At the recent “Future Cities Virtual Conclave,” DXC Technology’s global public sector offering lead Renae Rowland discussed how SAP industry solutions helped Christchurch City, New Zealand overcome citizen engagement challenges and successfully revolutionised and transformed its government processes through the creation of a citizen-centric technological platform.
Rowland’s talk was the last of the three sessions held in the virtual summit hosted by Elets Technomedia in association with SAP India last 24 July 2020. She discussed in detail how SAP industry solutions—SAP Customer Experience and SAP Commerce Cloud Citizen Engagement Accelerator—increased Christchurch City Council’s system efficiency, reduced citizen call back, and enhanced employee and citizen experience.
The catastrophic earthquake that hit Christchurch in 2011 compelled the City Council to rethink and reimagine its systems—they saw firsthand the strains outdated systems put on the community. Moreover, city council officials were already dealing with challenges from existing issues raised by citizens concerning the lengthy and often complicated processes of sending requests, resolving issues raised, and providing feedback.
Christchurch City needed to make it simpler for citizens to interact and engage with the council and they knew they weren’t going to achieve that with its existing technology platforms and complex business processes that heavily relied on manual interventions. Further, there was a lack of centralised customer data management. To address this, the council came up with the Citizen Engagement Project and decided to partner with DXC Technology and SAP to increase efficiency by leveraging cloud technologies and providing a tailored omni-channel service experience for its 380,000 citizens. The project aimed to:
- automate manual processes
- reduce the number of times the call center has to call customers back
- ensure that there are sufficient and accurate data collected
- provide more choices to citizens on how and when they interact with the council, regardless of their ability or their age
- enable the city council to visualize trends in order to anticipate the needs of the city
SAP Industry Solutions for Citizen Engagement
The Citizen Engagement Project is part of Christchurch City’s 2018-2028 10-Year Long-Term Plan and aimed to modernise the management of organisational information, technology, and citizen experiences in line with the city’s innovative reputation and “Kia Ora” way of life.
The scope of the first phase of the project was automating 46 different services that included things like water connections, waste removal, and graffiti removal. The SAP Customer Experience and SAP Commerce Citizen Engagement Accelerator were the first solutions deployed to create a digital interface that allowed citizens to log requests, raise issues, process services such as paying bills and taxes online, and most importantly, stay updated on the status of their requests and services.
DXC Technology and SAP worked in partnership to deliver the full scope of the program and the 46 services were transformed in just four months according to Rowland. She further notes that council employees were able to configure the system themselves after only a short amount of training.
Implementing these SAP solutions equipped Christchurch City Council to better understand citizens’ needs, enhance employee experience, streamline workflows, and enable employees to concentrate on higher-value tasks. This ultimately led to improved citizen engagement and allowed the council to deliver better outcomes and create projects that met the citizens’ needs.
Looking ahead, the council plans to integrate its ERP systems with SAP S/4HANA to improve the efficiency and agility of its organisation. It is also deploying SAP SuccessFactors to improve and streamline its HR processes.