ICL today announced its Microsoft based object oriented software strategy for local government.
The UK subsidiary of Fujitsu is planning to take advantage of the pressure being placed on councils by the government to adapt to the information society - improving electronic access and providing quality public service based on effective IT systems.
Known as Pericles, in reference to the Athenian leader who promoted democratic ideals, ICL is developing an object oriented architecture to provide councils with a modular set of applications based around Microsoft's Distributed Component Object Model (Dcom).
ICL is currently talking to a number of councils to pilot some of the software when it becomes available around the middle of next year.
However Dave Denison, local government strategy manager at ICL, admits that the majority of sales will be done after 2000 when there are fewer budgetary pressures on councils.
Denison said the new software would help councils adopt new practices, such as episode management - where one person's data is entered once and is then accessible by different departments and different systems across a council.
"In the past, software was developed around an organisational niche for specific departments. It was not linked to other systems, not designed for ease of use or easily updatable," he said.
Pericles would offer a common set of tools and components with a secure interface between the front end data entry interfaces and back end application objects. Certain objects could also be used for similar functions in different departments, cutting development and support costs, claimed Denison.
He denied the choice of Microsoft software was inevitable given the companies' recently announced alliance. Under this, ICL will dedicate itself to Microsoft software and certify 4,000 IT professionals in Microsoft applications, in return for an investment worth tens of millions of pounds.
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