Microsoft CityNext Initiative

Cities are the hearts and souls of our nations, driving our global economy and impacting our environment. And they are under significant pressure facing challenges like urbanization, modernizing aging infrastructure and sustaining the health and safety of their citizens under economic austerity. They need help which a new era of innovation can provide. But today’s conversation around smart cities needs to broaden beyond infrastructure. Because at their core, cities are about people.

Focusing solely on infrastructure is only limiting the vast potential that is acutely within grasp, and can ultimately be a hindrance to innovation and alleviating the unparalleled issues that many cities are facing today. Microsoft realizes the importance that people play in nation-building, and that is why we are forging this newest endeavor, in order to support and propel city-building.

Microsoft CityNext supports cities to take a people-first approach to innovation that empowers them to change the world now and for the next generation. People-first means harnessing all of the power and intention of people in government, people in business and people who reside in cities to create healthier, greener, safer, more successful places to live. As society continues to evolve and as cities gradually modernize, there are increasing expectations from citizens, workers and businesses to go beyond optimizing operations. The desire for the ability to interact with “one-city”, and for services and information to be disseminated and shared in a “one-stop” way, lends credence to the monumental value that Microsoft CityNext offers to every city.

Microsoft is uniquely equipped to enable this people-first approach because no other company offers the broad portfolio of familiar, secure consumer to business technologies, devices and apps; our vast network of more than 700,000 partners worldwide with relationships in nearly every major city around the globe; and our history of successful education and social programs which, when combined, help cities face what’s next.

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Profound Shift in Population Mobility Through an Urban Renaissance

The world is undergoing an urban renaissance as more and more people are moving to cities to build better lives. For the first time in history more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas. And, by 2050, 76 percent of the global population – 6 billion people – will live in cities. Sixty percent of the world’s GDP is created in cities. And, despite only representing 2 percent of the world's surface area, cities are responsible for 75 percent of the world's energy consumption. They are gathering places for higher education and advanced innovation in healthcare, science and energy – the engines of new ideas and businesses that drive breakthroughs and economic growth.

This ongoing migration creates unprecedented challenges, but even urban areas with slower population growth, face issues that are no less serious. Aging infrastructure, new hazards to public health and safety, and the inherent uncertainty of natural disasters, climate change and global and national economic forces are stark realities cities face. City leaders must meet these growing demands with tight budgets and greater citizen expectations while working across complex, siloed agencies.

City projects are putting the most effort and resources toward making physical infrastructure smart by embedding sensors and upgrading networking capabilities. While this is a critical foundational step, the conversation to date about infrastructure is too narrow. Truly smart cities must also focus on human engagement to empower people in government, businesses and the community to realize the full potential of this new era of innovation to become places where people thrive. A people-first approach means harnessing these capabilities to help students achieve more through a 1:1 learning experience, giving isolated populations access to needed government services, providing elderly high quality healthcare in their homes, supporting entrepreneurs to see their ideas come to fruition faster, getting commuters home sooner, and giving city employees a real-time, one city view.

Microsoft and our global partner ecosystem are uniquely positioned to enable a people-first approach with the end-to-end devices and services capabilities necessary to span everything from the consumer-related demands of citizens to the mission-critical, enterprise demands of city operations. No other company offers the broad portfolio of familiar technologies, devices and apps; the experienced network of thousands of partners worldwide; relationships in nearly every major city around the globe; and the history of successful education and training programs which, combined, help cities face what’s next. Together with our partners, we want to help your city:
  • Transform operations and infrastructure by connecting systems, data and people across departments to make information more accessible and services more affordable.
  • Engage citizens and businesses by enabling real-time communication through any device and apps.
  • Accelerate innovation and opportunity through programs that prepare youth to become the next generation of highly skilled workers, nurture entrepreneurs’ bold ideas and create jobs that help cities compete in the global marketplace.
Through a people-first approach and strategic partnerships, cities can enable self-perpetuating cycles of innovation, opportunity, and progress for years to come. The result? A city that can compete on the world stage as a premier destination for citizens to thrive.

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New With Less

Having worked with nearly every major city around the world, we know that it’s no longer enough to do more with less. We must combine the power of technology with innovative ideas to do NEW with less. Citizens and businesses expect to connect with city services using technology that offers a more contextual and automated experience, and government needs technology to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and foster a more sustainable environment. To address these economic realities, Microsoft and our partners are helping cities work within their means by building on existing investments and incorporating new innovations at their own pace. Ultimately, creating an innovation model that works for today and sustains through tomorrow.

CityNext enables cities to do “new with less” to operate more efficiently and serve citizens as “One City” in eight critical functions: government administration; public safety and justice; health and social services; education; energy and water; buildings, infrastructure & planning; tourism, recreation, and culture and transportation. Microsoft and our partners are committed to helping citizens, business and government realize this vision through a new era of innovation, including:
  • Cloud – Through the cloud we are connecting public and private data sources with the privacy, security and control needed for a city to have effective cross-departmental collaboration and resource sharing. The scalability and cost-effectiveness of cloud services drive cities’ fiscal responsibilities by reducing costs without cutting essential services.
  • Mobility - Through mobile devices such as sensors, smartphones, and tablets, we are helping cities reach citizens anywhere, on any screen. Citizen-centric apps enable people to directly engage and interact with their city governments for services that make life safer and more convenient. Mobile devices also give employees’ access systems remotely from any location, improving productivity and responsiveness.
  • Social - Through social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Skype, and Yammer, we are helping governments have open, two-way communication with citizens to better understand their needs. Cities can also better protect citizens from safety issues through mobile alerts and social channels.
  • Big Data - Through data and analytics, we are helping leaders gain vital insights from millions of devices, social media channels, and business systems to make more accurate decisions, achieve greater efficiency and respond faster in emergency situations.
Cities are already on their journey towards modernizing today. They face many challenges in preparing for what’s ahead – Microsoft CityNext is the bridge to help them get there, now and into the future. Working together, Microsoft, our partners and leaders can make the most of existing investments and find the right combination of solutions, partnerships and social programs needed to accelerate innovation and create cities in which people can make a real impact for a better world.

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CityNext Solution Areas

Today, Microsoft and its partners are delivering CityNext solutions that address the most pressing issues. Formidable challenges confront our city leaders today and can negate some of the very elements that make cities attractive in the first place. Through engagement and cooperation, Microsoft is committed to enabling citizens, workers and leaders to overcome those problematic challenges to provide practical optimism for ever-expanding cities.

After more than 20 years of working with city leaders worldwide, we have learned that there are 44 solution areas across eight city domains that can help address 90 percent of the challenges cities face today. The whole is bigger than the sum of its parts, and Microsoft has identified how interlinked each domain is to the forming of a new city solution landscape.
  • Energy & Water
    • Smart Grids
    • Water & Wastewater Management
    • Energy Management & Analytics
    • Carbon Management
  • Tourism, Recreation, Culture
    • Mobile Tourism Applications
    • Location-Based Services
    • Library Management Systems
    • Tourism Portals & Visitor Applications
    • Destination Management Systems
  • Building, Planning, & Infrastructure
    • Smart Buildings
    • Street Lighting
    • Building Automation Systems
    • Waste Management
    • Parcel, Zoning and Land Use
  • Education
    • Email & Communications Services
    • 1:1 Computing Programs
    • Education Analytics
    • Learning Management Systems
    • Institutional Effectiveness for Higher Education
  • Transportation
    • Traffic Management
    • Asset & Fleet Management
    • Toll & Fare Management
    • Parking Management
    • Airports, Railways & Ports
    • Advanced Transportation Solutions
  • Health & Social Services
    • Population Health Management
    • Remote Care & Case Management
    • Social Benefits & Administration
    • Personal Health & Wellness
    • Pandemic Management
    • Primary Care
  • Public Safety & Justice
    • Neighborhood Management
    • Surveillance Systems
    • Emergency Management
    • Intelligence & Analysis
    • Court & Judicial Management
  • Government Admin
    • Tax & Revenue
    • Social Analytics
    • Document & Records Management
    • Open Data
    • Contact Centers & Apps
    • City Dashboard
    • Grants Management
    • City Financial Management

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Transform Operations and Infrastructure

The reality of transformation through IT often falls short of the promise. Microsoft and our CityNext partners are committed to helping your city fulfill its promise, starting with the understanding that no two cities are the same. We also believe that transformation does not and should not need to start from scratch. It’s an evolution, not a revolution, and new solutions should build upon and work with your city’s existing and potentially diverse investments. CityNext solutions are designed to meet your city’s unique needs.

Enable new capabilities with flexible cloud services. By capitalizing on opportunity of cloud computing, cities can reduce costs, increase efficiency and productivity, and engage people in new and innovative ways. You can realize these benefits while preserving your budget and time for other citizen-focused needs and priorities.
Your employees, citizens and businesses all expect to connect with city services in new ways using technology. Internally, your employees expect to be able to access line-of-business applications and other work content from nearly anywhere, on virtually any device they choose, at any time—whether it’s the middle of the business day or 3 A.M. on a holiday. Externally, your citizens and businesses expect convenient, instantly responsive ways to access city services online. Both internally and externally, users expect their experiences to be smarter, more automated, and more contextual. Microsoft’s cloud services make it possible to deliver the kinds of experiences that today’s users expect without the level of investment and management that would be required with a traditional infrastructure.
Choice and flexibility are key to cloud adoption now and in the future. It should be up to you to decide what services and assets you want to deploy in the cloud and when, so you have the ultimate ability to balance control and flexibility with cost and agility. At Microsoft, we offer a comprehensive range of enterprise cloud offerings that span the continuum of public to private, helping you move to the cloud at your own pace.
Empower city employees with enterprise-ready devices and apps. Giving your employees the ability to stay connected through a mobile device to their department, team members, and constituents from virtually anywhere, at any time, means citizen service does not need to stop the minute they leave the building.
At Microsoft, we recognize that employees will have strong opinions about which device they want to use. Let them choose. We have tailored offerings that make it possible—and easy—to manage and use a mix of devices in your environment, including those that run on Android, Apple, and Windows operating systems. With a diverse range of devices based on the Windows platform, city employees can take advantage of powerful analysis tools and sync case files, reports, models, pictures and settings right from their PCs, tablets, smart phones, and other devices without compromising security, privacy, or compliance.
Innovate on your terms—with modern solutions. To accommodate the dynamic scale and reach of modern-style apps requires a modern platform. CityNext solutions are uniquely positioned to help governments get all the benefits of scale, speed and agility while still protecting existing investments. Our approach can help you take advantage of the cloud on your terms, without fear of lock-in, and with a consistent and comprehensive range of offerings.
Microsoft recognizes that in an increasingly interconnected computing landscape, enabling interoperability between products from different vendors has become more important than ever. Microsoft is committed to establishing and maintaining open connections between our products and non-Microsoft products, and we support relevant industry standards in a way that promotes interoperability. CityNext solutions make it easier for cities to connect systems across a multi-vendor environment, and share data—all in accordance with the distinct security and privacy policies and laws of your particular city. Our goal is to enable you to choose, develop, and support the applications, languages, and tools that are right to run your city today without imposing limitations on your technology options in the future.
Innovate on your terms—with big data. Data is a valuable resource; an asset. There isn’t a city in the world that isn’t swimming in data, but the challenge is to use that data— as well as the wealth of data available from outside the city—in a meaningful way. Cities need solutions that enable data to flow across an infrastructure, from the sensors, meters, machines, systems, devices, social media channels and public data markets, where valuable data is gathered, to the back-end systems where that data can be turned into information and insight that people and machines can act upon.
Microsoft offers the best end-to-end big data solutions to manage any data, of any size, from any source with our industry leading database services. CityNext solutions can deliver a holistic, city-wide view and give employees new intelligence that supports better historical trend and pattern analysis, richer predictive modeling, and more effective real-time decisions, all of which help a city optimize its resources, breakthrough departmental silos and provide better services for less.

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Engage Citizens and Businesses

Whether inspired by a pothole in the street, the need for a permit, frustration over the speed of business development, or the desire to contribute, constituents are demanding greater access to and interaction with government. These rising expectations underscore the importance of providing rich, personalized experiences that result in a better-served, more engaged citizens and businesses. Giving citizens and businesses a straightforward way to quickly engage pays off in a variety of ways, including increased visibility into constituents’ needs and positive perceptions of city government.

Deliver personalized services with a citizen-centric approach. Most citizens would prefer to engage with “one” city, not a series of disconnected agencies and processes. With the identity management capabilities of CityNext solutions, people no longer have to repeatedly identify themselves to multiple departments to access records, submit permits, enroll in school, pay their taxes, or share their health data and access care across different hospitals. Instead, they can engage in a streamlined, “one-stop” experience with their city through personalized hubs that maintain and protect their identities.
In addition to facilitating information access, making technology tools themselves more intuitive can improve the experience of citizens and businesses. People already use gestures and speech to interact with their phones, tablets, PCs, and other connected devices. Such natural ways to interact with technologies make it easier to learn how to operate them and, in essence, allow people to further personalize how they engage with their communities via their devices.
Microsoft leads the industry in computer accessibility innovation, which is particularly important for people who experience visual difficulties, pain in the hands or arms, hearing loss, and speech or cognitive challenges. For many citizens who have particular accessibility requirements, the chance to personalize their devices to meet their individual needs not only makes computer use possible, it improves their ability to participate in public discourse and take advantage of city services and educational opportunities.
Promote real-time dialog with citizens via social media. Citizens want to make their voices heard; city governments want to hear them more clearly. Cities can encourage deeper civic engagement and participation by making the most of mobility and social media communications channels. Microsoft and our CityNext partners help cities integrate familiar social tools into your applications, which can become accessible on many different devices so that city employees can easily share ideas and collaborate with citizens and businesses, regardless of location. Fostering a connected environment gives you the opportunity to improve the value of civic relationships; encourage open dialog; and address people’s perceptions, needs, and civic trends with better speed and understanding.
Increase transparency with open data. Opening up public data – making it accessible to the people - not only increases transparency but also can create opportunities for the development of new services. Offering appropriate, controlled access to previously unavailable data can spur enterprising developers to boost local economic activity and enhance the quality of life for a city’s residents and visitors with useful new solutions and applications.

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Accelerate Innovation and Opportunity

Innovation is an essential catalyst for economic growth and competitiveness. However, fully harnessing the power of innovation for a prosperous, competitive city requires more than technology itself. It requires efficient infrastructure, effective institutions, and the creativity of every city’s most important resource—its human capital. City governments can contribute to the sustained economic and social well-being of their communities by attracting talent, helping more people develop useful skills, and expanding technology access to those who otherwise would not be part of the digital society.

Adopt a broad-based partnership approach. The CityNext initiative helps cities enable self-sustaining cycles of innovation that involve whole institutions and individual citizens alike. Microsoft has long participated in partnerships with governments, non-governmental organizations, and other local stakeholders to enable citizens to realize their full potential. Around the world, these programs have helped millions of city residents shape a brighter future for themselves and their local communities.
Today’s economy both requires and enables new business models and public/private partnerships, which you can use to solve big challenges in cost-effective, creative ways.
In keeping with our long-standing commitment to education and opportunity for all young people, Microsoft set a goal in 2012 of creating opportunities for 300 million youth over the next three years through partnerships with governments, nonprofit organizations, and businesses. Through Microsoft YouthSpark, we bring together a range of new, existing, and enhanced programs to address the opportunity divide that faces young people.
Enable the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. Cities can help their local technology innovators and entrepreneurs turn ideas into thriving local small and medium-sized enterprises by introducing them to valuable programs and partnerships. For example, visionary entrepreneurs in your area can benefit from the software, support, visibility, and community that Microsoft provides worldwide—at no charge—through Microsoft BizSpark. Advancing the technical knowledge of a city’s younger citizens is also critical to its long-term economic health and competitiveness. That’s why Microsoft DreamSpark gives free access to Microsoft designer and developer tools for high-school and college students and educators.
We want to partner with you to foster creative research, technology, and software solutions and help you grow a sustainable local software economy. You can connect with government, academic, and industry participants at all levels through our state-of-the-art Microsoft Innovation Centers, which offer access to valuable resources, experts, and tools for collaboration and skills development.
Expand digital inclusion. One of the best ways to ensure that all your citizens have basic technology access and literacy is through creative partnerships such as those built through Microsoft Shape the Future. These partnerships support governments’ efforts to achieve their particular digital-access goals, from promoting education reform to developing a 21st-century workforce. You can also give your citizens access to technology in familiar languages through our Microsoft Local Language Program, which aims to empower individuals to create economic opportunities, build IT skills, enhance education outcomes, and sustain their local language and culture. In addition, we provide an online, multilingual Digital Literacy Curriculum, along with free software and support, which you can use to teach and assess basic computer concepts and skills. These help citizens develop new social and economic opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Provide 21st-century education and skills training. Many city leaders already emphasize access to education for all students as a cornerstone of long-term growth and competitiveness. Because we believe that education is a right, not a privilege, Microsoft and our CityNext partners provide educational institutions with end-to-end learning solutions, including Office 365 for Education, which we offer to students and faculty at no cost.
Getting technology into the hands of young people is not enough. You need to support transformative learning and help them build the skills they need for the future. Government officials, school leaders, and educators can take advantage of Microsoft Partners in Learning to gain new approaches to teaching and using technology to help students develop 21st-century skills. Your local accredited academic institutions can also draw on our Microsoft IT Academy digital curriculum and certifications to provide their students with the technology skills necessary to acquire technical certification for today’s rapidly evolving workplace.

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Last edited Jul 15, 2014 at 6:06 AM by gheadd, version 11