A number of jurisdictions are refreshing their technology or otherwise becoming more serious about their ability to provide multi-service channels to their citizens. In the most recent move, Service SA has issued an RFP for the modernisation of its service delivery technology. Tasmania, NSW and Queensland are also highly focussed on citizen-centric services.
Service South Australia (Service SA), the State’s ‘one stop shop’ for Government information and services is intent on promoting a citizen centric culture across the SA public sector and has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to replace its existing suite of service delivery technology in a bid to create “a more integrated and advanced contemporary solution”.
The agency requires the new technology to offer timeliness, enhanced interaction and an ease of access.
The infrastructure upgrade is seen as an enabler to the state’s Strategic Plan to increase the public’s satisfaction with Service SA by 10 per cent by 2014. It is also intended to comply with a number of other strategies Service SA is implementing.
According to tender documents Service SA’s current technology is nearing end-of-life. Contract expiration has provided the opportunity to test the market for replacements to:
- Telstra WebCC – Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) Contact Centre technology;
- QMatic – Customer Flow Management (CFM) technology within the Customer Service Centres; and
- GMT – Workforce Management technology supporting service delivery.
The agency is seeking a solution “that can be implemented in a progressive and staged manner” and expects the solution to contain a Knowledge Management System, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and customer satisfaction survey technology as well as additional self-service and online options.
Tender documents state that “one of the overarching goals of this procurement is for an overall solution that is either all within one platform or a minimum of platforms”. The Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) is listed as the preferred core platform and must be fully integrated with the CFM system. The new Knowledge Management Solution can be a standalone system.
The replacement technology will assist Service SA to support a number of existing strategies including the One Workforce Strategy. To support this strategy, Service SA is employing technology “that allows flexible use of staff across its contact centre, virtual contact centre and customer service centre network”.
The implementation of new workforce management technology is expected to enhance the agency’s ability to further the strategy.
Proposals for the Service SA technology replacement are due to be submitted by 27 November 2013.
Service Tasmania is currently undergoing a similar technology transformation to SA through a series of projects. In February 2013, the agency finished implementing the replacement of its aged information management system, Quest, with the Procedural Information Management System (PIMS) project.
According to the agency’s 2011-12 Annual Report, Quest was “increasingly difficult to support, limited in capacity and functionality, and unable to be upgraded without major investment”. The new system, implemented by Eclipse Computing, uses SharePoint software and provides staff with mobile, detailed operational and service information.
The agency is also undertaking a Voice Services Project which aims to replace its existing Spectrum technology. The 20 year-old system which services over 22,000 customers will be replaced with a more “agile and cost effective” system. In line with this, $4.4 million was allocated in the 2013-14 Budget for an ‘Integrated Tasmanian Government Contact Centre Project’ which aims to ensure that the services are “effective and sustainable” by integrating a number of disparate contact centres.
The system will be required to inform customers of their estimated wait time on the phone.
A Queuing system assessment was flagged as a future project in the agency’s 2012-13 Business Plan.
New South Wales
Service NSW was launched in July 2013 with nine service centres across the State and has an additional nine yet to open. It sits within the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DP&C) and provides access to services from Roads and Maritime Services (part of Transport for NSW); Fair Trading; and Births, Deaths and Marriages (both part of the Department of Finance and Services). More services are intended to be added to these centres in the future.
The 2013-14 NSW Budget allocated $34.4 million in Capital Expenditure to DP&C for “Service NSW fit outs and Customer Service Technology”. The Budget also indicated that $93.5 million in Operational Expenditure was expected to be spent on Service NSW during 2013-14, but did not specify by which agencies.
In 2002 Queensland implemented a central online service hub, Smart Service Queensland (SSQ). Seven years later, in 2009, the agency responsible for SSQ, the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA) specified that 50 per cent of all Government services should be delivered through SSQ by 2012. However, a Report by the Queensland Audit Office in 2013 found that only 28 percent of services are currently online.
The Audit Report states, “The requirement that online services be delivered through Smart Service Queensland was not enforced, and take-up of its services has fallen well below initial projections, calling into serious question the cost-effectiveness of this business model.”
Furthermore, the DSITIA 2012-13 Annual Report states only 53 percent of clients were satisfied with the service from SSQ. DSITIA’s current client satisfaction target is 65 percent but the agency does not specify how it will achieve this higher target.
The 2013-17 Queensland ICT Action Plan states that by June 2014 all agencies must have 100 per cent of their information online and 80 per cent of transactional services online by June 2015.
However, this June 2015 target of 80 per cent of transactions has since been revised down to 60 per cent in the Queensland Government's November 2013 draft Queensland Digital Economy Strategy.
The draft strategy, which has been released for public consultation, aims to help Queensland embrace “the full potential of the digital economy", according to IT Minister Ian Walker. "We are working hard to transform the way services are delivered – through easy access to digital channels which best suit the changing needs of all Queenslanders."
The strategy outlines a potential partnership between the Queensland Government and the local digital industry to implement the One-Stop Shop initiative. The scope of the Queensland Government’s one-stop-shop could go beyond customer-facing services, with the strategy proposing the development of a business and industry “online portal that supports the One-Stop Shop initiative delivering business-facing services of the Queensland Government”.
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