Last week in Porto, Portugal, Microsoft launched a new initiative for local government officials called the Citizen Service Platform (CSP).   CSp clip

The launch event was exceptional in two ways: firstly, I got to taste some fantastic Port Wine (and now know the difference between Tawny and Ruby Port); and secondly, I got to see how Local and City authorities from across Europe are approaching the challenge of delivering citizen services fit for our modern digital society.

I found the event (and the Port) to be very refreshing, primarily because it was not Microsoft doing most of the talking but the government authorities, who were keen to share their experiences with others and also to learn in the spirit of openness and engagement that pervaded the entire event.

In all, somewhere in the region of 300 people attended the event over the 2 days and during this time, I counted presentations from around 30 government representatives and partners. Many of them were from the UK and there were impressive keynotes from the City of Edinburgh, City of London, Leeds City Council and Essex Childcare Service.

One of my goals was to find out what the CSP was all about and it was not until the final sessions on the final day that all was revealed. In a nutshell, the CSP provides a delivery platform that both acknowledges and addresses key ‘business’ challenges of local government and makes the aspiration of Citizen Service delivery a reality, taking the best Microsoft applications, along with our best partner solutions, and using them to deliver improved efficiency and citizen services for all. If you want to find out more go to the Citizen Service Platform website for the lowdown or reply to me on the blog.

The event was brought to a close by the Secretary of State for Local Administration Government in Portugal, Eduardo Cabrita, who brought a suitably up-beat close to what had been a very successful event.

Posted by Mike