Andersen Consulting announced Thursday that it is partnering with the state of North Carolina and Yahoo! to develop a Web portal called North [email protected] Service.
The site will provide the state’s citizens, businesses and employees with access to government services and a gateway to the Web.
Taking Care of Business
North Carolina Chief Information Officer Richard C. Webb said that the portal will establish the infrastructure “necessary to continue to attract and retain companies that are creating the wealth in today’s economy.”
By the end of the summer, North Carolina residents will be able to register their cars online. When the site is completed, businesses will be able to apply for incorporation, business licenses and environmental permits on the Web. A prototype of the portal is expected in seven weeks.
The site’s interface will be familiar to many Internet users because Yahoo! has signed on to provide the platform, which will integrate government content and services with Yahoo! content and services. Users will be able to create a personalized page displaying government resources as well as Yahoo! e-mail and stock quotes.
A Portal in Every State
In addition to North Carolina’s new portal, Andersen is building several other government sites. The total value of Andersen Consulting’s government contracts is approximately $1 billion (US$) worldwide.
“North Carolina and the portal projects in Florida, Texas and Wyoming demonstrate a trend,” said Andersen partner Stephen J. Rohleder.
Many government entities “have witnessed the successes of Ireland and Singapore, as these countries become magnets for high-tech companies in today’s world, and want to be considered in the same set,” according to Rohleder.
For example, Georgia recently unveiled an initiative to bring high-speed Internet access to residents in all reaches of the state.
Maryland has also enacted laws designed to encourage high-tech business. For its part, Florida has also just passed sweeping legislation to encourage high-tech business.
Inside the Deal
Under the terms of the North Carolina deal, which has a total price tag of $3.6 million, Andersen Consulting will develop the infrastructure underlying the Internet portal, and provide the state with program management for its e-commerce initiatives.
The portal is slated to run on Microsoft Windows DNA technology and Bell South Communications will host the site.