Bahrain launches region’s first e-government solution centre
The Bahrain e-government solution centre was inaugurated Tuesday morning by Sheikh Ahmed Ateyatalla Al Khalifa, President of the CIO, Tom Francese, Vice President, EMEA of IBM Software Group and Abdulla Ishaq, General Manager of Bahrain Business Machines (BBM). The event was also attended by a number of senior officials from the Bahrain government and the Kingdom’s business community.
CIO, IBM and GBM have worked closely together over the last two years to build an end to end e-government infrastructure for Bahrain on a platform based on open standards. Bahrain is the first government in the Middle East to join a growing number of governments around the world who are adopting open standards for their e-government initiatives in order to benefit from reduced costs and increased flexibility.
“Standards based technologies offer unprecedented opportunities for modernization throughout society in our country and we believe that this is the best way to move forwards with e-government projects not only in Bahrain, but in the whole Middle East region as well,” said Sheikh Ahmed Ateyatalla Al Khalifa, President of the CIO. “We have a unique experience in that we’ve built our e-government infrastructure on open standards and I am proud to say that it has been a successful project. The establishment of the centre today will allow us to share our experience with other government organizations and enable them to access the latest open standards solutions they can use for their own e-government initiatives.”
The Bahrain e-government solution centre will be linked to a network of IBM e-government centres worldwide. The centre will have access to the latest technologies and skills and be able to provide countries in the Middle East with the expertise to deliver real value to citizens as they start to roll out e-Government Services. The centre will be staffed by professionals from CIO and GBM who have benefited from extensive training at the IBM e-government centres in the United States and Germany. In addition, the centre will host customer and business partner events, round table discussions, and solution demonstrations.
“We are proud to be making yet another significant announcement with the CIO,” said Tom Francese, Vice President, IBM Software Group EMEA. “The new e-government solution centre will provide strategic resources and practical advice and experience to teams working across the public sector in the Middle East. It will establish a strong link with European and other governments and offer access to best practices and experience from around the world. This is a great opportunity to build a critical mass of resources for e-government in the region at a time when governments around the Middle East recognise the importance of open standards solutions as the way forward.”
The Bahrain e-government solution centre will feature a number of open standard solutions that enable the successful roll-out of e-government projects and services, including e-Government cross agency collaboration, portal solutions, solutions for business controls and reporting as well as Integrated Workflow.
“Gulf Business Machines has worked closely with the CIO to build this centre to support the timely and effective development of e-government strategies and initiatives. We believe the Bahrain e-government centre will become an important step for the integration of the region’s strong efforts, and a resource that will benefit all governments in the Middle East,” said Abdulla Ishaq, General Manager of Bahrain Business Machines.