RealTime IT News

Macromedia Woos E-Government

Hoping to take advantage of a little generosity out of Washington, Macromedia Monday formed a new group that specializes in government-specific support for U.S. government Web sites.

Starting November 3, the San Francisco-based company said it will offer federal, state, and local agencies three separate tracks to improve their Web sites and user experiences. The new group's portfolio includes the Macromedia Government solution for Simplifying Web Updates; the Macromedia Government solution for Rapid Application Development; and the Macromedia Government solution for Policy Compliant Web sites. The company said it will use its core products including Macromedia ColdFusion MX, Macromedia Contribute 2, and Macromedia Studio MX 2004 to help support its clients' needs.

"Government IT users already employ a variety of Macromedia products to deliver valuable, useful web experiences to their stakeholders," Macromedia senior vice president Penny Wilson said in a statement. "The development of the Macromedia Government solutions group expands this relationship by drilling down on the primary mission requirements for government users and creating whole product, one-box solutions specifically targeted to their needs."

Focusing sales efforts on government agencies is a no-brainer. Last year's U.S. government IT budget hit $50.4 billion while this year's current projected budget is $57.3 billion and the White House has already asked for $59.3 billion for 2004.

According to INPUT, U.S. government IT spending will experience a compound annual growth rate of 11 percent between fiscal year 2002 and fiscal year 2007 -- from $37.1 billion to $63.3 billion, respectively. The group projects that by 2007, 70 percent of this IT spending will go toward five federal departments: the Department of Defense, the Department of Treasury, NASA, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Justice.

That investment is already being taken advantage by the public. More than 71 million Americans visited a government Web site in 2002 -- an increase of more than 75 percent from 2000, according to the President's E-Government Strategy report.

But e-government is more than just building visually pleasing Web sites say those in the know.

"It is about building a better interface between citizens and the government that serves them," said Chris Marvel, lead planner and Web master with the Intermountain Region, National Park Service. "It is critical for the government to provide useful, compelling online services in a fashion that is accessible to all Americans."

Macromedia said its Government solution for Simplifying Web Updates (USD$1799) helps non-technical users perform static content updates. The initiative includes Macromedia Contribute 2, Macromedia Studio MX 2004, government-exclusive templates for agencies, and the Macromedia Government Internet Development Best Practices Guide to enable the speedy creation of dynamic content and applications.

The Rapid Application Development products (USD$18,500) help site builders speed through the process of building Web services with the help of tools like ColdFusion MX and Macromedia DevNet Professional.

The Policy Compliant Web site initiative (USD$1599) depends on Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional, DevNet Essentials, training, and templates to help agency Web developers adhere to accessibility and other policy requirements.

for all three offerings, Macromedia said its products and solutions are available on GSA and also through the Macromedia Government Transactional License Option (GTLO)