Bill Gates Urges European Government Agencies to Modernize and Upgrade Their IT Departments

2/2/2006 Juan Antonio Pastor /

Lisbon, Portugal -February 2, 2006- Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates underscored the importance of modernizing government IT systems to offer e-services and simplify operations during his keynote address at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum Europe 2006 in Lisbon, Portugal. Currently, most government agencies in Europe and around the world cannot compete globally and run on aging legacy systems.

As an example, Bill Gates mentioned a situation he deals with in even in his native United States, where government services are more advanced: "My tax return. has to be kept on a special computer because their normal computers can't deal with the numbers!" Gates mentioned as he extolled the benefits of modernizing government IT departments. "The ideal is to eventually eliminate the non-electronic ways of doing things by making sure that as you go into a service center, somebody guides you so you can do it the automatic way," said Gates.

Gates mentioned that modernizing information technology and offering e-services is critical for government agencies in Europe to "move up the value chain," gain global competitiveness and be on par with those in the United States. E-government systems must be achieved through investments on infrastructure and education and a continued cooperation to build these systems.

"What citizens [in Europe] really need to hear are the success stories about how government employees have been deployed to more value-added services," said Gates. "They need see that turnaround times are being reduced" so they come to understand the value of e-government systems and push their government agencies to modernize and upgrade their systems to offer more services.

Gates added that Strategic Partner Companies [like ArtinSoft] can prove key for government agencies wishing to migrate their systems. "The ability [of our partners] to address particular areas, particular industries, and map standard templates to those needs make them a very, very important part of the ecosystem. We need to energize them, make them more effective so that they're reaching out to those businesses [who need them the most]."

As the worldwide leader in migration and upgrade services, ArtinSoft offers innovative, first-rate technology unparalleled in the industry today. It can help European government agencies leverage and protect their investment in current applications and they evolve to new platforms. ArtinSoft has created the migration products Microsoft provides within Visual Studio.NET, and was named Microsoft's preferred supplier of worldwide upgrade services for customers.

To read Bill Gates' entire keynote speech, click here.