The municipality of Hof in Vestfold has become the first Norwegian municipality to use new digital IT solutions designed for the future of the public sector. The solutions are the result of the largest-ever co-ordinated investment in IT solutions for Norwegian municipalities. Hof is now a showcase for a number of other municipalities and public sector bodies that are on the threshold of adopting these new solutions.
The new digital solutions give municipalities better control and management of their internal systems and work processes. This ensures better interaction both internally and in the municipality's dialogue with the citizens using its services. This frees up time, money and capacity that the municipality can use to deliver even better service quality to its citizens.
Largest-ever co-ordinated investment in IT solutions for Norwegian municipalities
The new systems for Hof have been implemented through close collaboration between the municipality, EDB, EDB's subsidiary Spring Consulting, Sariba and SAP. The solutions used are part of the IT company EDB's major investment in its SAP-based "Digital Public Sector" package, which is the largest ever co-ordinated investment in IT solutions for Norwegian municipalities.
"I am impressed by the opportunities the new solutions offer. SAP is a widely recognized and extremely efficient tool in the private sector. Giving Norwegian municipalities and other public sector bodies the opportunity to use this kind of solution is an exciting development, and will help us deal with future changes", explains Erik Berg, CFO of Hof municipality. "I am proud of what we have achieved as a small municipality working in collaboration with the team from EDB", he adds.
Helping citizens and employees to benefit from the IT world of the future
EDB has worked intensively and invested heavily over the last year to establish the IT platform that Norway's municipalities and public sector bodies need to help their citizens and employees benefit from future developments. EDB and SAP have entered into a broadly based partnership agreement. SAP's service-oriented architecture is the motor behind the new offer, while EDB has renewed and updated its range of specialist solutions for the public sector with new functionality. The new solutions are role-based and use a web-based interface, and have been developed using open standards and shared software.
"Now everything is ready, and Hof is one of the municipalities at the forefront of the roll-out throughout Norway", explains Hans Magne Holst, unit manager at EDB. "Using a standardised roll-out concept meant that we were able to implement the solutions at Hof in just 11 weeks", he adds.
"A municipality is a challenging kind of organisation, with many different processes involved, which means that it gains particular benefit from using the kind of management solutions that EDB and SAP now offer. The solutions give municipalities the scope to look into the future and identify new opportunities knowing that they have the flexibility to respond to changing requirements. In addition, they gain the benefit of a tool for optimising their operations and resource utilisation", comments Bjørn Austrheim, sales manager for local and regional public sector customers at SAP Norway.
Many opportunities in the future
"One of the major benefits of the new solution is the improvement it delivers in the quality of stored data and its management. The risk of errors is reduced, and users gain a better overview. The solution is web-based, and we avoid the need to run systems internally. In addition, accounting, payroll and invoicing functions share a common structure and are fully integrated. We are considering adding new functions in the near future such as employee self-service and a management portal. The invoice management solution is already in place," explains Erik Berg of Hof municipality.