Novell: We are all 'Amazon' citizens

BrainShare: Government departments should embrace open-source software and roll out their services online, says Novell

The popularity of private sector e-commerce has raised citizens' expectations around the provision of government services online, according to Novell.

Speaking today at the company's annual BrainShare user conference in Barcelona, Novell's chief executive Jack Messman said that the public has become used to extremely sophisticated online services from e-commerce companies -- and now expects government to match them.

"Thanks to Amazon and eBay, they [the public] now know what is possible online, and expect nothing less from local government," he said.

To this end, Messman said Novell Government Solutions is launching a raft of products and services to help governments improve the presentation of information to citizens, including government portals, data and application integration services and secure infrastructure.

Novell currently has several high-profile government customers including the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in the UK, and the City of Bergen in Norway. Bergen recently announced a high-profile move away from Windows and onto Suse Linux.

Novell's first new offering is a policy-based Citizen portal which the company claims will help local governments create a central repository for the public to securely access a variety of government services.

"Governments face challenges of security and scale that few other organisations face. They have more users and are privy to more information than any other type of organisation," said John Goggin, senior vice president for government strategies at analyst Meta Group.

Novell is also planning to launch as Linux Migration strategy and services package to give governments the tools to evaluate and migrate to the open-source OS.

Outside of the government sphere, Novell is also building a Porting and Migration Centre in Germany to allow application developers to test their software before moving to the open-source OS.

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