Our colleagues in the UK recently began a series of interesting webinars on key government IT topics, and featuring some great speakers from gov organizations and elsewhere.
The latest in the series takes place tomorrow, Feb. 17, at 9:00am ET, and is titled, Online Citizen and Business Services: Online citizen self-service in the age of austerity. You can read more about it on the Adobe UK enterprise blog here, and can register for the event here. @AdobeEnterprise will also be live tweeting. Regardless of where you’re located, we encourage you to check it out.
The webinars are planned each month for the next several, and topics include:
March 17: Security – Citizen Data and Transactions
April 14: Designing and Delivering Intuitive Processes and Service Transactions
May 12: Simplifying Service Transactions and Business processes
Keep your eyes on the Adobe UK enterprise blog and @AdobeGov for the latest.
Update: an on-demand version of the Feb. 17 webinar is now available. Please check it out here. The discussion of Online Citizen and Business Services featured the following panelists:
Dominic Cain, Head of Client Services at the London Borough of Southwark
Guy Ker, Publishing Director at Directgov
Gilles Polin, Adobe’s European Head of Government Solutions
Helen Olsen, Managing Editor, Informed Publications
I recently participated in a panel discussing how concepts of customer centricity in the private sector can translate to use in the government. The private sector has significantly increased its focus and understanding of customer experience. In recent years, companies have added specific management roles dedicated to Customer Experience and have also refined how to measure the quality of a customer’s experience. The measurement of customer experience is equally important for government. How are companies measuring customer experience and how does this translate to use in government?
Earlier this week at the Adobe MAX conference, the new Adobe LiveCycle Suite ES2.5 was announced. There are a number of new aspects to the release but I want to focus on a two pieces that government agencies might find particularly useful–mobility and correspondence. This new release makes it much easier for government agencies to manage citizen correspondence and to empower mobile staff such as case workers or inspectors.
What happens behind your website is just as important as what is on your agency's website. To maximize your agency's web presence, think about how you can make the web channel the "sole" channel for specific interactions and how you can make your agency more responsive to these requests by transforming the review & approval process behind-the-scenes.
Your new government website just launched. The digital pages are visually stunning and impressive.
But is your website just a pretty facade?
Or…is it ready to turn those citizens who visit into satisfied customers quickly and without utilizing your agency’s overloaded phone, mail or in-person channels?
If citizens still need to call or visit an agency office after exploring your website, then there are still more opportunities for maximizing your agency’s web investments to reduce your agency’s operating costs and boost customer service. And, as I will note, investments in what the citizen doesn’t see, the operations behind your website, is just as important as what is on your website.
If your agency can provide required services online in a responsive and transparent manner, adoption of the digital channel will increase.
With the latest Pew research showing that more people are now connected to the internet, it’s time to think about online as a channel for completing end-to-end interactions with your agency. Not just taking a supporting role.
During our candid discussion, I asked Dr. Levin for his perspectives on the Blue Button initiative and the Developer Challenge, as well as the role of Health Information Technology as it relates to his vision of empowerment for V.A. consumers.
Earlier today, Adobe announced the next version of our Acrobat family, Acrobat X. We sat down with long-time Adobe veteran Rick Brown, who runs product management for Acrobat, to get his perspective on the new release and how the software is used by government agencies.
0:03 – Rick’s responsibilities and background
0:45 – Acrobat X: what drove development; some of the new capabilities
2:50 – Acrobat in Government, including how agencies use it today
You can follow the Acrobat team on twitter @acrobat, and check out their blog here.
While I was at the Ohio Digital Government Summit this week, I was reminded of the challenge governments have balancing self-service channels vs. assisted service channels. My co-presenter discussed some statistics on citizen Internet usage from Connect Ohio’s 2010 technology assessment survey (see survey here). There were a couple items in this data that highlighted the situation governments face when optimizing channel interactions with constituents.
Last week, I presented in Illinois about approaches to application modernization in government. The room was packed. I think this is a reflection of the multiple trends in government making modernization both more pressing yet even trickier to navigate. Agencies need to modernize because systems are old, budgets are slim, and demand for services is higher than ever. I routinely talk to agencies that are running enterprise system built in the 70’s. These systems are tricky to update to reflect policy changes and it’s getting harder to find qualified people to do the updates. Systems are strained because the economic situation has driven case loads through the roof—as an example; some states have seen TANF caseloads increase 20-30% in the last year. Yet, budgets have gone the other way—state budget shortfalls of 10%+ are the norm. This means agencies are looking to modernize technology to both save money and to more efficiently deliver services.
On a flight back from a child support enforcement conference (NCSEA 2010) in Chicago, I couldn’t help but notice the headlines that a city just outside Atlanta, Georgia is causing.
The newsworthy event?
Well if you haven’t heard, the city of East Point opened up their waiting list for Section 8 public housing. The agency required applicants to travel to a local shopping mall to pick up the paper forms that citizens must complete to get a chance at public housing.
What started as a great piece of news turned into chaos when 30,000 people fought traffic and heat to have a chance at being placed on a waiting list. By the end of the ordeal, there were about 13,000 applications picked up amidst police ready to break up any riots and ambulances taking care of several medical emergencies.
Are these the types of in-person interactions you value?
I had the opportunity this week to visit and present at the Tennessee Digital Government Summit. I always enjoy these events because they tend to be up close and personal and this particular event was no exception! I was asked to share my thoughts about open government and the implications on state government.
When asked the question, “what does open government mean to you”, the general response from the audience was ‘open access to data’ so that citizens can ‘see where money is being spent’. With almost all state and local governments across the country being under severe budget crunches, being able to account for every dollar spent is increasingly critical. In addition, a few folks also expressed that once the citizens knew where the money was spent, the citizens could now in influence policy change. These are, of course, very good answers. Open access to data equals transparency and the ability to influence change equates to participation.