Thursday, 12th May 2011 at 2 pm (45 minute programme)
Tomorrow we’re excited to be hosting 45 minutes of engaging insight into how new developments in technology offer simpler ways to transact – and streaming the debate live to your computer.
Public services are moving inexorably online, and the UK population becoming ever more digitally savvy. The panel will be discussing how best to take advantage of new tech developments in order to meet the needs of both the organisation and its customers.
On the panel will be:
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
You’ll need to register in advance to access the webinar, and we recommend logging in three or four minutes before we’re due to start – click here to sign-up.
During the programme, which will be broadcast live over the internet using Adobe Connect, we will be asking the audience to participate in polls to gain their views. You will also be able to submit questions to the panel during the interview but due to the volumes we are not able to take all live submissions.
@AdobeEnterprise will also be tweeting live from the webinars and you can follow and participate in the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #AdobeGovLive.
Next week will be an exciting milestone in the development of CEM (Customer Experience Management) at Adobe. We are delighted to be the lead sponsor at the Gartner CRM Conference and are sponsoring the CEM track at the conference
In 2009 almost 40% of CIOs agreed that boosting customer experience was the most important way for technology to contribute to the long-term survival of their company. Two years on, this instinct proved to be absolutely correct. The explosive growth of digital marketing has continued to evolve and is driving significant organisational transformation.
This event is a fantastic opportunity for Adobe to help CIOs, technology decision makers and marketeers to better understand the importance of CEM to their business. In the modern, online, connected business environment, it is essential that organisations – of all sizes – can deliver a new online experience which will drive brand awareness, customer loyalty, revenue, and market share; whilst also meeting the challenge of delivering a consistent high-quality experience across multiple channels and geographical regions – no small task.
Kevin Cochrane, VP product marketing for Adobe, is one of a number of Adobe execs travelling to the conference. Kevin will participate in a seminar debate on Monday 14th March, 10.15 – 10.45 – A New Era of CRM. In this discussion Kevin, joined by Reza Soudagar, Annie Weinberger and Brad Wilson will cover a broad range of topics from current day best practices to futuristic scenarios that could dramatically impact customer relationships and experiences in years to come.
Elsewhere at the conference on Tuesday 15th March, 9.15-9.45, Yohan Founs from Adobe partner SQLI will be giving a seminar. This presentation – Delivering improved Customer Experience to enhance business value – will give an overview of how improving customer experience can also impact positively on areas such as employee performance, productivity, quality of services and employee/customer satisfaction.
Adobe is working with SQLI on some incredibly innovative projects across Europe, particularly within the financial services sector, keep watching this blog for more details in the coming months.
Finally, this conference is a great opportunity for Adobe to talk about how its business is evolving and to explain why Adobe believes it is at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership within CEM. Acquisitions in 2010 of Day Software and Omniture, combined with Adobe’s already formidable enterprise capabilities, mean that Adobe is better placed than ever to provide end-to-end services and expertise which can transform the way a company engages with it customers.
CEM is not a matter of simply replacing costly call centre and in-person interactions with self-service and online applications, consumers still demand high quality personal service. Instead there is a significant opportunity to revamp the way companies interact with customers and to improve margins while doing so. Digital channels like online and mobile are becoming the preferred method for clients to sell their products and services. Organisations that can deliver customer-centric services through these lower cost channels – while improving the services delivered through traditional channels – will not only capture market share and loyalty, but they will reap bottom-line rewards as well.
We look forward to seeing you at Gartner CRM Conference. Remember you can also follow Adobe at the conference through Twitter @AdobeEnterprise where we’ll be tweeting live from some of the keynotes and we’ll be posting more updates right here on the blog. You can also follow Gartner on Twitter @Gartner_inc/gartner-events and @Gartner_inc.
Thanks to everyone that joined us for the recent Adobe government webinars with ITU Live. It was another really interesting debate. It’s great to see a panel of eminent experts from the industry who are also so “hands-on” in shaping the future of government IT, expressing their opinions in an open and challenging forum.
The topic was Cloud Computing and sparked a lively discussion about the barriers to innovation that are created by the public sector procurement process. A full video of the webinar is available here please do take the time watch.
I’ve also pulled out a few bullets below from the session which I thought were particularly insightful. Do feel free to add your own thoughts about this via the comments section within this blog. We always keen to hear what you have to say.
Liam Maxwell, IT specialist and Conservative councillor at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, argued that government needs to focus its attention on transparency, personal identity and cross-platform in the cloud to reduce IT spend in local government. A pioneer in his own constituency Liam is championing cloud computing with a view to moving most of Windsor and Maidenhead’s IT into the cloud within the next three years – a bold ambition to say the least.
Liam states that one of the key things about localism and the localisation of services is that “it should be possible for someone to set up a trestle table in the town centre and open a government office providing services where and as they are needed”. I agree that cloud technology is certainly an enabler for that vision.
He was also discusses that the public sector can do ‘Better for Less’ – a sentiment which Mark O’Neill, CIO at the Department of Communities & Local Government, and lead on the government’s new ‘skunk-works’, also felt.
Mark explained how he believes the Comprehensive Spending Review has become a catalyst enabling local and central government to “rethink the business model”, and that this is an opportunity which comes along very rarely in IT.
Alan Banks, MD for Adobe, completed the panel. Alan brought an IT vendors perspective to the proceedings. Alan commented that, “the model for government IT is changing and there will be no more monolithic IT projects.” He also led the panel in a discussion about the need for open standards and innovation. This a topic also close to Liam Maxwell’s heart, who said that a staggering £51m saving could be achieved by moving to an open document format within government.
Here in the UK, the minds of everyone in government and public sector have been duly focused on the Comprehensive Spending Review, as well as ongoing budget cuts and the undoubted effect that it will have on how services are delivered to UK citizens. It is sometimes difficult to look beyond ‘this Sceptred Isle’ and easy to feel that the issues which we have to overcome are unique. The reality is that local authorities and government bodies across Europe face the same issues and pressures as we do in the UK.
We recently hosted a very insightful seminar with colleagues, partners and customers from the Nordics. The topic for discussion was customer experience, customer engagement and the role that technology plays in redefining the experiences users have. You can view the whole webinar via the video below and a short summary of the topics covered is below.
A problem shared…
Just like in the UK, central and local government departments across the Nordics have to economise – searching for cost savings and efficiencies across their operations. New technology processes which incorporate tools such as rich internet applications, content management and electronic document management are being investigated as a means with which to not only reduce costs, but to increase the quality and efficiency of the way services are delivered.
Niels Tapdrup, citizen service manager, Municipality of Skanderborg in Denmark is heading a project which will streamline the ways in which citizens contact the council more efficiently, collating postal mail, email, online and telephone enquiries. Tapdrup explains how efficiency and cost saving are essential. The challenge they faced was how to change their channel strategy, and move expensive traditional channels of communication, to cheaper online methods whilst at the same time improve services for citizens.
The citizens changing demands
The customer, or citizen, is king and their needs must be met. Johan Salenstedt managing director, Adobe Nordics explains how the demand on how we use and access information has changed dramatically – people are familiar with just ‘using’ applications, rather than being trained on how to access them. Facebook is a perfect example of this – no one has ever been trained to use Facebook, yet implicitly millions of people use it every day. The same now applies to business or public service applications.
Barriers to implementation
In the discussion familiar barriers to change were identified, which concentrated on the internal operation of a department or authority:
How do you tackle the initial business process?
How do you manage the inevitable cultural shift within the organisation caused by doing things differently?
And finally, overcoming the elephants in the room – those things which have always been seen as too expensive or difficult to change.
How to succeed
Rule number one for a successful IT implementation is to plan with the customer in mind. The needs of the end user must drive the new system. For example, any new technology or process which is delivering information and services must be delivered in exactly the way that the end users wish to receive it. Salenstedt confirms that public sector services must replicate consumer applications – they need to be easy and intuitive to use, whilst available 24×7 on mobile and PC and must be personalised to the individual users needs.
Secondly, developers need to involve all stakeholders in a collaborative consultation process. It is vital that they ‘show’, rather than ‘tell’ how new functions and solutions will operate. Taking a brand new approach to processes which have been set in stone for years is not easy – overcoming cultural barriers could make or break the project. For example, if the users don’t see the benefit in electronic documents, then they’ll always revert back to paper documents. Involving stakeholders at the outset will help to address these cultural issues.
Authorities can reap the benefits
The benefits are clear as at Skanderborg they reduced the cost of a single ‘traditional’ citizen contact point from 145DKK (£16.50) to just 10DKK (£1.15) by using an online interaction point – this is a huge saving.
Taking a business minded, commercial attitude to public sector reform is perhaps the best approach to managing this difficult process of business transformation. Local authorities can fundamentally change the dynamic within an organisation and the way it interacts with its customers. This can be an un-nerving process but is often essential – a new way of working in which customer experience and customer centricity are embedded in the organisation.