Stefano Betti, Chief Information Officer, CESTEC
Sector: Public Administration
Project: Management of Company Portals
Solution: Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system based on opensource Liferay Portal Server
CESTEC - "CEntro per lo Sviluppo Tecnologico, l'Energia e la Competitività" (Centre for Technological Development, Energy and Competitiveness) - is a company wholly-owned by Regione Lombardia. It has been operating for over 30 years to spread the culture of innovation among Lombard businesses, to promote internationalization and to focus attention on energy use and on respect for the environment.
CESTEC has long felt the need for an effective presence on the web: information and training activities and the direct involvement of businesses through declarative activities. To give substance to the various project development capabilities of Regione Lombardia, CESTEC focused on the value of the network. In the past, the various activities were produced from the perspective of an individual project, its time-scales and resources. So different websites were created from time to time - application islands that were not integrated with each other. This led to management problems, like the publication of non-uniform contents or multiplying the users for the various portals, along with technological problems, such as high development and maintenance costs. The time came when more and more businesses identified CESTEC as a valid interlocutor for setting out the development paths proposed by Regione Lombardia, and so the company decided to raise the quality of its presence on the Web, by placing itself above the individual projects. CESTEC thus undertook a complete redesigning of its production system of the Web interface, introducing continuous training for its personnel, together with the adoption of a platform for managing contents. The system was to allow multi-site and multi-organization contents to be supplied, with a strong leaning towards integration of the application components.
Beta 80 Group assisted CESTEC by introducing specific technological components. The contents management platform chosen was Liferay Portal Server, an ECM system able to integrate complex applications by means of the portlets paradigm. A Single Sign On solution was also created by means of the CAS Server opensource system, obtaining unified management of all the CESTEC users. The collaboration between CESTEC and Beta 80 Group started in 2008 with the aims of rationalizing the information systems, unifying contents management and reducing the overall Total Cost of Ownership of the IT.
The process concerned firstly CESTEC's three main portals:
All the contents were migrated to the new platform, maximizing the internal skills necessary and reducing management costs. The following benefits were obtained:
In subsequent years, around 10 new websites were created by CESTEC operators - completely independently - for managing specific projects and initiatives. The activities did not require any interventions by external suppliers and contributed to form part of CESTEC's professional knowhow, with very short production times and no additional cost.