Onyx teams with Microsoft for local government CRM
The CRM software provider Onyx Software Corporation has announced a three-way alliance with Microsoft Corporation and Unisys Corporation to provide CRM-based software solutions and services for the US local government market, specifically addressing non-emergency citizen service (or '3-1-1') initiatives.
The solution combines Onyx CitiServe (a CRM solution designed for North American cities and counties to manage citizen requests), Microsoft's .NET software platform, and Unisys' government consulting expertise and integration services.
According to Onyx, a growing demand for the so-called 3-1-1 services to meet non-emergency citizen needs is prompting local governments to evaluate CRM - in many cases for the first time. The three partners aim to educate local governments on the value of .NET-enabled CRM applications by developing a 3-1-1-resource portal, producing webcasts, and participating in government industry events. As a first step, the trio will host a webcast on June 23rd 2004, featuring John Kost, managing vice president and industry analyst for Gartner, discussing critical issues and supporting technology in local government.
Role models "The 3-1-1 call centres being implemented by local governments will serve as a design point for broader public sector CRM initiatives," explained Amy Santenello, government strategies analyst for META Group. "As local governments expand CRM initiatives they will seek solutions capable of not only capturing customer data but providing the analytical capability to evaluate constituent interactions in an effort to refine service delivery strategies."
Onyx CitiServe combines with the .NET Framework and Windows Server technology to power a 3-1-1 infrastructure enabling cities and counties to respond to, track and measure citizen inquiries. Onyx CitiServe is a multi-channel solution that includes a CRM application for employees to manage citizen requests in a single database, a citizen portal allowing citizens to log and track service requests online, and reporting and analytics software providing government officials with real-time information on citizen service levels and call centre effectiveness.
Great potential "As 3-1-1 initiatives begin to build momentum across North America, there is tremendous opportunity for local governments to reap the benefits that the private sector has realised by using CRM," said Ben Kiker, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Onyx Software. "Together, Onyx, Microsoft and Unisys are offering a turnkey 3-1-1 solution that city and county officials can use to enhance citizen service levels, reduce costs through operational efficiencies, and demand accountability from their services and programmes."
"This alliance is an expansion of the long history shared by Microsoft, Onyx and Unisys," said Mark Young, general manager for developer and platform evangelism at Microsoft. "Microsoft understands the vital importance of 3-1-1 to local communities and is committed to working with vendors like Onyx who utilise .NET to deliver highly targeted solutions."