More responsive citizen services – removing barriers between governments and their citizens

It’s summer—the season of festivals and farmer’s markets, of parades and community picnics. Every event feels carefree and spontaneous, but of course, it’s not. In fact, many organizations must align in order to make each and every event a success.
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Government agencies are commissioned to help maintain cleanliness by removing unsightly graffiti and regularly collecting garbage and recycling. They help ensure public safety by maintaining facilities and providing security or medical staffing when necessary. The list goes on.

With so many moving parts, citizens are guaranteed to make requests—anything from sanctioning an event to filling potholes. How these requests are addressed will inevitably influence the public’s perception of their community leaders and local government.

It’s time for more interactive and responsive citizen services.

In our fast-paced, customer-centric world, the public has grown accustomed to having their needs met on their own terms and on their own time – whenever, wherever, or however that may be.

Online shopping and banking have changed the game when it comes to customer experiences. Users can transfer funds, track their shipment, or even chat with customer service representatives in real time, whether from the comfort of their home or while on-the-go. When it comes to customer engagement, the private sector has set the bar high and citizens want the same experience with their government. Government organizations are struggling to keep pace.

Agencies are feeling increasing pressure to innovate and improve the experience of local citizens through optimized resource allocation. But focusing on innovation is difficult in today’s rapidly-evolving, technological landscape—especially when you’re required to overcome significant internal limitations.

Day-to-day challenges are tough – finding time to innovate is even tougher.

Today, most government organizations aren’t equipped to provide the responsive services, mobile platforms, and user friendly experiences citizens have grown to expect in service-based interactions. However much they may want to modernize, these organizations find themselves held back by legacy systems, siloed technologies, limited resources, and tight budgets.

This often sparks confusion and frustration among the public and a loss of confidence in the government’s ability to respond to their needs.

In order to improve services and gain an edge in today’s digital world, public agencies should prioritize technologies that enable new digital service models and more effectively engage the public. Technology trends such as cloud, mobile, social media, and the Internet of Things present opportunities for innovation that will help bridge the gap between the organization’s mission and the public’s needs. Innovative governments are striving to digitally transform and offer openness and transparency to their citizens.

The AvePoint Citizen Services solution, built on Microsoft cloud technology, modernizes the service experience and enables agencies to optimize responses today, while better planning for tomorrow.

AvePoint Citizen Services leverages Microsoft technology investments like Azure and Dynamics CRM to give cities the ability to provide information and deliver optimal service to citizens through multiple access channels, including mobile and social platforms. Agencies can layer in technologies over time, improving services with capabilities that are compatible with both new and existing infrastructures.

AvePoint Citizen Services provides a centralized portal where the public can easily submit service requests from anywhere, at any time, and on any device. Alternative solutions can be cumbersome and complex, but AvePoint Citizen Services has a familiar, easy-to-use interface that simplifies adoption.

By minimizing manual processes that drain time and resources, AvePoint Citizen Services improves service quality and public satisfaction. It provides a single pane of glass for managing isolated systems, improving efficiency and reducing the risk of human error.

AvePoint CitizenServices. Built on Microsoft Cloud Technology
New technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning create opportunities for proactive government organizations.  Sensors on city infrastructure can automatically alert repair crews to issues before they are apparent. Systems will learn to recognize patterns of potential problems before they become emergencies.

Perhaps most critically, the insights gained from the advanced reporting capabilities of AvePoint Citizen Services enable rapid and precise identification of inefficiencies, so that agencies can reduce operating costs, streamline processes, and promote accountability between departments.

Get started today.

Microsoft and AvePoint can help your agency connect with its citizens and promote innovation in today’s increasingly digital world. Unlock your potential today with the AvePoint Citizen Services solution. Learn more about the solution on the AppSource marketplace.

Working Together to Digitally Transform our Public Sector Clients

Today, the world finds itself in the midst of a rapid digital transformation. The speed at which technology is altering our day-to-day lives is unprecedented. And advanced technologies such as the cloud, big data, machine learning, and mobile computing are dramatically improving the standard of living for citizens around the globe.

Yet while technologies such as these are generating jobs, improving public services, and creating safer communities for billions of people, they remain out of reach for a large segment of the global population. Indeed, 60 percent of the world’s citizens remain excluded from the benefits of the digital economy. This inequality is a prime focus of the United Nation’s 17 sustainable development goals, which aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.

Our mission at Microsoft is to empower “every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.” And we believe that together with our partners’ products and services, a new wave of Microsoft technology will not only help governments, health organizations, and education institutions digitally transform but also meet the needs for many customers who are not being served today. Through digital transformation, governments can better engage citizens, empower healthcare workers to be more productive, optimize public safety operations, transform educational institutions, and improve their effectiveness through data-driven decisions.

Partners play a critical role in our mission, providing customized solutions and the vertical industry expertise that customers want and need. At the 2016 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), we’ll be gathering with partners from around the world, to discuss how to accelerate positive changes for customers everywhere. The upcoming conference from July 10-14 in Toronto will be a time to reflect on partner successes, while creating opportunities for learning and networking—so together we can accelerate future progress.

Celebrating partner successes

One way we celebrate our partners is by recognizing exceptional innovation—and there have been numerous examples of public-sector successes over the past year. A special congratulations to our Public Sector Partners of the Year, each of which has developed solutions and services that exemplify the top-level excellence that’s possible:

  • Government: SoftBank Technology, Japan. SoftBank developed the Agricultural Farmland Information System, which provides government leaders, workers, and farmers with an overview of farmland across Japan and how it is being used. The solution supports Japan’s national growth strategy for agriculture, improves social inclusion, and drives environmental sustainability.
  • Education: 3P Learning, Australia. A global, cloud-based education company, 3P Learning offers e-learning programs in mathematics, literacy, and science that are used by 5.3 million students in more than 100 countries. 3P migrated from a hosted datacenter to the public cloud on Microsoft Azure to support the 2015 World Education Games where 6 million students from 166 countries spent more than 128 million minutes answering 133 million math, literacy, and science questions.
  • Health: Innana S.A.S., Colombia. Innana’s Azure-based Healthicloud Electronic Health Record solution offers healthcare workers rapid access to critical patient information anytime, anywhere, resulting in increased clinician productivity, better patient outcomes, and improved capacity and cash flows. Further, some customers are broadening access using new, innovative offerings such as telemedicine and home care.
  • Public Safety and National Security: SMS Management & Technology, Australia. To enhance Australia’s security, SMS eBorderForce provides an operational communications and collaboration platform that captures data for high-risk deliveries for analysis and investigation. It offers offline capability and enables officers to use their Surface tablets to intuitively capture and store the inspection details to upload later if out of range of a mobile data signal.
  • Microsoft CityNext: COPA-DATA, Austria. COPA-DATA used its Zenon for Smart Cities solution in combination with Microsoft Azure to help its customers become more energy efficient by automatically collecting and analyzing energy data. Using Zenon to evaluate energy data, cities can reduce energy costs and optimize their equipment, lowering the total cost of ownership of their energy control and monitoring solutions.

Looking ahead

In the coming year, we will continue to work closely with our partners to close the “digital divide” and further transform our mutual public sector customers. Whether it’s delivering world-class cloud services in the classroom, creating solutions that improve healthcare, digitizing services to give police better situational awareness, or utilizing cloud-based analytics to bring about energy-efficient cities, our goal is to help our partners harness Microsoft technology to solve society’s most pressing challenges.

Please see our other WPC blog posts to learn more about what our partners are doing in the areas of government, education, health, public safety and national security, and Microsoft CityNext. Also, be sure to join me at WPC on Monday, July 13 from 2:30 PM to 5 PM at our to learn about accelerating opportunities for your business.

I look forward to meeting you!