There’s little doubt finding ways to create efficiency, reduce costs and improve customer service is a core priority for local and state governments, but there are strong signs leading software providers are actively ramping up their engagement with the sector as the realisation of what technology can offer to administrators and constituents rapidly increases. As mainstream private sector organisations continuously raise the bar on more intelligent and aware responses to customer needs, similar expectations are cascading down to interactions with government. Communities now increasingly demand prompt and user-friendly responses to concerns that once took weeks to resolve. It could be as simple as a personalised email in response to a permit enquiry or a localised reminder about road closures.
Either way, government entities must now be able to anticipate constituent needs and respond faster and with more relevance than ever before and that means quickly directing people to appropriate content, services and information. To thrive in this new environment, local government operations need to modernise and provide citizen-centric services, all while working within limited budgets and with limited resources. Microsoft is now clearly looking to or expand upon its large presence within local government as it increases the prominence of a suite of software and solutions that enables enhanced ‘Citizen Engagement’ by improving online services to the community. Key offerings developed by Microsoft and it Global Partners include include the Sitecore Experience and AvePoint Citizen Connect Platforms which the company is offering as an easy way into providing digital government solutions. The Sitecore Experience Platforms fuse together multiple components that include content management, automation, email, social media, online optimisation and analytics into a single, unified software platform governments can use to deliver citizen engagement and accessibility. Sitcore has been developed to help government achieve important goals:
- Engages constituents by presenting a consistent and personalised experience across all digital channels
- Personalises interaction based on a visitor’s GeoIP location, search and site behaviour
- Easily accommodates multi-language needs
- Enables mobile access and automatically repurposes content and web apps for devices
- Reduces costs by improving self-service, site-use efficiency and web team productivity
- Maximises revenue by creating new channels for revenue inflows
- Improves compliance and accessibility by maintaining strong security and creating consistent citizen experiences that meet web and government standards
- Meets emergency information needs during disasters including direct communication via email, SMS and other channels
- Integrates with social media to immediately understand and measure community concerns and sentiments
- Scales for high content volumes
- Maintains the highest security levels including advanced security features and best practices.
Now a global leader in constituent and customer experience management software with more than 3500 global organisations using the system, Sitecore also allows government to own the experience of each constituent and customer it engages across every channel, providing relevant content and personalised digital experiences to help build customer loyalty and drive revenue.
The Connected Citizen
In order to improve citizen support today it is critical that Local Government find ways to increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve services while integrating agile systems that are sustainable for future growth. Local Government can reach the community faster and more efficiently with AvePoint’s Citizen Connect Platform – a unified system that is mobile friendly and socially driven. It is designed to manage and help fulfil citizen requests faster and better, driving transparency as well as engaging citizens proactively. Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) is easy too, with AvePoint GRC management technologies that put citizen information security first. Citizen Connect encompasses four key solutions:
- E311 – Citizen Services: Allows the mobile-enabled citizen and government to report, address and track citizen needs. It gives field officers, operational centres and citizens an improved way to input and manage service requests from any device at any time.
- Mobile workforce: A mobile solution that streamlines field inspections with real-time assignments, status, history, checklist and knowledge base, all delivered on mobile devices. Makes it easier to plan workers daily activities and travel routes, find help, contact fellow workers, share files and more.
- Project Transparency: Provides real-time visibility and accountability for public project initiatives that impact on citizens. Important factors such as project priority, resource allocation, health status and spend can all be viewed in one location.
- Town Hall Meetings Portal: With the decline in attendance at town hall meetings, decisions affecting the community are often decided by a minority. This portal tracks meeting actions and decisions, as well as recording online meetings so citizens unable to attend live can view in the future and stay informed.
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