Case Studies

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Ministry of Revenue Quebec

Case Overview
As part of a global government strategy to improve online services offered to the public, as well as an internal goal to increase customer satisfaction and improve productivity, the Quebec Ministry of Revenue (MRQ) decided to build a new Electronic Service Delivery Platform.  . 

Customer Overview
The Ministry of Revenue Quebec is responsible for the collection of income tax and consumption taxes, ensuring that each person or company pays a fair share of the financing of public services. Serving more than 5.4 million tax payers, half a million businesses and self-employed citizens and 3.6 million support program beneficiaries, the Ministry is committed to providing the resource necessary for Quebec citizens to obtain fast, easy access to accurate information to its services (Tax, Accounts), its information and its staff

Business Challenge
MRQ was looking to increase the number of services offered and improve their functionality - such as offering both citizens and businesses the ability to inquire about their accounts online. Previously, this was strictly a manual process. Because the MRQ receives almost 10 million transactions by mail each year which demanded personal attention from an MRQ employee, it was an inefficient system and caused unnecessary work.

In order to accomplish these tasks, the MRQ needed a new electronic delivery services platform, which was called the Electronic Exchange Project.



Results
With the completion of this project, MRQ became one of the first governments in North America to offer customers the ability to remit taxes online, register online, and check the results of transactions online.

With nearly 10 million new transactions coming into the MRQ every year, the manual processing of these transactions was an inefficient and time consuming process for the organization. Because it was a manual process, there were many rejections and it caused much more work than necessary.
By moving these services online, the MRQ is seeing tremendous time and cost savings. Now, they have much fewer rejections because they could put some validation and check points into the electronic system. That saves them a lot of time.

Additionally, in the past, if someone needed to check information in their account with the MRQ, they would have to write to the organization, go to a service counter, or contact the call centre. Now, by using the new online services, they are able to easily get the information they need right away. In addition, companies can access their account on their own which helps reduce the amount of time they spend on their inquiry and therefore saves them a lot of money. It also helps them improve internal productivity as most things are handled electronically without the need for their staff to get involved

The technologies
- Visual Studio .NET and Microsoft .NET Framework, C#, XML
- IIS, Windows Server, Oracle, SQL Server
- Web Services (helping to minimize the impact on infrastructure configuration. No deployment was needed on the clients' back end to enable them to use the Web services we created. All they needed was the URL and the right to use the service)

By building the new system using Visual Studio .NET, MRQ was able to increase the speed of deployment of the online applications. With less coding needed and lighter production cycles, it was easier to build and maintain the applications, increasing the productivity of the development team and reducing the amount of work needed for future projects.



 

 

Solution
Due to the complexity and size of this endeavour, the project was divided into sub-projects and completed by different teams. To help with the management and implementation of the overall project, MRQ engaged the help of Fujitsu Consulting (Canada) Inc. and Conet-Tech, a Microsoft Certified Partner. Fujitsu and Conet-Tech developed a clear strategy and best practices to ensure the project was completed on time and on budget.

Another key sub-project was called the Electronic Exchange - Common Functions project which was implemented by Quebec City-based LGS, a full service consulting and systems integration firm and Microsoft Certified Partner. LGS provided and managed the software and infrastructure needed to support the common services that would be used by all the projects to implement Internet and intranet transactions.

To deliver the new online services, MRQ and its partners developed an Electronic Service Delivery System that was completely built and operated on Microsoft .NET Framework. The new system included a complete set of transactional, authenticated Web services and also allowed businesses to access customized services based on access rights and appropriate fiscal laws, which are delivered through a secure authenticated portal.

Due to the sensitive nature of the data, which is highly confidential tax information, security and protection of privacy were of utmost importance and represented a major challenge for the MRQ.

Another key challenge was integration due to the overall complexity of the architecture.
For customers to inquire about their accounts, we have to go from the Web servers to the application servers, to the gateway servers, to the IDMS database on the mainframe and sometimes through an Oracle database. It was very complicated.

The security support of Web services built with .NET, helped us to know who was requesting the information and then from there, we could manage access security to other systems. Web services were the glue between Internet or intranet transactions and the common services.

 

Future Plan
Based on the success of the project so far, MRQ hopes to continue to expand services offered online and eventually use Web services to connect directly into banking institutions to speed up transaction processing. For businesses and citizens, who need to make tax payments, they could file their tax remittance and when it is time to issue payments, we would bill a bank automatically and the payment would be executed into customer bank account - all done with Web services.



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