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Release Update: Citizen Services 1.3.2

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Customizable Workflows

From day one, Citizen Services was designed to support all our customers. Whether that’s a small town with 5,000 residents and relatively simple needs, or a major city with a need for more sophisticated features.

In terms of the Service Request workflow, the way we accomplished this historically was by implementing a basic, built-in workflow that would meet most requirements. For customers with a need for a more flexible workflow, we would integrate with a popular resource management system such as Dynamics 365 for Field Service or Cityworks.

Figure 1: Basic, built-in workflow.
Figure 1: Basic, built-in workflow.
Figure 2: Integration with popular resource management systems to allow for configurable workflows.
Figure 2: Integration with popular resource management systems to allow for configurable workflows.

Well, our customers have spoken, and we’ve listened. In this release, we’re introducing more configurable and flexible workflows that are built right into the system.

Enable/Disable Steps

To begin with, customers can enable or disable the Dispatcher and/or Service Owner portions of the workflow. For example, this would allow a workflow where Service Requests could go directly from the Reporter to a Service Engineer (without involving call centers or managers).

Figure 3: Enable or disable portions of the default workflow.
Figure 3: Enable or disable portions of the default workflow.

Conditional Routing

In prior releases, Service Requests were routed to the appropriate department or Engineers based on configurations made at design time. For example, if a reporter clicked on “Potholes”, it was pre-determined where this request would be routed based on the configuration we performed at the time of creation.

What we’ve enabled in this release is the ability to route Service Request dynamically, based on what the user inputs on the request form when making the request.

For illustration, below is a Service Request Type called “Road Feature”. On the form for this Service Request Type there is a required field called “Street Feature Type” where the reporter must narrow down the nature of their request.

Figure 4: Form with dropdown used for routing the request.
Figure 4: Form with dropdown used for routing the request.

In Citizen Services, not only can we change the form based on which value the user selects (as described in the 1.3.1 Release Update), but we can also route the service request to the appropriate group or engineer based on user input.

In the custom workflow configuration below, you can see how we add conditions to define how the service request type will be routed.

Figure 5: Custom workflow with conditional routing.
Figure 5: Custom workflow with conditional routing.

Automatic Assignments

Notice in the screenshot above, not only is the routing defined based on user selection, but we can also have choices about how to assign the work to a specific engineer. We can manually select the engineer, assign based on which Engineer has the fewest open assignments or by round-robin logic.

These tools and options provide a tremendous amount of flexibility for defining custom and dynamic workflows that can be catered to almost any requirement.

Reporter Role

Another way in which we’ve increased the flexibility of the platform is by adding additional Role and Permission Options.

Since its launch, Citizen Services has included a Dispatcher role, which is responsible for request management such as triaging, editing, assigning and closing new service requests. This role might be granted to a city’s call center resources, for example. What we’ve heard from some of our customers, though, is that their call center resources don’t always need all the permissions and capabilities associated with the Dispatcher role. Instead, they want a scaled-down role that can add new service requests on behalf of constituents, and viewing or tracking the requests they’ve submitted (but not able to edit or assign the service requests).

Introducing the “Reporter” role, which does just that.

Figure 6: View of the Reporter role.
Figure 6: View of the Reporter role.

This role allows organizations to assign permissions with just enough capabilities, but not too much.

Clone Service Request Types

One thing our customers love about Citizen Services is how easy it is to create new Service Request Types—even if the person creating it has no technical background. Well, now we’ve made it even easier.

When creating a new Service Request Type, you can create one from scratch, or clone an existing Service Request Type and then edit it as needed. This saves customers a lot of time when setting up or making changes to their portals.

Figure 7: Cloning a service request.
Figure 7: Cloning a service request.

Assign Service Requests to Multiple Engineers

Sometimes tasks are too big for one person to do on their own. For that reason, we’ve added the ability to assign multiple engineers to the same service request.

Figure 8: Multiple Engineers assigned to same Service Request.
Figure 8: Multiple Engineers assigned to same Service Request.

This feature allows better tracking of resources and reflects the reality of how work gets done. In subsequent updates, we will be adding sub-tasks so specific parts of the job can be assigned to each resource.

Portuguese Language Support

Last but not least, we’re always getting requests for more language support. So we’ve added Portuguese to support our friends in Brazil, Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking regions.

Stay tuned! We’ll be posting more updates here very soon!

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Paul O.
Paul O.
During his tenure as Director of Product Strategy, Paul helped evolve AvePoint's market and product strategies as well as product marketing with focuses in sales enablement and product innovation for the Business Productivity portfolio. Paul has been dedicated exclusively to SharePoint since 2006 and has a special interest and deep expertise in Enterprise Search. Paul helped clients worldwide solve business problems by leveraging SharePoint and Enterprise Search, and shares his experiences with the greater SharePoint community by contributing to books, blogging at olenicksharepoint.com, and speaking at industry events worldwide.

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