Updated: When Barry O’Farrell’s first one-stop-shop opens its doors next year, its day-to-day operations will depend upon a hosted contact centre system recording customer interactions, providing chat functionality, managing phone queues and call-backs, and providing a consolidated interface from which NSW citizens can access the whole contact centre network online.
The Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) has released a request for quotation (RFQ) to prequalified suppliers for the provision of a fully integrated hosted contact centre platform to support the Service NSW initiative.
Update 30 July 2012: Responses are being sought from suppliers on Government Telecommunications Agreement (GTA) Category 5, which covers the provision of contact centre systems, associated systems and services.
RFQs for a case management system and services associated with the establishment of a desktop environment have also been released to suppliers who are members of NSW State Contract 2020 for IT services. These RFQs are not visible on the NSW eTendering website.
The Contact Centre Platform RFQ is the first of several approaches to market that are expected to take place to set up the significant IT infrastructure required to deliver previously separated government services from a single point.
Service NSW is emerging as a project particularly close to the Premier’s heart. O’Farrell first hinted at plans for the scheme in May 2011, during his first ICT-related address as the leader of the State Government.
The initiative will involve the establishment of 100 one-stop-shop locations across NSW, a 24-hour phone service and an integrated web portal that will offer access to more than 200 different government services regardless of which agency they are owned by. The first 18 shop fronts are due to open in a year’s time.
The Premier estimates it will be worth $4.8 billion to the NSW business community a year by clawing back productivity lost while workers wait to complete government transactions.
The contact centre platform will be required to perform:
- Workforce Management, Forecasting, Rostering
- Robust reporting (both scheduled and ad-hoc)
- Call and desktop recording and storage
- Call queuing, skills based routing and real time reporting
- IVR capability including virtual hold
- Integration layer to present a consolidated view of the contact centre network
- Click to chat functionality
- Call back functionality
Tranche 1 of the deliverables covered by the RFQ will be the configured contact centre platform tested to defined user acceptance test criteria and associated training materials.
Tranche 2 will cover the integration of existing contact centre platforms into the Service NSW infrastructure. This will presumably cover systems currently in operation within high-traffic customer service agencies such as Roads and Maritime Services and NSW Fair Trading.
The end point will be a holistic view of the contact centre network, inclusive of real time and historical data. “The data will be used to make real time queue and operational management decisions and provide comprehensive reporting from a single source,” says the RFQ.
Service consolidation initiatives like this are not new territory for the NSW Government, but O’Farrell’s plan will involve far deeper reforms to the operations of the public service than any that have taken place in the past.
Acting Opposition leader Linda Burney told the ABC that there are 62 one-stop-shops already operating in NSW thanks to NSW Labor.
"One stop shops are a good idea, but for the Premier to hold this out as a brand new shiny announcement and idea is just wrong," she told the website.
The former Labor Government established the nsw.gov.au website and 131 NSW call centre to serve as an integrated point of access to government services. The website, however, serves largely as a repository of links to agency websites, with these agencies retaining full responsibility for service delivery. The phone service doesn’t appear to be promoted any longer.
The range of services and opening hours offered under the O’Farrell scheme will be far broader than the previous offering and, as this latest RFQ reveals, the consolidation of ICT infrastructure in support of Service NSW will be far more comprehensive.