Accelerating Digital Transformation for Council Services
Mar 08, 2022

Accelerating Digital Transformation for Council Services – An imperative for UK Councils

Vijay Somanchi
VIJAY SOMANCHI
AVP, STRATEGIC ALLIANCES AND CLOUD SERVICES
Paul William Wilson
PAUL WILLIAM WILSON
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, DIGITAL APPLICATIONS

Digitization of citizen services is an imperative for the UK councils as citizens look for digital avenues to avail citizen services, engage with government portals and enjoy a seamless experience while accessing information across platforms and services. This trend has been further accelerated during the pandemic. There is evidence that disparate systems are causing operational inefficiencies and siloed information is leading to poor service experiences.

 

 

From our experience working with UK councils, we observe that the technology landscape has evolved over a period, leading to disparate systems that pose challenges in providing a single pane of glass to citizen services. With rising costs of maintaining legacy systems and driving system efficiencies, there is a need to focus on the unification of systems that can bring together fragmented platforms and processes to provide a seamless service experience to citizens. We also observed that councils lack the internal capacity for the development of applications and data to keep services operational. There is a need to design and deploy enhanced services with minimal support capacity which can be insourced by the councils and managed in the long run.

 

Our Solution – Microland eCitizen Accelerator

 

To address some of the pertinent concerns around this topic, we have developed the Microland eCitizen Accelerator, a Microsoft Co-sell Ready solution available on Microsoft AppSource. The Microland eCitizen Accelerator, a one-stop digital solution built on Microsoft D365 that enables citizens to engage seamlessly with councils through simplified forms and allow council officials to act upon citizen requests promptly in a timely manner. The solution facilitates proactive citizen engagement including notifications, service requests, rent and council tax payments, environmental reporting, and licensing. The solution has the potential to empower both citizens and council staff to seamlessly request services and resolve requests with a quick turnaround time.

The Microland eCitizen Accelerator provides a D365 portal with CRM integration that serves as the end customer-facing digital channel for citizen services and provides a unified view with faster response times. The solution provides Automated Processes and Case Management where users have access to prepopulated forms with citizen information for repetitive processes and automated case resolution of citizen queries. The solution has D365 CRM Integration with SharePoint Online for documents management, Power BI for reporting, and Azure AD B2C to provide external users with single sign-on access to internal and third-party systems including Northgate Revenue and Benefits, Capita, Civica Payments, and Mosaic. The Microland eCitizen Accelerator has a predefined services catalogue with over 200 automated processes tailored to the specific needs of councils.

Our solution is modular and provides ease of extensibility for customer data and platform. The solution is built on scalable architecture for advanced configurations and no/low code customization. The solution is SaaS-based and device agnostic. It comes with embedded security providing making it resilient.

As a comprehensive citizen engagement solution which delivers modernized, automated citizen services for local authorities, the Microland eCitizen Accelerator provides various functional modules to cover Council Tax, Housing & Regeneration, Childcare & Family, and a Citizens Portal.

Here are a few salient features of Microland eCitizen Accelerator:

  • By accessing the Citizen portal, residents can manage their case submission, manage Council Tax, Disability Relief, and student discount application, view Council Tax account and request refund, report fly-tipping, abandoned vehicles, and concerns with street-lighting among others
  • From the Council Tax module, citizens have access to online payment options for Council Tax, apply for Disability Band Reduction, apply for a single person discount, access Vacant Property application, and request a Council Tax refund
  • The Housing & Regeneration modules allow citizens to access their Housing Rent Account, request a rent reference and certificate, request a rent refund, provide single sign-on to Capita, redirect to Civica Gateway for rent payment, request a housing repair, apply for a Section 50 license and skip license application, and much more
  • From the Social Care module citizens can request a Care Assessment, a Financial Assessment, a Carer or OT Assessment and apply for Safeguarding
  • By accessing the Childcare & family module, citizens can view their housing benefit account, access discretionary housing payment, access self-isolation payment, access discretionary Council Tax Discount, etc.

The solution comes with comprehensive business and customer solution modules along with dashboards to monitor business performance and track case SLAs. By leveraging analytics and AI, the solution provides Council Tax and Recovery team dashboards.

 

Benefits of using Microland eCitizen Accelerator


Built on Dynamics 365 Customer Service and Power Apps, Microland eCitizen Accelerator is a citizen engagement solution that delivers modernized, automated citizen services for local authorities. Our solution is designed to cover the majority of the Council’s needs with ease of extensibility, and comes with reusable HUB services, simplified processes, and increased solution reusability. We have incorporated several out-of-the-box components including Core Entities, Dynamics Portals, Document Management, and Case Framework. The focus is to drive complete automation through plug-ins, workflows, custom integrations, with a focus on configuration with no/minimal customizations.

 

 

Our solution provides a 360° view of customers and enhances the end-user experience considerably. We have also observed improved request resolutions by 80% TAT, 50% reductions in turnaround time, and 30% reductions in operational costs.

Further Reading