Posts tagged "FedScoop"

September 6, 2011

Thoughts on FedScoop’s Lowering the Cost of Government IT Summit

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Last week I had the opportunity to hear Linda Cureton (@curetonl), NASA CIO, at FedScoop’s 3rd Annual Lowering the Cost of Government with IT Summit in Washington DC, an event at which I also spoke (see the brief video we shot below). Linda was the first speaker of the morning and her presentation really resonated with me and the way we at Adobe are trying to help agencies lower the cost of government. She grabbed my attention early on, admittedly after a tough morning at the house, with her admonition “don’t eat your young”.  She made many other great points such as: Don’t be penny-wise and pound foolish; and Measure twice, cut once. However, it was her “don’t eat your young” statement that I want to concentrate on for this post.     

Linda made the point to urge her peers to view innovation as critical for survival. I couldn’t agree more during these times of budget cuts, budget deficits, and the necessity of having to do more with less. As IT leaders, this is the time to innovate. History teaches us that we have always come out of crisis periods stronger and this will be no different.  As government IT leaders, we’ve got to change our way of thinking and Linda drove this point home for me and the audience. Innovation comes from every part of the organization, young, old or just plain-old middle aged like me. As Linda noted, we must encourage new money-saving ideas to continue to provide the services our citizens need.

There’s been much written as of late regarding the consumerization of IT, especially in regards to consolidation and virtualization of our data centers and infrastructures. As Linda noted in her presentation, the low-hanging fruit has been picked. I agree. Government agencies I speak to regularly have all standardized on commodity technologies like virtualization, storage, and networking. We’ve got to move up the stack now and focus on the application layer and how we can consumerize that and make it easier for citizens to engage with their governments on their terms (in person, on the phone, or online) and device (PC, Mac, tablet, mobile). If you’re a government IT leader and you’re looking for ways to save money, look no further. Driving citizen interactions online and off of the phone or a piece of paper will save you money. However, it does take thought and measurement.

That’s what we’re focused on at Adobe, trying to help government agencies move more and more of their interactions online. To drive that online adoption you’ve got to simplify and make that online experience engaging and intuitive. If it’s too hard to figure out online, I know what I personally do. I either skip to another site (not an option for citizens) or I hop on the phone (an expensive option for agencies). At Adobe, we help governments create rich online content with the world’s best digital editing tools. We help move this content online and streamline business processes with best of breed enterprise solutions like the Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform, which helps you leverage the current investments you’ve made in ERP and document management systems. After you’ve moved content and business processes online you need to ensure people like me aren’t abandoning your site because it’s too hard or complicated. We help ensure that doesn’t happen with our Online Marketing Suite. As Linda might say we help you measure twice and cut once, be penny wise, and also help keep your young safe and sound…

3:58 PM 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 20, 2011

Video: FedScoop’s Citizen Engagement and Open Gov Summit

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We were excited to sponsor and speak at last week’s FedScoop Citizen Engagement and Open Gov Summit at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The event brought together leading federal government and industry experts to discuss the state of open government and solutions to better engage citizens.

There was a lot of great discussion, including the morning keynote from Dave McClure (@drdavemcc), Associate Administrator, Office of Citizen Services & Innovative Technologies at GSA, and closing keynote from Chris Vein, US Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Government Innovation, Office of Science and Technology, Executive Office of the President (and, in his previous role with the City and County of San Francisco, the featured speaker at last year’s sf.govfresh event).

Our own Alec Chalmers, vice president of National Government Solutions, also spoke. Alec’s talk was titled “Citizen Experience at the Heart of Agency Missions”. We had a chance to catch a few minutes with Alec directly after the event. Check out the following video for Alec’s take on the event, some of the other speakers and what he covered in his speech.

If you were at the FedScoop event or watched some of the presentations online, let us know your thoughts in comments or on Twitter @AdobeGov.

12:37 AM Permalink