Service Victoria unveils $40m alpha digital platform


Victoria’s new all-of-government digital service platform has been unveiled in alpha form to the State’s senior public service officials, ahead of its public beta release later this year.

The $40 million digital services platform will underpin the consolidation of multiple digital services into the new all-of-government Service Victoria offering. The platform is being developed by Deloitte using Sitecore as the web content management system and Salesforce as the backbone customer relationship system. Mulesoft software has been selected to provide the integration with other agency systems.

The private alpha digital platform was this morning shown to senior Victorian government executives by the Secretary of the Department of Premier Cabinet, Chris Eccles and the CEO of Service Victoria, Jo de Morton. A small number of services from line agencies will now be connected into the platform ahead of a limited public release later this year. The aim is to have some of the most popular services live by June next year.

Eccles had incubated Service NSW when he was Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet in NSW. He told the audience Victoria had benefited by learning from that experience. Victoria has spent over a year understanding the requirements and needs of its users before settling upon the core concept. This has been turned into a base platform built on a modern digital stack, which enables rapid front-end feature improvement.

Eccles described the release as a “peek under the doona” and called upon agencies to come on board with services and help develop the next iteration of the platform.

De Morton told Victorian officials the research undertaken showed users simply wanted government services to work for them, as opposed to looking for loyalty or delight.

She told the audience the platform has been developed using contemporary digital design standards with a strong focus on usability and simplicity. The platform has been significantly influenced by user research which identified the key needs of major user cohorts. These have been further developed into user personas which will be used to test the platform and iterate design and feature improvements.

Mirror maze

Special Minister of State, Gavin Jennings, spoke to the group and used the analogy of citizens seeking to navigate through a mirror maze in the dark. He said government controls the mirrors, but the customer controls the light switch. The challenge he said is how to configure the mirrors so users can easily get what they want, in whatever way they choose, whenever they choose.

The platform also enables user to register for a Service Victoria account to enable easy access to multiple services, or to simply use as a one-off guest. The identity data will not be housed by Service Victoria, and will remain within the relevant agencies systems.

The platform will include high volume car registration and driver licencing transactions currently provided by VicRoads. These will be delivered through connectors or API’s linking the Service Victoria portal with VicRoads underlying systems.

Service Victoria will only manage the front end digital services for agencies, with front line service centres still being used to manage face-to-face-customer interactions.

The technology platform is a major win for Deloitte and its technology partners. Salesforce also underpins ServiceNSW’s technology system and strengthens its role as the back-end system for managing users and products.

Sitecore, an enterprise level CMS (content management system) from Denmark, offers end-to-end management of the front end website and user interactions. Mulesoft will provide the critical integration system to link services from the hundreds of agencies expected to connect their services into the central Service Victoria platform.

Bamboo and Open Shift are also being used to enable rapid development changes in real time throughout the stack.

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