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Steria improves website in partnership with council, in line with eGovernment and accessibility requirements

London, 17th January 2005 - Steria, a leading European IT services provider, has worked with Oldham Borough Council to improve its website, ensuring that it complies with e-Government and accessibility requirements. An analysis in December 2004 by SiteMorse, the automated website testing service, ranked Oldham Borough Council's revised website as the best of all local authority sites in the UK, positioning it first in the country’s Local Government league table. The work was undertaken by Steria's Content Solutions Practice, which conducted an analysis of the website before working with the council to update the whole site within one month to deliver dramatic improvements.

This success closely follows Steria's involvement in Spelthorne Council's remarkable rise of 297 places in the Sitemorse website rankings this Autumn.

Nicholas Le Seelleur, Director, SiteMorse, comments, "Steria has shown that after conducting the improvements to the Spelthorne Council website, they were not only able to repeat that accomplishment, but did so comprehensively for Oldham Council and within half of the time allocated."

The Steria solution encompasses the Open Text Livelink content management system (previously known as Obtree) and Verity Ultraseek search engine technologies. The improvements to the Council website were made as part of Oldham's commitment to providing more services electronically and were achieved as a result of Steria working closely with the web team at Oldham to deliver:
- A detailed analysis of the website and its programming in relation to SiteMorse requirements, including an analysis of an already well-produced HTML code.
- Added eGMS (Metadata) to comply with the version 3 e-Government standard. The site is fully compliant now
- Compliancy with e-Government Accessibility standards, giving the council website full Level A and AA compliance. This included the provision of :
1)Printer friendly pages to ensure that all text on pages can be printed clearly and easily
2)Text only and improved contrast pages. There are now text alternatives to all web pages and pages available in screen colours changed to automatically help those with visual impairments. Both of the latter two are now available at the click of a link from the Council’s home page
3)Access keys enabling visitors to navigate the website with a keyboard. This is a key benefit for those who experience problems using a mouse
- A fully integrated and powerful search
- Website content migration in conjunction with the council to ensure regulatory and legislative compliance which requires content to be of a certain standard
- Integration of many back-office and existing applications into the website thus protecting previous investments
- Performance improvements - reviews of the site structure and information on what needs to be further improved for the Council
- User workshops for council employees on the publishing life cycle specific to their website solution
- Implementation of Steria e-Gov accelerator pack components. For example, Council publication documents are automatically presented in an A-Z index, delivered directly from the content management system.

Councillor Dave Hibbert, e-Government Champion, Oldham Borough Council, added, "To receive national recognition from professionals for the quality and accessibility of our website is a great honour. This result is evidence that the Council is committed to ensuring a high standard service to visitors to our website to enable them to get quick, easy access to up to date information."

Guy Lambert, Director, Local Government, Steria, also said, "This is a further demonstration of Steria's ability to add significant value to the local government marketplace through its expertise, building on the work we are doing in all areas of local government for customers including Breckland Council and South Buckinghamshire District Council, and in particular, Spelthorne's recent success in dramatically improving its Sitemorse ranking."

The latest test for the website was conducted by SiteMorse which is recognised for publishing league tables related to compliance and performance of 467 Local Government websites in the UK. The results from SiteMorse tests are used by SOCITM – the industry organisation that assesses Local Government performance in total and produces the annual 'Better Connected' survey. SiteMorse runs monthly tests against all local authority websites, measuring key indicators such as accessibility, errors, metadata (keywords that search engines use to find pages on the Internet) and performance – i.e. time taken to load the home page.

Steria’s Content Solutions Practice worked with Oldham Borough Council, using its web content management and search technology solutions designed specifically for Public Sector customers, especially in Local Government. The ‘Steria e-Gov Accelerator Pack’ has been designed to accelerate the implementation of e-Government orientated web projects and has two mandatory components called the ‘Accessibility Bundle’ and e-GMS, which address accessibility and e-Government metadata requirements for e-Government websites and SiteMorse testing.

Based on its successful track record, Steria is now the first IT Services provider to partner with SiteMorse to assist more Council websites in complying with e-Government requirements and Accessibility standards. Steria has a dedicated team focusing on this business area to provide such continuous improvement to its customers. Steria is the first systems integrator to include SiteMorse as part of their testing regime for their web solutions delivery.

Steria, an end-to-end IT services partner provider, has sound knowledge of the public sector and provides a comprehensive offering, combining its skills in consulting, systems integration and managed services. Steria's ability to manage large-scale IT projects with commitment to results makes it a trusted partner for the public sector. Over 50 ministries and 60 public bodies work with Steria in Europe, including Norwich City Council in the UK, Danish and Norwegian customs authorities, the Norwegian and Swedish police, the Spanish ministries of Labour, Economy and Health, the French Navy, the Belgian Ministry of the Interior and the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, to name a few.

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About Steria Limited (www.steria.co.uk)
Steria in the UK delivers a full services portfolio, combining consulting, systems integration and managed services with a focus on major business areas including the public sector, finance and transport. Steria employs more than 1,500 people in the UK.

About Steria (www.steria.com)
Extensive expertise in its three core businesses of consulting, systems integration and managed services has made Steria a leading, end-to-end, IT services provider for companies and public authorities throughout Europe.
With a revenue of 1 billion Euros and more than 8000 employees, Steria is one of the top ten European IT services companies.
Knowledge of its customers' business processes, understanding the challenges facing them and an exceptional ability to respond enables Steria to design innovative solutions, with a commitment to results and customer satisfaction. Steria is thus able to provide a portfolio of proven solutions, backed by more than 30 years' experience in managing large-scale projects.
Steria's employees, who hold 30% of the Group’s capital, have built a performance culture based on strong values – simplicity, creativity, independence, respect and openness – enabling Steria to help its customers make progress.

For further information, contact:
Casey Balkham
Pleon UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7298 7043
Mail to: casey.balkham@pleon.com

Ghezala Ali-Sultan
Pleon UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7298 7063
Mail to: ghezala.ali-sultan@pleon.com

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Pleon in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.