How to Accelerate Citizen Services Success

Post Date: 06/11/2018
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Interested in learning how IT modernization is transforming Citizen Services? Be sure to check out our new free eBook on the topic!

Public agencies need to leverage technologies that enable new digital service models and effectively engage the public. 

Advancements in technology can challenge government agencies to meet rising citizen expectations, but they also provide an opportunity for them to modernize operations. By using the latest in technologies, government services can become more responsive, transparent, and efficient for citizens. The more the services improve, the easier it becomes for citizens to be happy with their governments. 

Intuitive Citizen Services Solutions

This is where our public sector solution powered by Microsoft Azure, AvePoint Citizen Services, can help. It’s designed to help governments facilitate non-emergency citizen services, automate case management, and expedite incident reporting. The solution is built on the latest Microsoft cloud technologies — including Azure Machine Learning, Cortana Intelligence Suite, Dynamics CRM, Power BIAzure IoT Hub, and Windows 10 —and has three core capabilities.:  

  1. Enable citizens to quickly report everything from potholes to broken streetlights to graffiti, wherever they are and from any device.  
  2. Automate the management of these cases so that once a report is made, it’s sent to a centralized government portal and then automatically assigned to a field worker. The citizen who reported the incident will then continue receiving regular updates until it’s resolved.  
  3. Provide detailed reporting capabilities that enable government agencies to review and act upon data trends over time. 

citizen services

Empowering Citizens with Automation 

With greater access to services on the civilian side and a better way to gather information on the government side, the public sector can partner with its people to achieve a more efficient community. Citizens are the eyes and ears of society and make use of public services every day. This naturally means that there’s a multitude of people who can identify and report service disruptions. 

Offering citizens a convenient way to alert public services to these issues using their mobile devices will allow problems to be resolved faster. Online self-service portals, downloadable mobile apps and automated phone systems gives users an easy  way to report service disruptions or maintenance issues.  

If you are interested in looking to modernize  IT to enhance citizen services, check out our newest eBook: Transforming Citizen Services Through IT Modernization 

This is where cloud solutions from Microsoft, such as Dynamics, can incorporate feedback that allows government officials to stay informed of issues and engage with citizens. Smart solutions, like AvePoint’s Citizen Services, can help automate the routing of requests to the proper response team with an appropriate level of priority.  

Opportunities with the Internet of Things (IoT)

By connecting traditionally “dark” things to the internet, public sector organizations can better collect and use data to anticipate needs and respond to outages and service disruptions. This is where Microsoft technologies, such as the Azure IoT Suite, can help public sector organizations make the most of IoT. Users can pair with Dynamics to track progress, pair with Cortana Intelligence Suite for voice recognition, and pair with AvePoint Citizen Services to resolve issues faster and more intuitively.  

With IoT and predictive analytics, government agencies can spot issues before citizens even encounter them. Capabilities such as these can help governments save substantial time and money. 

For example, consider a city public works department in charge of maintaining streetlights. Using the IoT capabilities of AvePoint Citizen Services, department officials can be imediately notified when a streetlight bulb burns out — without waiting for a citizen to report it.  And, by combining IoT with Azure Machine Learning, they can actually predict which bulbs are about to fail and change them before they do. 

Connectivity and Efficiency in the Field 

Just as citizens are using a variety of new mobile devices to stay connected, field workers can benefit from them too. By equipping field workers with smartphones and tablets, it’s easier to track the progress of response teams and alert them to new properties. There are a myriad of benefits when field workers use the right devices and connect to the service portal. This includes quick status updates and the option to include additional support when needed.  

Using these devices can help field teams map the most efficient routes or re-prioritize to respond to more urgent issues. Workers will then be able to use this data to create more efficient daily assignments for increased productivity.  

It’s important for government agencies to identify the right mobile devices and ensure that these are equipped with intuitive software that can be used safely and quickly from anywhere. Location services, like Cortana Intelligence Suite and Dynamics, mean it’s easier for field workers to keep teams updated, request additional support, assign new tasks, or inquire about route information. 

citizen services

Informing Citizens Through Transparency 

According to Gallup, as of 2016, 71 percent of Americans have trust in their local government’s ability to solve problems, a nine percent decrease from 1999. This is where local governments can step up and use smart technologies to better serve their citizens and regain that trust. 

By creating mobile apps, customized apps, or automated communication services, vigilant citizens can stay updated on the status of issues they report. Keeping citizens up-to-date on progress can help build that trust. It also enables citizens to better understand their role in maintaining public services and know when issues are resolved.  

Using Data to Make Better Decisions 

The public sector relies on the monitoring of projects, budgets and overall efficiency of the organization, just like any business. Reporting is a keystone for the public sector in terms of transparency and accountability – the public wants to know how the government spends their tax dollars.

Once your organization has generated data from community portals, IoT sensors, and field teams, the unified systems that include Microsoft Dynamics (or Azure SQL databases depending on need), PowerBI, and Azure make it easy to pull real-time progress reports, visualize the data, and add these data visualizations to their presentations and documents.  

By being able to easily and intuitively visualize data, organizations can make better decisions and continue to improve public service offerings. Over time, the data can also be used to help predict future needs in the community or infrastructure, to better allocate resources, and reduce waste.  

Utilizing AvePoint Citizen Services enables managers to visualize the number of graffiti incidents by month, time of day, and area of the city—enabling them to discern patterns and then take proactive action that prevent these incidents from occurring in the future. 

Gathering relevant data and using it wisely for smarter services is what AvePoint’s Citizen Services is all about. It enables citizens to easily partner with the public sector to improve services though data, intuitive tools, and analytics.  

If you’re interested in learning more about Citizen Services or seeing a demo, get in touch with AvePoint for more information! 

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Spenser Bullock is a former AvePoint Channel Solutions Engineer, focused on enabling partners and their customers to utilize and maximize their Microsoft 365 technology adoption and usage.

View all posts by Spenser Bullock

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