By Dick Stark
Several weeks ago I attended a Technology Day seminar that RightStar co-sponsored with BMC, focused on BMC FootPrints Service Core, Asset Core, and ADDM. Hosted by the Orlando Utilities Commission, it attracted more than 30 FootPrints customers from central Florida, including several RightStar customers as well as a large Florida County.
This county’s IT department supports 9,000 employees with a staff of 180, Like most municipalities, the county must deal with budget cuts and increasingly demanding constituents. At the heart of their IT infrastructure sits BMC Service Desk Express for traditional IT functions: Incident, Problem, Configuration and Change Management.
The County understands the value of application consolidation and utilizes more than 140 seats of SDE in a multipurpose fashion. Additionally, SDE is the centerpiece for several case management applications, an HR application, and, most importantly, a 311 application. By dialing 3-1-1, citizens request information and report non-emergency situations such as road potholes. Due to the call volume, the 311 service desk is staffed by 30 full time agents.
In order to provide a transformational customer experience, the County expanded its 311 service to its web site utilizing Magic Portal for self-service. (MagicPortal is a product built and supported by RightStar.) At the website, citizens may download an Android and iPhone app that allows them to submit requests and check the status of their requests. Of course, since the County is in the middle of hurricane country, hurricane preparedness and response is another important use of the system.
One cool benefit is that citizens utilize a GIS based web-interface that allows them to identify precisely on a map where, for example, a traffic light is out, or a dog is barking. The goal is not to just improve service to its citizens by offering an easy to use portal, but also reduce the number of agents required to answer the phone. (This County, like other SDE customers is moving to FootPrints and will migrate its existing applications to the BMC FootPrints platform. This will require a Magic Portal type product and RightStar will assist with this effort.)
This hard work has paid off. Self-service is up and calls to the 311 desk down. Most significantly, in May, the County presented its 311 solution at FEMA headquarters to President Obama and representatives from other Federal Agencies. The purpose of the presentation was to show the president what innovative technologies (for example, BMC SDE and Magic Portal) they implemented to support residents and visitors before, during, and after emergencies.
The County CIO summed it up this way, “President Obama had a really good time with my presentation.” Clearly, the County is using technology to transform its business by better interacting with and serving its citizens.