With several deployments in state government departments,
Oracle has made substantial inroads in the Indian e-governance space, says Venkatesh
Imagine cabling all the government departments, supplying PCs, servers, application
management solutions and then maintaining themand more. It is an attractive
proposition for any vendor. E-governance involves more than deploying PCs in
government departments. At best, it is the first step towards organising vital
information in such a way that it can be easily retrieved and processed further.
For citizens, it is a welcome relief as they can do things like checking land
records, filing taxes, and checking passport status in real time.
The goal is to enable the common man to spend the least amount of time pursuing
complaints, inquiries, bills or information requests with any government department.
Says S P S Grover, Senior Director, Government, Education & Health, Oracle
India, Our focus on the government vertical began two and half years ago.
Even before that we were involved in this space, but it was in a reactive manner.
Earlier, Oracle was predominantly looking to sell its database suite to the
government sector as and when needed.
So, apart from the fact that it is a lucrative market, was there any other major
factor that prompted this decision? Explains Grover, It has a lot to do
with the fact that state governments slowly began to change the way they governed,
and there was support from the centre too.
About the time they started focussing more on this segment, states such as Andhra
Pradesh and Karnataka took the lead in deploying IT for better governance. Also,
there was the issue of revenue loss due to defaulters, whether it was in paying
income taxes or electricity bills.
The Directorate of Treasuries and Accounts comes under the control of the Finance
(Audit) Department, and undertakes the monitoring and supervision of the work
of state treasuries which are the medium for all financial transactions undertaken
by the government. Oracle has bagged projects from the departments of treasuries
for the states of West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. Remarks Grover,
The main function of the directorate is to ensure efficient financial
management and timely preparation of accounts, and Oracle has helped them achieve
According to Dr Bore Gowda, Director of Treasuries, Karnataka, We disburse
the states funds and make our payments through a network of 31 treasury
offices and 185 sub-treasuries. This is a complex operation involving millions
of daily transactions and approvals that require constant monitoring of the
allocated budget to avoid overspending.
The Karnataka project was called khajane, and CMC was involved in systems integration.
The directorate chose Oracles database and application development platform,
Oracle Developer Suite, to put an automated treasury management system in place.
The treasury system addressed issues regarding delays in salary and pension
disbursements for state government employees. Generally, disbursements
increase at the beginning and end of the month. Earlier, the uneven cash flow
would cause bottlenecks and delay payments, Gowda informs. After the system
was put in place, finances have been managed better. The system has boosted
efficiencies across the department and eliminated duplicate data entry.
Continuing with the wins, Oracle has bagged assignments from the Department
of Income Tax and Commercial Taxes for the governments of Assam, Bihar and West
Bengal. For the government of Punjab, it is managing the Department of Sales
Delivering services to citizens
Our focus on the
began two and half years ago. Even before that we were involved in this
space, but it was in a reactive manner
S P S Grover
Oracle also has wins on the citizen services delivery side.
It is working with eCops and eSeva for the government of Andhra Pradesh. Grover
says that the various initiatives which have become part of the eCops approach
include computerising registration of cases and monitoring them online. The
database includes intelligence and criminal records that would contain data
such as the type of offence and the criminals case history. Functions
such as licences and permissions (which include verification services for passport
applicants), procurement and human resource management are also being addressed
by the company.
The Oracle Customer Data Hub solution is being used by these
departments to create an integrated information architecture using Oracles
Citizen Community architecture. This gives government agencies a single
source of citizen data making citizen-government, government-citizen and government-government
transactions easier, faster and cost-effective, says Grover.
This initiative is making crime control, law & order
monitoring, and administration of various support services easier. With computerisation
at the commercial tax department in Madhya Pradesh, the government is able to
administer VAT successfully.
Today, people in Hyderabad can pay their utility bills through Andhra Pradeshs
eSeva project. Phani Kumar, Director of eSeva, comments, We are using
Oracle database and Application Server since 1999 for the eSeva portal. Oracle
has provided us with a scalable application that handles over one million transactions
The opportunity in utilities
Reforms in the utilities sector have made an impact on how companies in this
space run their business. Oracle says it has bagged a number of utility projects
from the State Electricity Boards of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, West
Bengal and Bihar; the AP Transmission Corporation, the Kerala Water Authority,
and the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewage Board. Take the case of
the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB), whose prime concerns were to
reduce billing time from five days to 24 hours. Says
U S Mane, Additional Director, IT, MSEB, We chose the Oracle Database
and Application Server for our new billing infrastructure. It had an existing
COBOL-based legacy system which we wanted to integrate with Oracle. The earlier
system was slow to access and had limited reporting functionality. The
automation helped MSEB reduce labour costs and speed up bill preparation and
In the utilities sector, transmission and distribution-related losses are an
issue. Affirms Mane, Using the Oracle infrastructure, we are able to do
energy auditing. In our case, even a reduction of 1 percent of transmission
and distribution (T&D) losses will help us save approximately Rs 120 crore.
We developed a system that tracks data from consumption meters installed at
each distributor transformer. After measuring the output, the database measures
this data against consumption from these establishments. Once the T&D
target is crossed, the system issues an alert and specifies the geographical
MSEB also uses the application to gather billing and usage data for business
intelligence. We can analyse consumption and collection trends for planning
capacity, and can devise control mechanisms to track overdue collections, all
based on factual data, says Mane.
Another organisation that sees value in Oracle is the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal
Corporation (KDMC). It wanted to increase its tax revenue, improve the utilisation
of existing manpower, and deliver a quicker response to demands for all its
services. Says Subhash Patil, Manager, Systems, KDMC, The assessment of
property tax service time has been reduced from over 100 days to 21 days. Secondly,
the new water connections service time is reduced from over six weeks to about
two weeks. Birth and death certificate service time has also been reduced from
over 2 days to 30 minutes.
Citizens are witnessing shorter queues. KDMC has deployed its e-governance solution
with Oracle 9i as RDBMS and Oracle 9i AS as the Application Server. All this
is a part of the Citizen Facilitation Centres (CFC) initiatives that has
won praise from the Government of India.
Similarly, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has managed to streamline its
processes and facilitate revenue collection. According to Grover, the corporation
is planning to introduce GIS systems to develop a digital spatial database using
the data sets derived from navigation and imaging satellites, aeroplanes, digitisation
of maps, etc.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is also running
the Oracle database and E-Business suite. Says Amitabh Pandey, Group GM, IT,
IRCTC, We run HR, Finance, Marketing and Service applications from the
Oracle E-Business suite on Linux. Even the online train reservation service
runs on Oracles database.
Oracle has gained a lot of momentum in the government vertical, and the company
generates about 21 percent of its Indian revenues from this. With several other
biggies such as Sun, BEA, Microsoft and IBM also eyeing this space, competition
for Oracle will only get hotter.
|Revenue generation/fiscal management
|Department of Income Tax
|Department of Treasury
|Department of Commercial Taxes
|Department of Sales Taxes
|Department of Treasuries
|Directorate of Treasuries
|Directorate of Commercial Taxes
|Bihar Commercial Tax Department
|Computerised Inter-state Check Posts
||Gujarat Regional Transport Office
|Citizen services delivery for government
||Government of Andhra Pradesh
||Government of Andhra Pradesh
||Administration of Chandigarh
|Urban/rural local government
|Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation
|Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation
|Coimbatore Municipal Corporation
|Department of Panchayats and Rural Development
|Tamil Nadu Urban Development Project
|Kolkata Municipal Corporation
|Gujarat State Electricity Board
|Maharashtra State Electricity Board
|Kerala Water Authority
|Bihar State Electricity Board
|Tamil Nadu State Electricity Board
|Andhra Pradesh Transmission Corporation
|West Bengal State Electricity Board
|Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board
|Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation
|Department of Family & Child Welfare, Government of Andhra
|Government workflow efficiencies
|Kandla Port Trust
|Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation
|Mumbai Port Trust
|Mormugao Port Trust