Councils can focus on three features in improving existing processes and exploring new methods of service delivery
A series of demands underline the need for digital transformation in local authorities. It is not just about online services, or saving money in the back office, or better use of mobile technology by field workers; it is about pulling together the strands for an array of processes, internal and customer-facing, that come together to determine whether a council succeeds or fails in service to its community.
Microsoft has been making a contribution with a technology platform to deal with more of these processes and provide councils with new capabilities. A demonstration of the platform, which recently brought together its CRM and ERP iterations into Dynamics 365, will provide one of the highlights of the UKAuthority Local Digital Transformation events in London and Manchester in December.
In advance of the event, company representatives Mark Oburoh and Richard Tough have outlined a focus on three scenarios.
First is the support for the campaign to get the public ‘Doing it for themselves: making citizen self-service the first option’. This is about meeting the digital expectations of citizens in the provision of easy-to-use online services, to the point where people regard them as their first choice.
Dynamics has the capabilities for integration with a wide range of online interactions through a variety of channels, from the basics of phone, email and customer websites, to communications tools such as WhatsApp and Skype. It goes beyond simple interactions, enabling council customers to ask questions, raise cases, obtain updates on service requests and receive feedback from council employees.
It also has the potential to integrate with the emerging use of artificial intelligence in customer contact, presenting intriguing possibilities for a new dimension in high quality, cost-effective citizen interactions.
Predictive field service
Second is the ability to support maintenance and service in the field. The workflow elements of Dynamics CRM are already supporting a range of service processes in local government. But this is moving into a new era with the capacity to integrate the platform with data taken from sensors and devices in the internet of things.
This can lay the ground for predictive maintenance, in which problems are addressed and repairs made before things break down and disrupt services, and provide savings by ensuring it is done before the costs escalate. In supporting the maintenance of roads, bridges and waterways it can also contribute to saving lives; and it can support the development of smart places, contributing to efficient and environmentally sustainable communities.
Third is the capacity to help meet more immediate demands in bringing together functions for the front and back office. This has always been a feature of Dynamics, but has now been strengthened with the combination of CRM and ERP, which makes it possible to align the demands of dealing with customers with operational activities.
There are plenty of possible permutations of this, such as supporting the collaboration of environmental health with social care teams, or integrating with third party systems to exchange information with contractors. The key factor is enabling the flow of information for front and back office teams to work effectively together and with other organisations.
All this provides the potential for local authorities to use the platform in pursuing the transformation plans a step at a time - initially focusing on the immediate demands, but knowing they have a flexible tool to pursue more ambitious plans.
The demonstration of Dynamics 365 will be just one feature of a stimulating programme to be delivered on both days, with trailblazers from local authorities, industry visionaries and thought leaders talking about the best from existing platforms and the future potential. Join us on 13 December at Wembley Stadium, London, or 15 December at Old Trafford, Manchester as a step in your authority’s digital transformation.
Both days will run from 09:30 and end with networking and a stadium tour at 16:00.
This event is free to attend for the public sector only and not open to commercial organisations. Register with a public sector email address now by clicking on the link for your preferred venue:
See you there!