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Oracle Launches Self-Service Taxation Solution for Public Sector

Oracle Launches Self-Service Taxation Solution for Public Sector
By Jennifer LeClaire

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Oracle's solution "provides governments with a way to become more interactive with and more responsive to the citizens -- and to do it in a way that is more cost-effective than staffing phone banks and having people call down telephone trees and talk to actual people," said analyst Charles King. Oracle is offerng a new self-service taxation suite.
 


Oracle just rolled out the Oracle Enterprise Taxation and Policy Management Self Service. The new software gives tax and revenue authorities a single citizen portal that can integrate across multiple tax types and tax processing systems.

Mark Johnson, senior vice president of Oracle Public Sector, said the solution makes way for tax and revenue authorities to provide taxpayers with anytime access to valuable information and services, ultimately strengthening the tax and revenue authority or taxpayer relationship. Oracle Policy Automation for Public Sector, Oracle WebCenter, Oracle Application Development Framework and Oracle SOA Suite power the solution.

"For many years, taxpayers had to make a phone call or travel to a local tax and revenue authority to deliver a form, discuss his/her situation or make a payment. Today, however, citizens and businesses expect to find instant answers to their questions and make payments, all via the Web -- anytime, anywhere," said Mark Johnson, senior vice president, Oracle Public Sector.

Better Citizen Service

Some of the online services Oracle's new solution empowers include the ability to make payments, contact the tax agency with questions and requests or receive self-guided automated assistance with policies and tax law.

Tax and revenue authorities that implement Oracle Enterprise Taxation and Policy Management Self Service -- which Oracle calls an out-of-the-box solution -- can lower the cost of taxpayer service operations by promoting a broader set of taxpayer self-service features. Oracle said the solution also integrates with leading credit card payment processors for tax payments to ease the electronic payment process.

Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told us Oracle is not alone in this space; there are other companies providing similar solutions for the public sector.

"This solution provides governments with a way to become more interactive with and more responsive to the citizens -- and to do it in a way that is more cost-effective than staffing phone banks and having people call down telephone trees and talk to actual people," King said.

"This is something that we've been seeing across the industry for the last two to three years. It's a particularly important kind of solution since the economy tanked in 2008. Things aren't coming back as quickly as people would like. This is not only businesses having to make do with less, public sector entities are having to do the same."

Oracle's Opportunity

There is a built-in demand for this type of solution, King said, and Oracle can do well in the market if its solution does what it promises. Once a product goes through the proof stage and is adopted, he said, it's not too often replaced.

"Public sector organizations and departments and government entities tend to move much more slowly than the business world does. So from the vendor's standpoint, if you can get the sale they have a fairly steady revenue stream for a long time because there's so much inertia in the market," King said.

"But from a customer point of view, it's extremely important for companies to do a lot of testing before they choose an actual solution, because once you sign on the dotted line you and the citizens you serve are going to be stuck with that for good or ill for a very long time. As valuable as this kind of solution can be, let the buyer beware."
 

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