Within the project about a service hotline for administrations, funded by the ISPRAT Institute (Interdisciplinary Studies on Politics, Law, Administration, and Technology), exemplary scenarios for administrational processes, showing potential applications for this hotline, are being developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS. The developments origin in the concept of the American service hotline 311, realized by means of a call center.
The institutional citizen service hotline in New York serves as example. Under the number 311, the citizens of New York can reach public administration 24 hours a day. New York’s citizen service receives approximately 45.000 calls a day.
During the IT summit-meeting (on December 18th 2006 in Potsdam), a similar project was discussed for Germany. People here, with questions about administrational services shall not have to cumbersomely search for the responsible department, but receive help from a central office. Next to the well known emergency numbers 110 for the police and 112 for the fire brigades, such a public service hotline would be another step towards an easier, more citizen friendly, and transparent public administration.
The development is based upon the IMS technology (IP Multimedia Subsystem). With its world wide unique Open IMS Playground, the Fraunhofer FOKUS Competence Center Next Generation Network Infrastructures (NGNI), provides the necessary infrastructure for a prototype realization of an administrational service hotline.
IMS is a global telecommunication standard (3GPP, 3GPP2, ITU-T, ETSI TISPAN, CableLabs, etc.). It is an overlay architecture that unifies different IP-based access-networks regarding service control, and provides consistent supply of integrated communication and information services.
This forward looking technology provides a standardized environment for telecommunication and web-based services, a high degree of security, Single Sign-On, flexible accounting, and QoS for convergent networks. Thus, internet communication (web surfing, e-mail, instant messaging, VoIP) and classical fixed and mobile telecommunication can be linked, enabling a new innovative dimension of services. IMS particularly supports current SOA principles (Service Oriented Architectures) by providing reusable service components.
For the implementation of the ISPRAT ServiceLine 115, there are hardly any alternatives to an IMS-based system. On a functional level, an IMS-based access-network guarantees a high degree of security through modern, standardized authentication and encoding mechanisms. Besides a warranted quality of services, the high scope of supported access-network argues for the application of IMS-based systems. Not only does this enable to provide the administration service for all citizens (with various access-networks) but also to ensure a high degree of future security.
Through the close collaboration between the “eGovernment Lab” and “Open IMS Playground” – the world’s first open Next Generation Testbed – the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS offers a unique global platform, combining the facilities of a service hotline with process-oriented eGovernment.
The scenarios demonstrate three possible prototypical applications for an administrational service hotline using IMS and Web 2.0:
- Information: Waste management serves as a typical information scenario. In order to receive an appointment for waste collection, registered users can access address information. In a few dialogue steps they can retrieve the desired data. Regarding questions not about communal waste management, but, for example, about radioactive waste, this scenario can also show how information from different departments can be brought together.
- Announcements, indications, suggestions: Administrational contacts for indications from citizens can be realized by means of IMS technologies, the facilities of “Fixed Mobile Convergence” (FMC), and the flexible service access. Calls are answered centrally and then dialogue-operated passed on to different departments or staff members over task lists.
- Interactive Administrational Procedures: These scenarios show transactions related directly to procedures in the back-office of public administrations. They bring together processes from the “eGovernment Lab” and the “Open IMS Playground” and demonstrate the possibilities produced by the combination of a service hotline and process-oriented eGovernment. The scenarios are based on the application of a birth certificate. Hereby, the application process by means of a web form is supplemented by an application over a service hotline.
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