Open Text to Provide a Foundation for Government 2.0

Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson point out in the May 29th FIR Cut of their public relations and technology podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report that the Canadian government has a contract with Open Text to develop social networking tools for its quarter of a million employees.

The May 27, 2008 news release on the Open Text website indicates this a renewal of their enterprise content management (ECM) system currently used by 58 federal government departments and agencies. What is new are the implementation of Web 2.0 capabilities:

The contract will also enable the Canadian Federal Government to push its implementation to the next level by bringing all departments, agencies and crown corporations into the mix, and also by incorporating key 2.0 capabilities, such as wikis, forums, blogs, tagging, moderation, communities and chat, to help improve worker collaboration and the way information is managed.

The press release goes on to say:

“Governments need to manage their knowledge resources as a valued enterprise-wide strategic business resource. Citizens and government employees require access to the content they need, when they need it, and with confidence in the quality, completeness and validity of the information,” said John Shackleton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Open Text. “Open Text’s government solutions will continue to provide a common infrastructure for content to be shared for multiple purposes, helping to make the Canadian Federal Government more efficient, transparent, and responsive to its citizens.”

Great catch by Hobson and Holtz! It will be interesting to hear how this implementation goes and what use the various departments find for these tools. Also, will all of this be internal, or will any of it appear on the public-facing side of the various Canadian government websites?

Thanks to Eden Spodek for pointing out this episode of FIR to me.


  1. Been a few months since this was published. Any word on what Open Text will be delivering in their seven year contract with the feds? Seems to me that most of the functionality they describe is available with a solid commercially supported open source CMS like Drupal.

  2. Unfortunately I don’t have an inside track on what Open Text or the government are doing and haven’t heard anything beyond this.

    Open Text did host a Web 2.0 in government conference in September and they also signed a contract with the New South Wales government in Australia.

    I wonder if what they are delivering to the Canadian government will look anything like the Enterprise 2.0 initiatives described in their October 2008 press release or as described here ?