Sharing of the Milan Interoperability Platform: The reuse by the Municipality of Venice
In 2017, the Municipality of Venice identified WSO2 as the most appropriate platform to develop its new interoperability system, in order to provide a better citizen experience for its digital services. During the software selection process the inhouse ITC company of the City of Venice discovered that the Municipality of Milan had adopted the same platform in 2015. Following technical contacts and meetings at the end of 2017 an exchange process has been agreed and Milan shared the machine copies of the interoperability platform with the Venice IT offices. To avoid privacy and security issues the configuration administrator password and database contents were not shared. Venice received all the optimized solutions as just installed.
The general goal of reuse is that public administrations that are confronted with a specific problem can benefit from the work of others, by accessing solutions that have proven their value elsewhere. This is a virtuous process that generates cost and time-savings, and when this takes the form of a collaborative platform, the benefits can be even more extensive. This also makes it a major contributor to the development of a digital single market in the EU.
The process was very agile. During 2017 the Municipality of Venice, through Venis S.p.A., the inhouse ITC company of the City of Venice, was looking for an interoperability solution through the support of a consultant that identified WS02 as the most appropriate one. Furthermore, they discovered through an online search of public calls for tenders, that Milan, Turin and Umbria Region in Italy had already adopted WS02 platform. Venis contacted Milan and after a meeting gave an expression of interest, which let to Milan sharing the architecture. Milan copied the database and Venis was able to install the full solution. The total process lasted less than 4 months, but in terms of working time, it was 2 working days for Milan and 7 working days for Venis (5 for installation and configuration).
The success factors are the followings:
- The process was really agile and fast; Major time and cost-saving for Venice
- Venice received a solution that was already optimized; An open solution has been spread out with the possibility to create a collaborative platform.
- Municipality of Milan – Direction of Information Systems and Digital Agenda agreed to share the Interoperability solution adopted.
- Venis S.p.A. – Venice Information Technology & Systems that designs, develops and manages the City of Venice IT System and Telecommunications network.
Challenges & Lessons Learnt
Venis was looking for a possibility of reuse and they discovered by searching online for bids to assign a consultancy for WS02 support. More information on the solution used and openness of municipalities in sharing those solutions could help to increase sharing and reuse.
The process was conducted without being properly communicated, which also could have helped increase sharing and reuse. A fundamental aspect of the re-use in the context of public administration is that they receive the software free of charge from the transferring administration, and acquire it by supporting only the costs of its adaptation, and not those of planning and realization. Furthermore, reuse and sharing can be effectively supported by collaborative platforms.
The reuse of the Milan interoperability platform has produced a reduction of time resources spent by Venice: in 7 working days they achieved an optimized solution that for Milan costed 220 working days. This means a time saving of 97%. The achievement was of course in terms of money savings a part for the development of the solution and its optimization, but also for the external support.
The use case is completed. Venis is using the interoperability platform and they are developing services that will be in production in June.