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June 7, 2005

CMS Partners With Microsoft To Create New Web Portal That Will Improve Storage And Access Of Purchasing Data

CHICAGO, IL -- The Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) is set to launch the next generation of its purchasing database by partnering with Microsoft Corp. to develop a procurement management system that will enable the State to be better educated about the items it buys.

"Over the past year, CMS has collected unstructured information and data on key procurement information related to facilities management, information technology and telecommunications, general services, health and medical services, and equipment and commodities -- information that has all been compiled into our knowledge management database," said Paul Campbell, CMS acting director. "With Microsoft's help, we now have the solution and capabilities to ensure this information is updated and accessible to state purchasing officers."

Through the agreement, CMS will join Microsoft's Solutions Sharing Network (SSN), an online portal that gives the department the ability to increase communication and promote deeper information exchange and collaboration with other departments and government agencies. According to Shelly Martin, CMS' chief knowledge officer, it will be the first time the State will have all of its core procurement information centrally housed, leading to greater savings and improved processes, while diminishing the time and cost of creating an entirely new system.

The portal, developed by Microsoft gold certified business partner Kanalytics, Inc., will offer information on contract proposals, negotiating strategies, industry trends and procurement business cases. The value of knowledge management has already been realized within the CMS procurement arena through the capture of research of more than 170 procurement categories, the status of vendor negotiations and training and other background materials.

"The SSN will make these business processes easily accessible and user friendly," Martin said. "Ultimately, our goal is to share information with other states in the hopes of establishing a nationwide procurement site that will help procurement officials negotiate better deals for the State."

Add One/CMS partners with Microsoft

"Microsoft is committed to helping governments deliver high-value solutions to agencies and citizens and meeting the unique requirements around collaboration and information sharing within the public sector," said Michael Donlan, National Technology Officer for Microsoft Public Sector. "Through the SSN, the State of Illinois and the government procurement community will be enabled to gain efficiencies through sharing best practices via an on-line, community-based, collaborative environment without complexity or added dependency on services."

Microsoft's Solutions Sharing Network was launched last year as a portal for government organizations, academic institutions and other public sector agencies to share solutions, architectures, best practices and application source code. More information on Microsoft's Solutions Sharing Network is available at http://www.microsoft.com/resources/government/solutionsharingnetwork.aspx

About Central Management Services

The Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) manages the business of state government. CMS leads the cost effective administration of real estate, purchasing, information technology and telecommunications, personnel and benefits for all state employees and retirees, internal audit and outside legal services for the state's executive agencies, and directs the state's employee and vendor diversity programs.



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