16 weeks
for first release of the portal and its applications
2 weeks 
for the release of new applications and functionality
apps 5 applications
delivered to end-users on the first release of the solution

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ERSAR develops and deploys e-government platform in 16 weeks with OutSystems Platform

The Challenge:

  • ERSAR, formerly known as IRAR, is the Portuguese Institute for the Regulation of Water and Solid Waste. ERSAR needed a set of applications to support their team’s daily tasks, accessible through an intranet portal / employee portal;
  • Also, they had a backlog of applications that needed to be developed and were looking also to create an e-government platform to scale and host both the intranet portal, extranet portal and website;
  • Buying a  package was not an option for the intranet portal and extranet portal – there was nothing available to suit ERSAR specific needs and company strategy. 


The Solution:

  • ERSAR chose OutSystems Platform for its agile methodology, fast application releases, constant involvement of business users, ability for customization and possibility of enlarging project scope in the future;
  • After signing in, user land on the intranet portal homepage - my portal - which contains quick links to relevant News, Alerts on tasks and processes that were assigned to the user, and general Forums with the latest entries. Also, from the intranet portal home page, employees can access 10 different intranet applications, depending on their access privileges, which help them with their daily tasks. The ERSAR intranet portal is now used by all 55 employees: 50% use the intranet portal between 1 and 3 hours a day, and 26% use the portal for their daily activities during more than 5 hours a day;
  • This intranet portal, released in May 2006, started off as a set of 5 applications:
    • Directory – It stores employee information (photo, name, contacts, organizational hierarchy information, etc.), external organizations information (customers and laboratories with whom ERSAR interacts), and generic contacts'  data (public information and daily contacts);
    • Issue Management for ticketing and issue reporting – It allows all organizations to submit requests to ERSAR such as a request to change their information. When submitting a request the user can upload files to support it. When a request is submitted the intranet portal application automatically opens a ticket and assigns it to the correspondent unit. All tickets can be searched and tracked using several filters available on different listings, depending on the user's access privileges. Tickets can be related to other tickets leading to aggregated information;
    • Community Forums – Used to exchange ideas, discuss doubts and share information among all users of the intranet portal and the institute. Users can subscribe one or more forums and then read topics, reply to posts or even add new topics. Subscribed users are notified on a daily basis, by email of the forums activity;
    • Meeting Management tool - Used to book meeting rooms with a visual layout of the calendar. Users can check room availability and block slots of time;
    • Library module – It allows users to read industry relevant documentation and all ERSAR editorial publications. It also stores images (for internal use only), legal reports and a clipping data base. Using a set of filters, users can search and download some of these documents directly from the portal.
  • In September 2006 two more intranet portal applications were released into production - Document and Process Management tools. These new applications are considered  state of the art by IRAR employees, and are heavily used - employees to state that “there is no more paper flowing through the institute”. In a satisfaction survey run 10 months after going live 96% of all inquired people consider the intranet portal very useful and these two applications were rated as the two most important areas of the intranet portal;
  • One month later, in October 2006, the new Laboratory Management tool was released into production;
  • By December of the same year two more intranet portal applications were release - Internal Surveys and Management Dashboards,
  • Almost a year after going live (10 months), a survey to employees and service providers showed the portal to be a real success - 96% of all inquired people consider the portal very useful. Employees’ daily tasks were much easier and the dashboards provided real-time data on the number of processes aggregated per area and collaborator, supporting the management team's decision process.
  • During 2007 and 2008 ERSAR started consolidating the developed applications of the intranet portal, refactoring and evolving them, and started extending the intranet portal to third party organizations. In addition, a group of new areas were developed to improve the interaction processes between ERSAR and more than 400 utility operators that work with ERSAR. 



  • The first version of the intranet portal with a set of 5 applications went live on May 2006, just 16 weeks after the project was started, and was a huge success – a state of the art e-government platform;
  • Improved efficiency of ERSAR's activity – ability to do more with the same number of people;
  • Centralized information – new intranet portal applications can rapidly be developed, no integrations required;
  • Business Process Automation - The majority of applications automate business processes that have an impact in multiple organizations and require a thorough level of control. 98% of the intranet portal users claim that there was an optimization of processes with the introduction of the portal;
  • Flexibility and easy implementation of changes to guarantee constant business alignment:
    • New releases every 2 weeks;
    • 90,6% of the users that submitted enhancement requests (67% of the universe of users) saw them quickly and well addressed;
  • Today ERSAR is an OutSystems software factory working in continuous mode where change management and new application backlog are managed by a single team of both ERSAR and OutSystems resources. With this factory mode ERSAR has now the ability to manage all needs in a medium-long term rather than short term period. Among other reasons, ERSAR states that this is due to a better knowledge of business by IT and greater development efficiency which brought a higher ability to incorporate feedback and quicker respond to changes.


About ERSAR:

ERSAR - Entidade Reguladora dos Serviços de Águas e Resíduos em Portugal - is the Portuguese Institute for the Regulation of Water and Solid Waste. In compliance with the existing legislation, ERSAR oversees activities related to the water supply, wastewater treatment and disposal as well as solid waste collection, recovery, treatment and disposal. Such activities are public services vital to population, as well as to the economic activities and environment protection.

Visit ERSAR website




  • Time-to-market – 16 weeks;
  • State of the art e-government platform;
  • Of all users interviewed:
    • 96% consider the intranet portal very useful;
    • 94% consider the intranet portal adequate to the needs and flexible;
    • 88% consider the intranet portal easy and intuitive (user adoption);
    • 67% submitted enhancement. 90,6% saw them implemented;
    • 98% claim there was an optimization of processes;
  • All information is centralized, no integrations required;
  • No paper flowing through the institute.


Project Card

Implemented by:



16 weeks

User Profiles:

ERSAR employees


Top messages; News, Alerts; Forums; Internal surveys; Management Dashboard; Directory; Issue Management; Community Forums; Meeting Management Tool; Library module; Document; Process and Laboratory Management tools.


Evaluation Criteria

  • Agile Methodology;
  • Fast application releases;
  • Flexibility and easy implementation of changes to guarantee constant business alignment;
  • Scalability (ability to progressively enlarge project scope);
  • Strong authentication and access control mechanisms.
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