the portal will have a primary effect on scalability, security, and availability

    Integration- the value of portals relies on their ability to pull together and integrate information from disparate sources.

    Shilakes and Tylman(USA)- essential Electronic Information Portal(EIP) characteristics
    EIPs use both "push" and "pull" technologies to transmit information to users through a standardized web-based interface;
    EIPs provide "interactivity" - the ability to " 'question' and share information on" user desktops;
    EIPs exhibit the trend toward "verticalization" in application software. That is, they are often "packaged applications" providing "targeted content to specific industries or corporate functions;

    EIPs integrate disparate applications including Content Management, Business Intelligence, Data Warehouse/Data Mart, Data Management, and other data external to these applications into a single system that can "share, manage and maintain information from one central user interface."
    An EIP is able to access both external and internal sources of data and information. It is able to support a bi-directional exchange of information with these sources. And it is able to use the data and information it acquires for further processing and analysis.

    Socitm says that Portals or Gateways are essentially web sites designed to provide access to a wide variety of information and organisations, usually focused on a particular interest or theme. They often have facilities such as search engines and a personalised 'front end' and frequently carry additional services such as news and sport provided by other agencies

    3 Where can I look at different types of portals Address Description
    http://www.socitm.gov.uk/public/ egovindex/technologies/portals/index.html List of sites, case studies and suppliers
    http://www.e-envoy.gov.uk/publications/ reports/benchmarkingV2/portals_spain.htm International Benchmarking report. Case studies of e government services: Portals. July 01
    http://lgolpathfinder.gov.uk/en/1/ pfprojtype.html

    SomersetOnLine Digital TV is a partnership between all local government authorities and the Police in Somerset, to deliver unified services to the people of Somerset, via the SomersetOnLine Portal web site and Digital TV

    The APLAWS project in LB Camden will define and implement an architecture for local authority websites that will enable citizens to create a personal portal to allow information from more than one authority to be displayed on an individual's home page.
    The Welland project focuses on building community online portals around market towns. It represents an innovative approach to co-operative working and to addressing the problems of a rural sub-region and builds on the leading edge approach to citizen portal strategy developed in Rutland, www.rutnet.co.uk. It crosses traditional local authority boundaries and has wide ranging support from organisations and agencies from the public, private, voluntary and community sectors.
    Community portal with extensive self service and self maintenance facilities. Developed by a consortium of local agencies including Milton Keynes Council

    Brings together the local business community, County Council and public and community information
    Includes news, webcam, shoppers guide

    Provides signposts to relevant and appropriate information about Bristol, its organisations and its inhabitants
    Links to other relevant and appropriate websites and digital resources for citizens, community groups and businesses

    Source of information provided through Citizens Advice Bureaux

    Stationery Office gateway to government, parliamentary and other official information

    Revamped LGA site. Select information via channels with daily news feeds or you can sign up for regular updates.

    Postcode driven. Demographic, property profiles. Income - general, Crime figures, Council tax bands

    Provides info on a number of industry sectors - cosmetics, drink, cars, legal, - via company inks and providing on site info

    Indianapolis and Marion county government e-services site

    A cross government (and wider) portal for South Australia

    Victoria Government Australia, project with private sector partners showing a wide range of egovernment and related activities

    Town pages, with general information plus links

    USA portal aimed at politicians and strategic political thinkers

    NHS information in England.
    Link to NHSDirect http://http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/

    This site provides on line access to information and advice for consumers. It links to websites containing consumer information and advice run by Government departments, consumer organisations and others.

    The website of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), the British Government department responsible for overseas relations and foreign affairs.

    You can personalise the web site to highlight subjects of your choice, or to receive automated email notification of news texts or Travel Advice notices of interest.

    4 What suppliers are marketing portal development products http://www.lotus.com/ Lotus knowledge management portal, K-station
    http://www.oracle.com/ip/develop/ ids/index.html?portal.html Oracle Portal (formerly WebDB) helps develop and deploy enterprise Web portals.
    http://www.sybase.com/products/ep/ Enterprise portal builder. Foundation for e-business
    http://www-4.ibm.com/software/data/ eip/ Enterprise Information Portal provides broad information integration for enterprise portals, relational databases, business intelligence, and enterprise content management applications
    http://www.govhost.com/ GovHost suite provides a full range of software and hardware solutions to local government. These solutions give citizens immediate access to the information they demand and the ability to conduct business online with their government.
    http://www3.ca.com/Solutions/ Product.asp?ID=262 Computer Associates Jasmine Portal. Cleverpath portal Test Drive
    http://www.autonomy.com/autonomy_v3/ Content/IDOL/APPOLS/Portal-in-a-Box/ An APPOL (Applications Operating Layer), ie a portal interface to Autonomy's technology
    http://www.sapportals.com/ Tools to bring together various information sources - the Internet, legacy systems, databases -- regardless of location
    http://www.verity.com/press/2001/ 20010926.html Verity K2 Enterprise Portals powered by Verity K2 Enterprise automatically organize your information assets, putting content from various structured and unstructured sources in the context that gives information real value.
    www.corechange.com Corechange is one of the originators and pioneers of the Corporate Portal market and leader of the B2M marketplace. Corechange's Coreport 3G™ portal framework manages and profiles business-critical information according to the job function or role of the user.
    http://www.dynaportal.co.uk/ Portal software suite that combines more than 25 e-Business applications one package
    http://www.clickright.net/ Applications to extend existing intranet portal or build an entire Corporate Portal

    5 Do portals have a place in the future
    "We're seeing portal providers shying away from the word 'portal'," says Annelise Berendt, senior analyst at Ovum. "AOL prefers to use the term 'brand' and others are talking about being a 'network of integrated services', 'online hub' or 'personal assistant'. It's because people associate portals with the dotcom crash, and also many consumers still think of them as basic search engines."

    BUTLER GROUP OPINION:-"Industry-specific Portals are increasing in popularity throughout a number of vertical markets, such as IT, healthcare, financial services, and lately manufacturing. It is therefore reasonable to anticipate further examples of old adversaries joining forces to engender e-commerce".

    IDM comment:-" Although still in its initial stages, the portal market is developing rapidly because of its potential to impact business. New ventures and products are created daily. Many software firms with existing products that perform some Web functions will reposition them as enterprise portals to take advantage of the industry hype...
    Despite their brief existence, enterprise portals already represent an exaggerated phenomenon. Behind all the promotional verbiage, however, a useful e-commerce tool with a long life cycle exists within the enterprise portal."

    Provides a list of e-government activities abroad

    6 Are portals part of the government ICT Strategy
    Yes - see Electronic Government Services for 21st Century published September 2000 at

    Executive Summary

    The UK Online Strategy, as set out in the UK Online Annual Report, includes 94 detailed recommendations, covering 25 commitments, to ensure that the UK is at the forefront of the knowledge economy revolution. These recommendations cover the five over-arching themes: Modern Markets; Confident People; Successful Business; Government Online and World Class Supply.

    Other reports
    Provides details of the major reports that have informed the Ukonline Strategy
    The White Paper Our Competitive Future - building the Knowledge Driven Economy was published in December 1998. The White Paper established the Government's target that 'by 2002 the UK will have the best environment in the world for electronic trading'.

    The [email protected] report by the Performance and Innovation Unit in the Cabinet Office was published in September 1999. The report set out a detailed strategy for meeting the Government's target for e-commerce set in the Our Competitive Future White Paper.

    The Modernising Government White Paper was published in March 1999. It set out a long-term programme of improvement for the delivery of government services. Chapter 5 covers 'Information Age Government'. The White Paper proposed that 100% of government's dealings with the public should be capable of being delivered electronically by 2008.

    The e.Gov - Electronic Government Services for the 21st Century report by the Performance and Innovation Unit was published in September 2000. It sets out a comprehensive strategy, underpinned by a clear vision, for realising the full potential of electronic service delivery.

    Reports published in 2001. Includes Electronic Service Delivery: Autumn 2001 Progress Report
    Dec 2001

    This page sets out how 'Getting Government Online' is being taken forward in local government.
    This page explains how the e-government agenda is being taken forward at a local level.
    July 2001

    Delivering Local Government Online
    The Government is committed to promoting continuous improvement in local government services through electronic service delivery (ESD) to achieve the target of 100% ESD capability by 2005. The paper sets out the Government's proposals for supporting local authorities to achieve Local Government Online. It describes how it is intended to allocate the £350m new money identified in the Spending Review 2000 for this purpose, invites expressions of interest from councils wishing to become pathfinder authorities in 2001/02, and seeks views on proposals for allocating the new money in 2002/03 and 2003/04.
    Feb 2001

    DETR has announced that more than 100 English councils are to take part in 25 pathfinder projects to develop better, more accessible local services by harnessing the benefits of new technology. The pathfinders will become centres of expertise and share their learning across local government. Some of these are portal projects
    The pathfinder site is.

    This is e-government: a strategic framework for public services in the Information Age
    e-government has four guiding principles
    • building services around citizens' choices
    • making government and its services more accessible
    • social inclusion
    • using information better
    May 2001

    7 What is the government timetable
    Issues across government index. A list of issues which span the boundaries

    Table 1.2: from Electronic Government Services for 21st Century, 9/2000
    Priority services identified in the cross-cutting review of the knowledge economy

    8 What is ukonline.gov.uk?
    This is the title of the UK Government Citizen Portal Project being taken forward to create a single point of access to all government information and services available online

    The portal development has three layers; the IT systems that support the delivery of public services; the 'Government Gateway' that will enable the information systems in different Departments to be joined together; and finally the interface with the citizen - at ukonline.gov.uk.

    The initial version of the portal will be available over the internet, but additional access channels such as Digital TV, WAP phones and Kiosks will be added in time as appropriate.

    ukonline.gov.uk portal is one of the core services being offered as part of UK online, the government-backed drive to ensure that everyone in the UK who wants it will have access to the internet, and to make the UK one of the world's leading knowledge economies


    Overview of Ukonline: Connecting you with government information and services.
    Presents an overview and vision for the ukonline.gov.uk Citizen Portal, plans for its evolution and the role it will play in the transformation of electronic access to, and delivery of, government services.

    These reports set out the progress that has been made in taking forward the UK Online Strategy, providing details of significant developments and issues. The reports are structured around the five over-arching themes of the Strategy: Modern Markets; Confident People; Successful Business; Government Online and World Class Supply.

    Details of Ukonline campaign with http://www.letsallgeton.gov.uk/ campaign site

    One of the most innovative features of ukonline.gov.uk is information focussed around 'Life Episodes', where the user will be able to access all the information they need about a particular experience. The initial life episodes are:


    Life episodes
    Going away
    Dealing with crime
    Having a baby
    Moving home
    Learning to drive
    Death and bereavement
    Pensions and retirement
    Looking after someone
    Looking for a job
    Over time, the ability to carry out transactions linked to each Life Episode will be added, as government departments and public sector bodies adapt their business processes to deliver online services.

    http://www.ukonline.gov.uk/quickfind/local/ provides links to Local Authority sites

    The Government Gateway will join up existing IT systems in Departments so that fully integrated services can be delivered to citizens. The Gateway sits between Departments and the points where citizens can interact with Government, such as ukonline.gov.uk. This will enable us to offer citizens personalisable and joined-up services from across Government through a single point of access. Additional ways to access Gateway services, such as kiosks will be added in time, as appropriate.

    Registering with the Government Gateway enables you to sign up for any of the UK Government's services that are available over the Internet. When you have completed the registration process, you will be able to use a single User ID or digital certificate to send and receive forms, such as Tax returns and VAT returns. Forms can be sent using appropriate Government web sites, portals or third party software packages.

    The Gateway will make it much easier and more efficient for citizens to use online public services. For example, once a user has logged in and successfully registered themselves, they will be able to access services from different Departments without repeating the registration process from scratch. The Gateway will also produce significant economy of scale benefits.

    Progress report on implementing the commitments in UK Online Annual report 2000

    Things you can do online
    Government Gateway, Ukonline, Crime, Education - plus many more
    Dec 2001

    (631kb) Overview and vision for the portal

    9 What are the benefits - to the customer and the portal owner

    "..... The portal aggregates, categorizes, and delivers pertinent content to critical business audiences while lowering operating costs, increasing sales, facilitating better customer service, and making the supply chain more efficient.

    Built-in security. Because individual users must be authorized, enterprise portals offer another level of corporate security.

    Support of multiple corporate functions. The enterprise portal unifies disparate parts of the enterprise, including accounting, forecasting, and marketing.

    Competitive advantage. Without an enterprise portal, valuable information is locked away in poorly integrated data repositories. Only companies that can access timely information on markets, sales performance, and customer satisfaction via an enterprise portal can develop an advantage over competitors.

    For the customer - provides one point of access for a specific area. With personalisation and the automatic receipt of updated information one can be sure that new information is not missed

    For the company- becomes the 'one stop shop', where marketing information can be gathered and other services offered. Provides focussed advertising opportunities.

    The Value of Corporate Portals
    A corporate portal dramatically simplifies access to business information and applications. The value of the portal lies in its ability to pull together and integrate information from disparate sources, making it easier to find and easier to use than ever before. Eight specific areas are described.

    10 What should my authority be doing

    - Corporate strategies for web sites, intranets, extranets, egovernment targets, Best Value need to be brought together.
    - Underlying technical infrastructure and its management, legacy applications, telephony should be reviewed to achieve efficient eservice delivery
    - Establish communications and projects, reengineer business processes to achieve a joined up approach within the organisation and in the wider community
    - Maintain awareness of government progress with ukonline.gov.uk to understand the impact on, and implications for, Local Government services and infrastructure.

    Documents available for download:-
    UK Government Portal: Change of Address Demonstrator
    Assessing Attitudes to the Change of Address Function Government Portal Research
    CITU Portal Demonstrator: Lessons learned for future portal project phases
    Portal Feasibility Study

    Framework policies- includes interoperability, metadata, authentication

    11 What other reading will be useful

    Article on development growth in portal market

    Defining the Enterprise portal - White paper including useful references

    Defining EIP and Enterprise Knowledge portals(EKP)

    Internet design magazine- many articles and papers about portals and intranets

    Cabinet Office press notices


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