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Milwaukee's Web Portal

Milwaukee’s Web Portal, A Success in Collaboration\


The Challenge

Milwaukee City and the County of Milwaukee both faced similar challenges in providing a web-based solution for dispensing information about governmental services to their citizens and taxpayers.  As might be imagined, the volume of information was huge and the task of creating an interface that was easy-to-use and successful, significant.  Faced with budget constraints being felt by government agencies all over, an idea to engage in a collaborative effort between the City and County started to evolve. Administrative changes at the City and County also contributed to a climate for change in the way government thought about taxpayer efficiencies.  The time was right to combine forces in delivering a quality solution for the constituents of Milwaukee City and the County of Milwaukee.

The Titan Solution

Milwaukee City and the County of Milwaukee engaged Northwoods Software to coordinate the collaborative effort in bringing about the solution.  The joint effort involved the creation of well-designed informational websites for the City and the County, housed under a single Titan CMS instance.  Titan's SmartSearch technology was engaged as a platform to support informational searches on either the Cty or the County site. For instance, a constituent does not have to know who collects garbage or issues birth certificates when they browse the portal. They simply type in the key word and the portal links them to the correct location.

The infrastructure that provides the backbone of the system is also shared. Equipment, including servers that host the site, connections to the Internet, training facilities and staff talent are shared between the entities. The primary site is hosted by Milwaukee County, using County servers, databases and other technology. Back-up servers reside at the City, where data is replicated every few minutes, creating a fail-over environment that prevents loss of usability for constituents and other users.

Because the collaboration takes advantage of the native features of Titan, both parties realized reduced costs. The single Titan instance allows the City and County to share source code and the use the strength of Titan's CMS features for content management. The combined funding that this partnership allowed, reduced the duplicated efforts that would have been the reality if the two parties had acted independently.  This made more funding available for site enhancements which benefited both the County and the City in a truly win-win arrangement!  See it for yourself!


Resulting Successes

  • The Titan-based internet portal provides constituents with an easy-to-use site that contains an immense amount of information.
  • The Titan portal allows flexibility so that more municipalities may easily join the portal to provide additional services at a substantially lower cost.  
  • The cost savings from the joint Titan effort allows the County and City to expand and enhance the site to include many other online processes.
  • The Titan portal services benefit constituents because they are able to process applications from their homes reducing their time and effort. The cost savings to the County and City is significant because clerical staff is used more efficiently at the service counters.
  • Titan provides visitor-tracking statistics for future site improvement planning.
  • Titan enables fast and simple site content management so departmental personnel can make changes to their pages quickly and dynamically.
  • The Titan Portal Project collaboration propelled governmental IT departments from simple data processing shops to a higher level of excellence.
  • The City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County received the 2005 Innovation Award for Intergovernmental Cooperation for the Milwaukee Joint Web Portal initiative.

What People are Saying

 “The Innovation Award is the highest award that the Public Policy Forum gives to government officials for projects that demonstrate that government works for its citizens and taxpayers. We are proud to honor Milwaukee County and the City of Milwaukee for their accomplishments.” -- Jeffrey Brown, President Public Policy Forum