When it comes to ICT, Gemeente Zoetermeer leads the way. The city plays an important role at local, regional and national levels. It focuses on ICT projects, providing fast and affordable digital infrastructures in the areas of healthcare, education, business, society and infrastructure.
In addition, it initiates projects in the area of education, such as the Academy for ICT & Media, ICT projects in schools and ICT applications within the healthcare sector.
Putting Zoetermeer on the map as an ICT city is not the only goal the local authority wishes to achieve. Other primary targets include an improved digital service for residents and more efficient working methods for employees and flexible workers within the municipality. Zoetermeer wants to be the city of choice in the Netherlands for ICT suppliers to locate their headquarters and/or maintain a presence.
In order to provide a better service and working environment, Gemeente Zoetermeer has taken on various projects in the area of document management and digitization.
The digitization of paper documents will make it possible for employees to manage documents and collaborate much more efficiently. This will enable them to provide residents with an improved customer service. The digitization “Digidos” project started at Gemeente Zoetermeer in 2005.
Gemeente Zoetermeer's local management solution was no longer able to meet their growing requirements. Following an assessment of user needs, it was agreed that a new document management system was required.
At the start of 2008, Avanade, partnering with Centric, were engaged to implement a mid-office system using customised Microsoft SharePoint 2007 technology. Connecting the front and back office systems, gives Gemeente Zoetermeer the option of expanding the package further with a document management system.
The resulting solution makes it possible for Gemeente Zoetermeer to share documents digitally between different
departments. This involved a considerable number of documents, applications and parties.
The customized web service became one of the key basic components forming the basis for sharing and storing documents easily within the SharePoint environment. The web service archives documents in the digital library with the
help of metadata that is sent with them by the application. Consequently, documents received from back-office applications, scanners and incoming email, which correspond with other departments, are easily obtainable.
In addition, Gemeente Zoetermeer now only sends digital invoices. As soon as paper invoices are received, they are
immediately scanned and entered into the digital archive enabling the local authority to further improve its efficiency.
"We have already received various positive reactions from staff and customers", continues Dirk Koster. "Residents are able to obtain permits within a day, which is something they
are very pleased about. This is only possible because the request is processed and completed digitally".
Avanade worked with Gemeente Zoetermeer to ensure it has the knowledge to manage the new system,
which will help reduce IT costs. It is currently busy working on its social services. This is one of the largest
domains, which it hopes to have fully digitized this year.
"Other local authorities are queuing up to have their domains digitized. In this respect, Zoetermeer is ahead of the rest of the Netherlands – a fact we are extremely proud of", says Dirk Koster.