Phase one – delivering an integrated and multi-channel self-service capability
Work began on further integrating MCS data with back office systems, providing more automated feedback to citizens and adding 13 new report types covering areas such as potholes, bus shelters, footpaths and kerbs, fly tipping, street litter and salt bins. Self-service capabilities were enabled across the synchronised suite of smartphone native applications (iOS, Android, Blackberry) and as browser-based web forms via a customer portal on www.wiltshire.gov.uk.
Integration of data from MCS with existing back office systems
Wiltshire wanted the data from the MCS system to integrate with its existing back office systems, so that changes in status of a service request, for example from ‘open’ to ‘in progress’ to ‘resolved and closed’, would be reflected in the back office system as well as in MCS. To enable this integration, Wiltshire developed its own in-house software bridge to link MCS with Mayrise and Exor. This allows automated updates to flow between the different systems and provides a full audit trail of each issue raised from customer submission through to closure, along with feedback on progress to the citizen.
The platform is scalable so other line of business applications can be added as required. The Highways Team can now automatically allocate jobs to internal officers as well as to operatives out in the community, both council employees and third party contractors. The integration with Mayrise supports the street lighting service category and is managed by the consultant Atkins. Exor, the Highways’ CRM system, also integrates further into a contractor’s line of business system (namely Balfour Beatty Living Places).
No need for complex IT installations
Almost all the configuration work was done in-house, meaning that Wiltshire avoided an ‘implementation heavy’ enterprise CRM application. As the project progressed it moved beyond just the Highways Team into other service areas including car parks, traffics lights, pedestrian crossings and trees. This presented Wiltshire with an opportunity to pilot the MCS Contact Centre module (a CRM system) with a view to replacing elements of its existing CRM product.
The programme team at Wiltshire worked closely with the MCS implementation team at Abavus in order to ensure that operational business processes were correctly documented. Such processes are complex and reflecting them accurately in the technology is crucial to success. The primary goal of Phase One of the project was to deliver a closed loop system in which all the relevant data about the outcome of the service request is fed back to the person who first raised the request. This was achieved, enabling Wiltshire to move on to Phase Two.
Phase two – enabling more complex self-service processes
Wiltshire Council used the confidence and knowledge it developed during phase one of the project to launch more complex self-service processes during phase two, further adding to the return seen on its original investment. In phase two of the project the strategic focus was on the following areas:
- Enabling more complex self-service transactions such as automating the process of applying for a student bus pass, establishing an applicant’s eligibility and taking their payment.
- Further implementation of the MCS Mobile Worker module to allow service requests to be allocated and distributed directly to remote and mobile workers so that they can work more effectively and productively.
- The increased use of MCS Contact Centre module to enable more advanced back office processes such as the ability to assign a service request to another person in a different team and enabling that person to then take responsibility for the resolution of the service request.
- The launch of MCS’s social media incident reporting tool which enables Wiltshire to respond to issues raised by citizens on social media through an integrated service request process.
- Introduction of a case management system which has helped Wiltshire staff keep track of complex service requests involving multiple people and steps.
- Using the Case Management system keeps all the notes about a case accessible in one place to everyone who needs it.
Beyond phase three
Wiltshire Council’s use of My Council Services has developed in line with its initial plans and expectations. Key milestones have been reached and targets exceeded. The investment has been managed in phases with further money only released once previously agreed outcomes were met. As usage of My Council Services has grown so the scope of the project has expanded in line with Wiltshire’s developing business needs. New areas continue to emerge where Wiltshire Council and Abavus will collaborate to deliver the ongoing transformation programme.