Posts in Category "Innovative Agencies"

June 16, 2011

Citizen Experience – From Concept to Practice

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In my last post I discussed the concept of customer or citizen experience in government and focusing on how we as citizens want to engage with our government on our terms, and on the device we’re currently heads down on (unless, of course, we’re driving!). So where do you begin if you’re a government employee trying to focus on your “customer”?

While simple, you should begin by focusing on the outside in. Truly focus on that citizen first and not on the sometimes byzantine rules and stove-piped systems you may already have in place. Easier said than done, I know, but it really is how you begin to transform the way your agency deals with its customers, both internal and external.

How many times have you been to a doctor’s office, motor vehicle agency, or applied for a permit and had to write your address down more than one time? How many times have you had to read the manual of instructions on how to fill out the form or wait in line to discuss with someone the process to determine eligibility for a grant, license, or benefit? Compare this to the first time you used a social media application like Facebook or LinkedIn. How hard was that? Was there an instruction manual you had to pore over before you got online and started sharing photos and stories with all those “friends” in your network? Of course not, that’s what makes it so fun (perhaps dangerous in some cases!) but most importantly that’s what keeps people engaged and online, and coming back for more. I’m not sure we’re ever going to make renewing your driver’s license or applying for unemployment benefits “fun” but we can make the process more intuitive and keep more and more people online rather than in a line. That’s where the savings come into play.

Last year 70% of the individual tax returns in the US were filed electronically. Do you know how much money that saved the IRS? Hundreds of millions of dollars according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  For every electronically filed return the IRS saves $3.10. “In addition to reducing costs, e-filing provides higher accuracy rates, improved convenience, and faster processing and refunds for taxpayers.” To me, that sounds like a great customer (and agency) experience. How is this happening? Most of this electronic filing is taking place with the assistance of great software from Intuit and H&R Block that takes users through a complex (sound familiar?) tax code/business process and breaks it down to a nice and easy interview. They have essentially broken down a tax code that is thousands of pages of not-too-easy-to-read instructions and have made it a breeze (for most) to complete their taxes.

Government agencies are beginning to see this kind of experience is just what they need to do in times of budget reductions. Adobe has helped many government agencies follow this same approach. We look forward to sharing some examples with you as we move forward. In the meantime, let us know if you’d like to talk with us more about it. You can reach me via comments, on Twitter @alec_chalmers, and also connect with the Adobe Gov team on Twitter @AdobeGov.

12:03 AM Permalink
June 2, 2011

The Citizen Customer

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I recently had the opportunity to speak at FedScoop’s Citizen Engagement and OpenGov Summit here in Washington DC (if you haven’t, check out this brief video we shot directly afterward) It was a great event and I followed the GSA’s Director of the Center for Customer Excellence, Sheila Campbell, and her great presentation on customer experience.

“Hold on a second”, I said to myself after Sheila began her remarks. She just used the words “customer” and “experience” together, in the same sentence, at a government-focused event. As you may know, we’ve been talking a lot about Customer Experience Management (CEM) at Adobe. And I’ll admit I’ve been a little skeptical about use of the term “customer” in terms of government (ie, governments don’t have customers, they have citizens). Not so fast! I was now being corrected by Sheila and she wasn’t even 30 seconds into her discussion. I was sitting up straighter in my chair, paying very close attention now, and I was positive Mrs. Gregg, my favorite teacher of all time, would have been very proud of me and amazed at how far I have advanced since the 10th grade.

Luckily I had the opportunity to adapt some of my presentation after Sheila’s and it was good to really talk about CEM from the customer’s point of view. For governments it really doesn’t matter whether you call it Citizen or Customer Experience Management, the important part is that you focus on that experience.

But who really has the budget right now to worry about experience when you have so many other pressing issues in front of you: Budget deficits, do more with less, mission accomplishment, and the list goes on. Oh yeah, and while you’re doing all that ensure your citizens, employees, and soldiers are fully engaged in the process and make sure that “they’ll tell two friends, and so on, and so on.”  Well, here’s what I think: You can and should focus on that citizen and customer experience now more than ever because it truly can ensure you do more with less while delivering on those ever-rising expectations.

Today’s citizens (just like every dot com customer, and really, aren’t they the same person?) have the expectation their experience with their government will be (or should be) similar to the experience they just had where they learned about a cool book online and then purchased it on their smartphone on the way to work. They want to interact with their government on their terms, when they want and need to, and on the devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, TV) to which they have access.

Great, but how does all of this save governments money? Maybe I’m being simple, but if you can educate your citizens on the services they’re entitled to while they’ve stumbled upon your website, then begin them on the path to an eligibility process on a smartphone (all while enabling them to avoid a call center or brick and mortar government office) you’ve saved money in at least a few places right there.

You also just made your process a heck of a lot more efficient while delighting your customer…oops, I meant citizen. ;-)

How can you start down this path? That’ll be for my next post…

12:13 AM Permalink
May 18, 2011

Simplifying Service Transactions and Business Processes

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As we’ve posted about in the recent past, the Adobe Gov UK team has been holding a monthly webinar series focused on the public sector.

Recent webinars have focused on Delivering and Designing Intuitive Online Services and on ID and Authentication for Online Services.

The latest in this webinar series took place last week, on May 12, and was devoted to Simplifying Service Transactions & Business Processes. The event included a strong panel:

  • Glyn Evans, Socitm President, Corporate Director of Business Change at Birmingham City Council and CIO Council member
  • Peter Bole, Director of ICT at Kent County Council
  • Alan Banks, Managing Director, Adobe UK
  • Helen Olsen, Managing Editor, ITU and UKauthorITy

The group addressed that public services are moving inexorably online, and the UK population is becoming ever more digitally savvy. But how do we take advantage of the best in technology developments to meet the needs of both the organization and the citizens it serves? Efficiency is essential, but is agile development the key? Does new technology solve old problems and deliver joined up processes and services? Or does the public sector silo mentality block the holistic thinking needed for a step change in performance?

An on-demand version of the webinar is now available; you’ll find it here. It runs approx 45 minutes. We hope you’ll check it out.

The next in this series of webinars is scheduled for June 14 and will be focused on Collaborating for the Future – Joined up Thinking and Joined up Working. You can register here.

12:27 AM Permalink
May 9, 2011

“Experience Delivers” Tour: Introducing CEM from Adobe

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Have you ever researched a product or service at a particular website, and then bought it someplace else? Used a mobile device to compare the price of a product online while shopping in a store? Been influenced by the opinions of others in a social community when selecting a healthcare provider or learning more about ailing symptoms?

That list is just a small sample of behaviors that illustrate how customers are educating themselves beyond the information that traditional organizations are providing, and transforming the consumer lifecycle. When coupled with heightened expectations for personalized service after a commitment is established, this environment presents a unique opportunity. Leading enterprises understand the correlation between creating loyal customers and driving performance.

Conditioned by immersive digital experiences in the private sector, citizens now expect more from interactions with their government in the public sector as well. As a byproduct of powerful user-centric citizen experiences, government agencies have discovered they are also able to realize significant cost savings. For example, by making it easier for citizens to dispute inaccurate medical claims, Medicaid agencies could save millions of dollars annually by helping to reduce fraud.

Adobe’s “Experience Delivers” tour recently stopped in Washington DC where the focus was Customer Experience Management (CEM) in government (see the event video we created above, including our conversations with several of the speakers). Attendees from federal, state, and local agencies learned more about our CEM platform, and ways that it can be leveraged to build “brand” differentiation and improve citizen engagement across multiple channels.

Presenters from Adobe and our featured partners, Deloitte and SapientNitro, shared their perspectives and set the stage for CEM industry luminary speaker Bruce Temkin, Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, who articulated the measurable benefits of an effective CEM solution. Bruce further engaged the audience as he identified the following four competencies required to effectively leverage CEM in the enterprise.

1. Purposeful leadership
2. Compelling brand value
3. Employee engagement
4. Customer connectedness

Preliminary feedback from this event has been overwhelmingly positive. Other US cities in the Experience Delivers Tour include San Francisco, New York, and Chicago. European cities include London, Stockholm, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels.

Here at Adobe, we’re passionate about CEM and very interested in your feedback and general thoughts. Is there an opportunity to improve engagement with your agency’s constituents? Let us know in comments and on Twitter @AdobeGov and @AdobeCEM.

4:00 PM Permalink
April 28, 2011

Adobe Government U.K.: New webinar on Delivering and Designing Intuitive Online Services

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How can we address digital exclusion and encourage the mass channel shift to low cost online service delivery that we all need?

Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox, is calling for ‘e’ Revolution not Evolution with online becoming “the first point of contact” for public services. And the new Government ICT strategy states that the government “will work to make citizen-focused transactional services ‘digital by default’ where appropriate” – but enable a network of ‘assisted digital’ service providers for those who are unable to access this brave new world.

There is, however, much work to do in understanding the user’s needs and experience of online public services with the goal of making them simple and accessible to all.

On the panel:

  • Graham Walker, Government Director for UK Digital Champion (Martha Lane Fox)
  • Dr Lorna Peters, Connect Digitally, Department for Education and Hertfordshire
  • Gilles Polin, Adobe’s European Head of Government Solutions
  • Helen Olsen, Managing Editor, UKauthorITy and ITU magazine

An on demand version of the webcast is available from this link.

12:03 AM Permalink
April 26, 2011

Adobe Government U.K.: New Webinar on ID and Authentication for Online Services

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Are solving the issues of effective identity and authentication pre-requisites to delivering channel shift to low cost online public services?

The future of public services is most definitely digital: confirmed last month in the Government’s new ICT strategy. Indeed, in the Age of Austerity the potential for reducing the costs of service delivery by a switch to digital is too great to miss – but unless we can securely deliver the right service to the right people we risk even greater waste through fraud and further contact.

The London Borough of Brent has been trialling a new concept – the Mydex citizen data store – along with exploring use of the Government Gateway; Enfield, meanwhile, has implemented a new corporate authentication service with help from Serco and GB Group. The panel explored the benefits and pitfalls of getting ID and authentication right.

On the panel:

  • Dane Wright, IT Strategy Manager at the London Borough of Brent
  • Lee Grafton, Serco and Enfield’s GB Group identity solution
  • Gilles Polin, Adobe’s European Head of Government Solutions
  • Helen Olsen, Managing Editor, UKauthorITy and ITU magazine

An on demand version of the Webcast is available from this link.

12:06 AM Permalink
April 7, 2011

A Conversation with Mike Murtha, Adobe Solutions Engineer to DoD (Part 2 of 2)

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Our recent conversation with Michael Murtha, Adobe Department of Defense Solutions Engineer, continues today with the second of a two-part series.

Today, Mike discusses:

If you haven’t yet, check out the first part of the conversation here.

And if you’re reading and watching this, you might also be interested in our recent conversation with Barry Leffew, Adobe’s vice president of Public Sector Sales. You’ll find parts one and two here and here.

To keep up on the latest with Adobe in government, be sure to follow us on Twitter @AdobeGov.

12:21 AM Permalink
April 5, 2011

A Conversation with Mike Murtha, Adobe Solutions Engineer to DoD

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We recently sat down with Michael Murtha, an Adobe Department of Defense Solutions Engineer, to get his perspective on his area of expertise in the public sector. Mike’s work includes supporting the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Defense Connect Online solution, which is based on Adobe Connect.

This is the first segment of a two-part interview. In today’s video, Mike discusses:

  • 0:05 – His current role and background
  • 0:28 – A typical day
  • 1:03 – Key market trends in his area of focus
  • 3:05 – The role and importance of customer experience

In part two, which we’ll post in the next couple days, Mike covers:

  • An overview of Defense Connect Online
  • The breadth of offering with Adobe Connect
  • What the future holds in Mike’s market area of focus

Keep your eyes on this space for the second part of the conversation, or follow us on Twitter to be sure you catch it.

3:09 PM Permalink
March 17, 2011

Leveraging Online Analytics to Elevate Agency Performance

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Along with Federal Computer Week, we recently presented an event in Washington, D.C. focused on online analytics. The March 1 event was titled, “Leveraging the Power of Online Analytics to Elevate your Agency’s Performance”.

We were appreciative to have a great keynote speech by Bajinder Paul, Senior IT Advisor to the Associated Administrator, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, General Services Administration. And the event also included a panel discussion with speakers including:

  • Phil Kemelor, Vice President of Strategic Analytics, Semphonic (Moderator)
  • Tim Fullerton, Director of New Media and Web Communications, Dept. of Interior
  • Mike Kruger, Director of New Media, Dept of Commerce
  • Rob Pinkerton, Senior Director, Industry Solutions, Adobe
  • Mike Evans, Senior Solutions Consultant, Adobe

We captured footage at the event, and spent some time with Rob to get his thoughts and perspective on the day. Check out the video below – and, as always, we’re interested in hearing from you in comments.

12:03 AM Permalink
March 16, 2011

Miami-Dade Police Department and Adobe Connect for Training

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Sergeant Sean Holtz of the Training Bureau at Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) recently talked about the department’s decision to use Adobe Connect to provide officers with simple, dependable access to rich, interactive online training courses. Holtz says, “The Adobe solution provides an intuitive, convenient platform for us to create and deliver vital training to officers in every area of our department, regardless of location.”

Holtz likes how Adobe Connect enables MDPD to determine whether or not information is sticking with officers by testing their comprehension and retention.  MDPD can easily add or modify the existing content to make it more effective to train officers.

Check out the complete story here.

5:01 PM Permalink