Oracle has a variety of digital solutions which cater to every need especially the government’s, says Vineet Kshirsagar in a tete-a-tete with the Editor-in-Chief of eGov, Dr Ravi Gupta
With the new government and new additions to your technology offerings, where do you think is your organisation is positioned to realise vision of ‘Digital India’?
Digital India is an umbrella campaign. The roots of this campaign were set during NeGP. With the vision of a new government and the plan that is coming around with Digital India there are many opportunities for innovative and futuristic e-Governance projects that will be rolled out. Keeping these developments in perspective, we have now created an integrated vertical to address government business segment wherein all line of businesses will be rolling into one person. This is to address both the partner specific solutions and the government solutions much better. Our expectation is that we will grow this business much faster than other business going forward. The ‘Digital India’ vision is a far sight, it also emulates the core philosophy of minimum government and maximum governance, where technology can actually be an enabler and address these pieces. We can address each of the pillars through our core strengths and partners and alliances. Here performance and response time is the key to the success of any project as in the government sector, it becomes important to address large volume of visitor traffic that hits the service applications. Through these initiatives, we have made citizens connect with government with ease and interactions hassle-free. Different government departments have their own domains and work as separate entities. This needs to be aligned. Appropriate technologies can be introduced to connect these departments and have better response for citizens. We have done middleware layer for many such projects using data hubs, connecting multiple departments and having a single output and more such solutions. Through the front end, we address the citizen’s requirements and address these by human resource solutions, taxation solutions, treasury solutions, social media platforms customised to their specific needs and procedure guidelines. The government departments could operate as self service models. The information and service should be at the convenience of the citizen. This will be an extension of our democracy.
“Our belief about social media platforms is that on one side there is huge traffic generated by citizens and on the other side there are government departments with their own pages with information. Somewhere these two need to be connected.”
Please share your views on social media platforms?
Our belief on social media platforms is that on one side there is huge traffic generated by citizens and on the other side there are government departments with their own pages with information. Somewhere, these two need to be connected. So, the government department has to listen to what the citizens are saying and have an effective campaign and have a response management system or a grievance management system to address these issues. For example, a policy announcement can be opened up to views of the citizens, and today there are technologies available that can listen and collate these for the government. This will help them address any challenges or incorporate feedback.
There is a considerable gap and delays from the time the project is conceptualised to the time going live. How can we accelerate the pace of IT projects in the government?
Partnership is very critical here. And we have implemented lot of our tax and treasury solutions in the country with result-oriented partners. If the new bid comes, it is important for us to get the right partner to ensure that they bid for the project and implement the project solution successfully. We want to ensure that if there is a treasury solution implemented or a tax solution implemented in a state, we could potentially take that knowledge and partner and go to any other state. In that way, we can reduce lead time and give evidence to have procedures to ensure that the project is successful. We do not bid directly and support them on the back end but they have to execute the project on the front-end. We have identified partners in each niche area that may be land records, smart city, power, healthcare, tax and treasury or any other sector. And, it is a welcome move that the government is talking about. Let us take the project to execution. As many projects have a lifecycle challenges and many may not take off or not get adopted in other states. So the current sentiments from the government are very healthy and that is what we believe as well.
Is government business coming on priority basis for global IT companies?
We have got some good growth rate in the government sector. Going forward we want to strengthen this vertical and we see it as a growth driver in the coming years. In order to do that we have formed one team that has convergence of our products and services. This becomes significant as our product array is very large and as the numbers of our products are increasing and the way the new government is thinking, there are a lot of opportunities for us. We are already working with some central ministries to actually make this vision a reality. We are working with lot of states as well, and already have more than 20 states having solutions from our side. We see a lot of potential in this segment and we see it growing much faster as compared to our other verticals.
Please share your views on the government’s vision for smart cities and your role as an IT partner?
We have done many smart cities projects worldwide and our belief is that smart city is a framework, and every city will require different set of solutions. So, we have that gamut of solutions from our side. Every city can take up smart city concept on different form and shapes. The vision that government is looking at is developing Brownfield cities and not really developing Greenfield cities framework. And in some form and shape the infrastructure is already available. I think it’s a bold and welcome step and it is required as it becomes an integrated vision aligned to the government and citizen’s needs. We believe that smart city can be a growth driver within the public sector, because it is an umbrella that can be a big vision at city level.
What are your views on modernisation of Railways using IT platform?
It is said at many platforms that Railways can play a very strategic role in India. And technology can play a very big role in modernising Railways in India. We have worked with many rail networks across the globe and we want to bring those technologies in India as well. We have manpower committed to Railways and engage with them on futuristic projects. Lot of work is already ongoing.