Nov 23rd, 2009 Oconics overhauls web entry point for SA Government
July 21st, 2009 Oconics scores Hansard overhaul contract
Business software developer Oconics has developed an easy-to-use website that dramatically simplifies finding services and information offered by departments and agencies of the South Australian Government.
Working with a dedicated team from Service SA and specialist agency staff, Oconics delivered www.sa.gov.au as an Australian-first, plain language entry point to a myriad of public sector services.
As well as handling hundreds of thousands of visitors a month since it was launched in the middle of this year, the new site will facilitate the processing of more than $800 million worth of government-related financial transactions during the current financial year.
The www.sa.gov.au website builds on the decade-long success of the previous SA Central website by simplifying language, bowling over bureaucratic boundaries and seamlessly linking to third-party services provided by the Australian Government and non-government organisations.
Oconics has a well-established track record for ground-breaking work in putting the public sector online. Several years ago, it completed a project to publish South Australian Hansard on the Web. It recently won a $3.8 million contract to redevelop and support the Hansard system that publishes proceedings of the Australian Federal Parliament.
South Australia’s director of e-Government Ms Jan McConchie said the aim of the new website was to provide improved accessibility to public sector services. “On the site, government services are divided by topic areas rather than by departments,” she said.
“At Service SA, we provide the information architecture of the site, the publishing environment and writing standards. Content is written by agency staff in words that the public can understand. Accessibility is the goal.”
The first release of the site contains comprehensive content relating to transport, services to the ageing, carers and people with a disability, with links to the rest of SA Government services and information. The site will continue to expand as agencies prepare their material in the new format during the next 18 months.
Oconics developed the website as a Microsoft .NET application, providing a deliberately plain interface to speed up performance and minimise clutter. The only graphics on the site relate to specific events or public campaigns such as the Readiness for Fire Season initiative.
Oconics founder and managing director Jonathan Ruckert said the sa.gov.au website was a challenging exercise in simplicity. “It epitomises the principle that less is more,” he said.
“Working with Service SA, we were clear that the objective was to provide a fast, effective and uncluttered site that allows the citizens of South Australia to find the government services they want.”
July 21st 2009
The Department of Parliamentary Services has awarded business software developer Oconics a $3.8 million contract to redevelop and support the federal Hansard system.
Adelaide-based Oconics is expected to provide five years’ support once the new system is in place by the end of 2010, and the company has announced recruitment plans and a new office to be established in Canberra.
Hansard, which produces transcripts of parliamentary proceedings for the Senate and the House of Representatives Hansard, decided to redevelop its core business system due to the inefficiency and high running costs of its current 10-year-old system.
Oconics CEO Jonathan Ruckert said the company’s previous experience will help it overcome the complexities of the project.
“We have experience in developing systems that integrate disparate systems and improve employee efficiency by automating business processes,” Ruckert said.
“The actual Hansard process is similar but obviously all the interactions and all the ways of getting from point to point are very different. But in terms of the concepts and terminology that would be a similar sort of process.”
Oconics will design the new Hansard system using Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Office 2007 technology, with a framework based around Microsoft’s SQL Server database.
Oconics has three new positions up for grabs in its proposed Canberra office, including a business development manager and Web developers.