Neckarsulm/Hamburg, 14 September 2020 – Dataport has commissioned Bechtle with the creation of a web-based collaboration platform building on open-source products by Univention. This platform is to enable the gradual shift of the software infrastructure used in public administration and education towards open source. The goal is to largely replace proprietary software by 2025 and bolster the digital sovereignty of public-sector organisations. The contract will be fulfilled jointly by Bechtle, Univention and other partners, under the lead of Bechtle and with contributions from an extensive network of partners within the open-source community, as well as the private and public sectors. Other established open-source solutions will be integrated into the platform over the coming months. The contract is set to run for two years with the option to renew it twice—each time for a further year—with a total scope of services that goes well into the double-digit millions.
Over the coming four years, Dataport—the IT service provider for the federal states of Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Bremen and Saxony-Anhalt, as well as for the tax administration of Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania—will build a scalable online collaboration platform. Dubbed “Phoenix”, the project aims to design and deploy a web-based workplace for employees working in public administration. The project partners will support Dataport with the provision of essential components, consulting services regarding the choice of open-source software, as well as software development. In addition, they will coordinate national and international collaboration with makers of open-source applications and the open-source community as a whole.
The contract further covers maintenance and support services to ensure undisrupted round-the-clock operation. Public administration, educational and cultural institutions, as well as other areas within the public sector, will receive a platform that features text, spreadsheet and presentation editors, and there are also plans to include tools for collaboration, file sharing, messaging, chat and video conferencing.
“Bechtle will manage and coordinate deliverables by the various project partners and safeguard operations. In addition, we will support Dataport during the migration and also co-create the change and onboarding concepts. We’ve been partners with Dataport since 2009, and not just as a hardware and service provider, but also as a driving force for innovation and the digital transformation of government bodies,” says Andreas Wien, Business Unit Manager Dataport, Bechtle Hamburg.
With Phoenix, Dataport wants to create an all-in-one solution that will be run in various secure data centres, including its own. As a technology leader, Univention will be responsible for building fundamental architecture, providing centralised management of user identities and permissions, as well as a portal to integrate the various applications. The Bremen-based open-source specialist will also offer consulting services to identify suitable open-source software that can be integrated into the platform in the short and long term. The overall objective is to make essential components of Phoenix available to organisations as a product and continue to develop the solution into the future.
“Dataport is taking a bold yet necessary step to ensure, or indeed restore digital sovereignty of the public sector in Germany. One of the reasons Phoenix is set to be a success is because it leverages fantastic open-source solutions that are already available and combines them into a unified offering. This kind of cross-vendor approach is without precedence,” explains Peter Ganten, CEO of Univention and chairman of the Open Source Business Alliance (OSBA), as well as co-initiator of the Sovereign Cloud Stack (SCS), a sub-project of Gaia-X.
“With Phoenix we want to give the public sector a web-based IT workplace leveraging open source technology. Unlike other products available on the market, this will offer unrestricted control over the data that is processed through the system. It’s going to be a workplace that integrates all popular tools, but also specific administrative processes, and that can be embedded into existing infrastructures. This is how we empower the digital sovereignty of the public sector,” says Johann Bizer, chairman of the board, Dataport AöR.
Further information about Phoenix on the website phoenix-werkstatt.de