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It seems common sense that "policy matters" in setting up e-government interoperability, mainly because collaboration should be guided by dedicated integration objectives and implementation rules. However, this is not always the case: this paper focuses on Egypt implementing technology and systems based on service-oriented architecture, largely without the expected organizational readiness regarding the interoperability effort. Does this mean that the current initiative is bound to fail? Or is the Egyptian approach maybe an appropriate strategy for countries which do not want to repeat painful non-interoperability experiences of their developed peers? This case study research seeks to provide evidence to what extent the Egyptian experience indicates a model for e-government adopters how to best develop interoperability. The paper concludes that a technology-first approach indeed can be held accountable for waste of time and resources due to delays in inevitable collaborative organizational learning. But if the latter is impaired for other reasons then choosing and implementing the "right" technology upfront is likely to have a positive impact on streamlining the organizational discourse and on pursuing a consistent e-government interoperability strategy.