Microsoft has announced Sunderland City Council as the winner of the UK Digital City of the Year award.
Announced at the awards ceremony on the 19 June, the award celebrates the city that has most improved the lives of its citizens, developed their potential and met their changing needs for integrated, digital public services. Sunderland City Council was chosen for its approach to deliver citizen services more efficiently, improving citizen satisfaction while lowering costs at the same time.
This was made possible by the implementation of Optevia’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM-based solution, which has transformed the way the council interacts with its citizens. Speaking to OnWindows, Optevia’s managing director, Tim Vernon, said: “Sunderland has become a 24-hour city. Citizens demand that services are available at all times, but the council also saw that it was important to deliver consistent services across multiple channels. This was made possible through technology and a complete reorganisation of their business.”
Sunderland City Council implemented Optevia’s Local Government Essentials, which is based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, to completely digitise its services. The council also moved to one central contact centre, allowing the council to be able to deal with customer requests at all times.
The council has deployed Optevia’s solution across a range of essential and leisure services, from adult and child social care, to sports facilities bookings.
Parents are now able to register a child for a school online, for example, and the council has since found that the majority of the registrations are made late in the evening. By digitising its services, the council is therefore ensuring that its services are quicker, easier and more convenient for its citizens.
Another example of where quicker citizen services have been particularly appreciated has been in the efficient communication and collaboration between the council and funeral directors. When a family first approaches a funeral director, the director is now able to book the service with the council’s crematoriums online straight away, using a solution that combines case management and scheduling tools, powered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
“Optevia’s Local Government Essentials powered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM has allowed Sunderland City Council to do what it wasn’t previously able to do on its own,” said Vernon. “All councils across the country have common challenges – providing better services and reducing costs – and this award is showcasing to them what they too can achieve through the use of technology.”
Read the full case study here.
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