Netherlands-based, semantic business solutions company, Be Informed and CACI, a US-based information services firm have come together to launch a new government software as a service (SaaS) platform. The platform was announced today at the SemTechBiz Conference. According to the companies, the service will offer federal agencies a new, agile and cost-effective way to provide citizen services.
The service utilizes Be Informed’s semantic model-driven platform, which is rapidly becoming a tool of choice across Europe and the Caribbean, and offers government clients the tools and templates created for other global government clients as a springboard to accelerate the modeling of their mission applications. Be Informed has created a ‘Public Service Platform’ as the platform and ‘Semantis’ as the vehicle for its government offering. The tools use executable semantic models to model the business processes of a given agency without having to delve into the often out dated IT infrastructure of legacy systems.
Essentially, the platform uses a ready-made set of components and models to capture the core business functions of an agency, which can then be adjusted as needed to reflect the unique needs of a given organization. Services like tax and benefit, or grants, case management and registration systems are all part of the platform. The models can be spreadsheets, maps, forms, or customized structures, to help an agency perform its core functions.
“Be Informed was originally created to serve government agencies and financial services firms,” Geert Rensen, Chief Operating Officer, Be Informed tells CivSource. “So any organization that needs to share information can use the service.”
The service platform is a flexible offering, available either as Software as a Service (SaaS) from CACI’s cloud or installed at the client site. The platform can also be installed in an organizations existing cloud infrastructure. The offering provides a customizable application model capable of addressing a broad spectrum of mission-critical services, including interacting with citizens, collecting data from multiple agency stakeholders, and complying with regulations and legislation.
According to Adam McNair, Vice President CACI, the offering has evolved out of client feedback to both companies. “We’ve been working together for more than a year now, and the platform really evolved out of client requests to move away from legacy systems to new applications that were more technically efficient and cost efficient for client requirements.”
“This is a different mindset for the transformation of legacy systems, this isn’t delving into the code so much as it as looking at the actual business of the agency, and modeling the business rules of the organization more efficiently. People in a given organization may not have detailed documentation on their legacy systems but they can always tell you exactly what they do and how they do it. We can use the platform to provide models for those business processes without having to bring along the old system.”
For agencies, moving to cloud architecture will put them into alignment with the federal “cloud first,” mandate and also help them achieve cost-savings through on-demand infrastructure. Modeling applications also offer a reduction in time to deployment, costs and reliance on expensive development resources when compared to the custom code development in use today. The service is also easily updated, so changes can enter the release management cycle within hours instead of months.
“The offering is 2-10 times faster than traditional methods. Once it is up and running, the other question is how fast can you change it? Typically we are 10 times faster than traditional methods, making agencies able to react to changes in legislation, and policy extremely quickly,” says Dan Latham, CEO Be Informed America.
The platform is fully scalable for agencies, so that both small and large organizations can make full use of its features. McNair says that those features can be stood up within a matter of weeks, and more complex, custom processes within a few months.
“One of our major customers, Dutch Immigration, needed 9 months to implement a legislative change on the legacy system. They actually had over 50 legislative changes to do per year, so on that system they were always working behind the curve. With the platform they have been able to implement those changes within 2 days,” notes Geert Rensen, Chief Operating Officer Be Informed.