IBM offers government middleware

To help state and local governments and federal agencies better leverage their systems in tight economic times, IBM Corp. recently announced five middleware service-led offerings for data integration, compliance and increased productivity.

"They're primarily designed to be available to both customers and partners to essentially help them get started more quickly, develop custom applications around collaboration between agencies, or [develop] applications specifically around safety and security," said Wayne Janzen, IBM's global market segment manager for government.

"They're not in and of themselves what we would consider to be program products," he added. "They're not end solutions, but rather platforms from which to build custom solutions."

IBM's suite of government solutions includes features designed to:

Provide citizens and businesses better access to government information and services.

Provide government employees better access to content, people, and applications to improve efficiency and service.

Enable government agencies to better utilize document management and retention by reducing paper-based processes and redundant data, relying more on electronic records, and creating workflows around electronic forms.

Provide better collaboration among government agencies by creating a seamless enterprise environment by linking backend applications, legacy systems and data.

Support emergency responders through an incident management system that allows access to data from disparate sources to be represented from a geospatial standpoint

Janzen said customers are looking for a higher level of integration with the systems they have in place already. For example, he said IBM is working with several federal agencies to provide a common systems platform for more collaboration, communication and coordination.

All governments, he said, are facing increasing budget pressures and tax revenue shortfalls that are forcing them to do more with less. IBM, he said, has shifted its offerings to respond by focusing more on integrated solutions themselves rather than just point products. He said IBM sees government as a major growth industry this year.

The Somers, N.Y.-based company has announced 60 new such middleware solutions across 12 industries since the beginning of this year. Janzen added that Adobe Systems Inc. and ESRI are industry partners in this offering.

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