Chhattisgarh Infotech and Biotech Promotion Society (CHiPS) is run by the government of Chhattisgarh, which became India’s newest and tenth-largest state in November 2000. With an 80% rural, geographically dispersed population, and outdated, predominantly paper-based administrative services, Chhattisgarh faced significant infrastructure and efficiency challenges. Recognizing the strategic importance of information and communication technology as a key to enabling socio-economic development and improving service delivery, the government established CHiPS to develop and maintain IT services, assist the state secretariat in its role of supporting major policy decisions, and manage the digital interface between the government and citizens of Chhattisgarh.
Chhattisgarh government relied largely on paper-based processes to issue permits for and manage construction and public-sector development projects. With documents passed manually from desk to desk, approval processes were slow and error-prone, particularly when a decision was the joint responsibility of a committee and government officials. This complex and time-consuming workflow made it difficult to provide efficient, transparent, and consistent decisions regarding citizen services. The government also wanted to ensure the security of critical state records, as well as employee and citizen data in the event of natural disasters, such as the recent fire that destroyed the document records of a number of Kashmir state government departments.
Chhattisgarh government worked with CHiPS to deploy Oracle WebCenter Suite Plus, including Oracle WebCenter Content, Oracle WebCenter Portal, and Oracle WebCenter Sites—running on Oracle WebLogic Server, Enterprise Edition with Oracle Web Tier—to automate document workflow processes and provide a consistent and transparent decision-making process to meet statutory requirements. It reduced paper and document management costs by US$125,000 in one year, extended visibility for decision-making processes, enhanced collaboration between departments, increased business productivity through anytime-anywhere access to information, and enhanced citizen satisfaction.
Government departments, such as forestry and mining, created documents in various electronic formats, including computer-aided design (CAD) drawings and spreadsheets and stored them in a central-records room. Department officials printed hard copies and manually passed these documents to relevant departments before they reached the appropriate committees for decision-making. It could also take up to half a day to physically retrieve files, followed by a lengthy bureaucratic procedure required to gain release for a document. Officials also had to manually document changes made to the files, such as changes in project tenders, which resulted in multiple document versions. With no single source of truth, decision-making was costly and inefficient, impeding service delivery and socio-economic development.
By implementing Oracle WebCenter Suite Plus running on Oracle WebLogic Server with Oracle Web Tier, CHiPS provided a centralized, high-performance, and scalable enterprise content management platform for the state government to capture, secure, share, and distribute documents through a portal and website. Using Oracle WebCenter Imaging technology, it captures and scans digital and paper documents, including certificates, licenses, and land surveys, storing the documents as images in the centralized, content-management repository.
Leveraging the integrated capabilities of Oracle WebCenter Content and Oracle WebCenter Portal, the government can securely publish public-service-related documents, such as employment and training opportunities, through the portal and website. As a result, officials now instantly retrieve supporting documents online, without the need to physically search for them in the records room. This has increased business productivity, improved service delivery, and cut paper, printing, and storage costs.
“Thanks to Oracle WebCenter Suite Plus and Oracle WebLogic Server, we have reduced our reliance on paper documents by 75%––enabling us to save approximately US$125,000 in paper and document management costs in one year and to retrieve documents instantly from the portal,” said Anand Parial, CEO, CHiPS.
With its complex document workflow across 50 departments, CHiPS used Oracle WebCenter Portal to create a dynamic, secure, and user-friendly, self-service portal to streamline document sharing and collaboration between secretariat officials. By seamlessly integrating data from the centralized content management platform into the portal, including precedent decisions and supporting documents, CHiPs automated its decision-making workflow for public services. This enabled officials to easily search and correlate historic decisions, improve the efficiency of approval processes, and increase transparency in decision-making.
It also provided officials with real-time insight into the status of decisions. Instead of waiting until end of the week, month, or even year, as previously, with greater visibility into workflow processes, a senior official can quickly identify departmental bottlenecks, such as the requirement to report government housing schemes to the legislative assembly, in a timely manner and allocate appropriate resources to resolve the situation. Taking immediate corrective action ensures timely execution of policy and funding decisions and increases public confidence in government efficiency.
“Previously, we were reacting to issues after they had occurred, and it was time-consuming and difficult to get teams to work together, as we had to request approval and wait for the appropriate team’s response,” Parial said. “With real-time visibility into decision-making, each team can see precisely what the other is doing, enabling them to collaborate more efficiently. This is a huge benefit for us!”
Oracle WebCenter Suite Plus’s mobile capability enabled secretariat officials to access documents and grant approval anytime, anywhere by using multiple devices, such as smart phones and iPads. For example, a senior official in the field can report the performance of all the state’s renewable energy plants to support a funding request before the state assembly, without needing to return to the office or risking a delay in policy formulation.
In addition, citizens can also access documents related to decision-making and track the status of a decision from the portal with a single password—for example, to track an application for means-based, free, urban electricity-service connection. This has significantly improved the consistency, transparency, and efficiency in decision-making and increased citizen satisfaction.
“Oracle’s robust content and business-process-management infrastructure provides citizens and officials with rapid access to information and accelerates decision approvals, such as tenders for joint, public- and private-sector mining and power-generation projects, enabling the government to achieve its goals for economic development and improved-service delivery,” Parial said. “It also made our decision-making processes more transparent, which is a state priority and a statutory requirement under the national Right to Information Act.”
Oracle WebCenter Portal’s easy-to-use dashboards enabled officials to upload documents with a single click, eliminating the need for specialized knowledge of how to convert documents, such as CAD files and spreadsheets into images. It also provided flexibility for users to personalize dashboards with their own choice of colors, fonts, and language––Hindi or English––and browser-based tools, such as for e-mail and social media sites. The portal has greatly enhanced the user experience and enables the state government to connect officials, citizens, processes, and information in a collaborative environment.
Oracle WebLogic Server, Enterprise Edition and Oracle Web Tier have also helped to ensure high availability, scalability, and security of the content management platform. The government no longer needs to physically transfer files between geographic locations, cutting logistics costs; reducing the risk of data loss due to natural disaster, such as fire; and ensuring business continuity.
CHiPS selected Oracle WebCenter Suite Plus, Oracle WebLogic Server, Enterprise Edition, and Oracle Web Tier over IBM solutions because Oracle’s solution offered the highest security and most robust features, such as audit trails and personalization.
“We have been using Oracle Database for more than 10 years, giving us confidence in Oracle solutions, particularly since many of our citizen services and our state data center are supported by Oracle Database. The scalability and ease of deployment of Oracle WebCenter Suite Plus and Oracle WebLogic Server also gave us the ability to roll it out across the entire secretariat at lower cost,” Parial said.
CHiPS went through a tendering process before successfully implementing Oracle WebCenter Suite Plus, Oracle WebLogic Server, Enterprise Edition, and Oracle Web Tier within a strict, six-month implementation timeframe.
“Thanks to the flexibility and scalability of the Oracle solution, we can easily roll out the same workflow processes in other offices within the secretariat where automation is required. We would also be very happy to work with other Indian states if they were interested in replicating the benefits we achieved,” Parial said.
Oracle partner, PwC India Pvt. Ltd. worked closely with CHiPS on many previous projects, and provided user training and postimplementation support for the Oracle solution.
“We couldn’t have been happier with the way the Oracle team and PwC India collaborated on the project. Their collective professional knowledge and understanding of how to optimize the Oracle solution delivery to our needs was exceptional,” Parial said.