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Future Digital Post solution on the drawing board

17-04-2015 News UK

In 2018, Digital Post will be replaced by a solution of the future for communication between public authorities, citizens and businesses. Initial work on Digital Post of the future provides a good opportunity to innovate and ensure that in the future users will experience a more seamless and cohesive communication with public authorities.

A farewell to flat pdf-files

While a team of staff at the Agency for Digitisation are working to get a new and improved Digital Post 2 solution ready for launch for February 2016, another team have already started looking at the future - probably markedly different - Digital Post 3 solution. 

For the process of thinking up a completely new solution, there is already a long wish list of user needs. Overall, the goal is to deliver an even better and more value-added user experience for citizens, businesses, and public authorities. In addition, the solution must fit more seamlessly and cohesively with other channels of communication from public authorities, including the Citizen Portal and public digital self-service solutions.

Most of the messages sent today from public authorities to citizens via Digital Post consist of pdf versions of the physical letters which public authorities used to send.

"It is a natural first step in the digitisation of letters to simply make digital copies of paper letters. In future, however, the potential of the digital medium must be unfolded and exploited to the fullest by allowing users to easily take direct action on the information written in a letter from a public authority, for example, to respond directly or to add supplementary information. And the solutions must of course also function better on mobile devices than today. In general, messages should be delivered in a form that is based on user needs rather than on sender needs "explains Head of Division Lone Berglykke. 

How to build ‘smart’ to meet the needs of the future?

It's no easy task to build future-proof solutions when both technology and user needs evolve at high speed. The Digital Post solution has a large and diverse user group, as it must cover both citizens’ and small and large companies’ needs for easy access to electronic communication with the public sector, while at the same time supporting efficient, secure and affordable digital communication throughout the public sector.

To achieve this, a series of analyses will be carried out to identify users’ and stakeholders' wishes and needs, and explore future technical and market opportunities for efficient, safe and user-friendly digital communication between public authorities, citizens and businesses. The needs and wishes of the public sector parties (central, regional, and local governments) and the authorities already using Digital Post must of course be included in the analyses along with lessons learned from the current solution.

The project will also include a separate track focusing on the technological possibilities and the relation to the total public digital infrastructure in order to ensure a good basis for creating seamless and cohesive user journeys.

Through thematic meetings and workshops stakeholder organisations, suppliers, and opinion-makers will be invited to contribute ideas for the new solution.

From idea to operation

The project, which complies with the central government IT Project Model is currently in the initial ideation phase, and will be transition to the analysis phase next month. It is expected that tendering will take place in 2016 and the final solution is scheduled for operation in 2018.

Why do we refer to solutions as Digital Post 1, 2 and 3?

The naming reflects the three generations of Digital Post solutions: The current solution, on which e-Box is the supplier and for which the contract expires in early 2016, is  called Digital Post 1. The successor to Digital Post 1 is colloquially called Digital Post 2. This solution has just been tendered and will also be delivered by e-Boks; it is expected to be launched in early 2016. When the contract on Digital Post 2 expires in 2018, it must be replaced by a new - possibly quite different -Digital Post solution. The work on this solution is currently being initiated and is colloquially called Digital Post 3.