The Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) has officially launched its Single Digital Presence (SDP) platform. The SDP platform developed by Salsa Digital and DPC has three products — Bay (an open-source platform), Tide (a Drupal content management system) and Ripple (the frontend presentation layer).
The SDP platform will make it easier for citizens to find, understand and use Victorian Government information. It will also make it faster, easier, and cheaper for Victorian Government agencies to build new sites or migrate existing ones so they can access the SDP benefits.
“We loved the idea of creating a unified platform for DPC, with potential for leverage by other Victorian Government agencies,” said Salsa Digital’s Director, Alfred Deeb. “Plus it aligned perfectly with all the things we’re passionate about — open government, open source, open data, open platform and open content management systems.”
Salsa Digital won the competitive tender last year, and co-created with DPC the main SDP platform, accompanying website at alpha.vic.gov.au, and two pilot sites for the Governor of Victoria website and the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) website.
DPC’s aim for the open platform is to deliver digital in less time and at a reduced cost. Amber Benjafield, Senior Project and Engagement Manager at DPC (and the SDP project manager) said SDP delivers value to three major groups — citizens, public sector content authors and the Victorian Government as a whole. In terms of citizens, Ms Benjafield said, “DPC wanted to improve the citizen experience and we wanted to make government information easier to find, understand and act on.”
The SDP also delivers benefits to the government, including cost savings, reduced build times, increased accessibility and the inherent benefits of a unified platform. “It’s about all the benefits that you get when you consolidate to a single platform,” Ms Benjafield said, “such as only fixing breakages and security risks once, only maintaining one platform, and building in new features that everyone can use but only paying for them once.” This is will also allow government agencies to spend their resources on innovation instead of site builds and maintenance.
“We’re naturally thrilled to have partnered with DPC on this project,” Mr Deeb said. “We have a true vision of how open government can improve the lives of our citizens, and how open source technologies can deliver on social good and innovation. The SDP project is a great example of executing this vision, and of how government can partner with industry to deliver a truly remarkable solution.”
From a tech point of view, Salsa sees four main reasons why SDP is a great digital innovation:
It’s a decoupled open source distribution based on Drupal 8.
It uses an open source hosting platform, making the entire stack open source.
It includes a centralised content repository, so content can be created and maintained in one place but distributed to multiple sites/channels.
It features the Atomic Pattern Library, a library of reusable components for government agencies to use and repurpose as they see fit.
Importantly these technical elements deliver a range of benefits for citizens and government.
On choosing the successful vendor, Ms Benjafield said: “Salsa immediately stood out for the innovative way that they had approached the response to tender. They thought outside the box and were really obviously keen to push the technical boundaries. They had that long-term vision to create something that is open and flexible for all of government, that’s also future-proofed.”
Read more about Single Digital Presence
Single Digital Presence (SDP) is a total digital solution, a digital landscape the Victorian Government can use to create a unified online presence. Below are more related Salsa publications covering everything from the value proposition to technical case studies:
- — an overview of the process, from tender to launch
- — key insights into the value proposition for citizens, the Victorian Government and content authors
- — a deep technical analysis of the three products within the SDP - Bay, Tide and Ripple
- — Find out about Victoria’s new open source platform
- — Find out about Victoria’s new open source CMS
- — Find out about Victoria’s new presentation layer and Atomic Library of reusable design elements
- — SDP pilot site
- — SDP pilot site