With council budgets stretched and the need to show both customer value and savings quickly, the move towards low code CRM solutions has been underway in local authorities for some time.
At Optima, alongside our other technical capabilities, we currently support councils who have, or are, implementing Granicus’ govService platform. It’s a great product and provides fantastic value, providing it is properly thought out and well implemented.
Like all solutions, govService has pros and cons and may not be suitable for all use cases. On the plus side, licensing is easy to understand, it’s cost effective compared to some other CRM solutions and highly intuitive, with a brilliant graphical user interface that makes building online forms far easier.
It’s easy to manage the environments and there’s an active user community. Being a SaaS solution, it has all the usual benefits such as high availability, fast performance and the security and resilience credentials that you would naturally expect.
For simple procedural processes like reporting something and being able to track different stages of business flow, it’s ideal and there are lots of examples of councils processing high volume, low complexity services through it.
One key area we often see engagement with clients on is complex integration work. This typically means integration with back-office solutions such as Civica APP, Whitespace, Northgate, Alloy and more. These solutions require more complex solution architecture design that may include multiple integrations to allow the platform to work at its best (such as databases, APIs and more). We often need to think about ‘pain points’ before building the solution that councils only usually find after initial implementation.
Many govService users have mistakenly thought that low code means they don’t need any outside development capability, there are many instances where the platform has been set up and then access handed out to departments and a ‘wild west’ scenario has happened with lots of online forms created, but without consistency in the design, and without much thought about how the front end flow needs to trigger service in a back office system and back again are a common occurrence too.
Quite a few councils have predicted financial benefits based on customers moving online to view progress updates but haven’t considered how to ensure triggers work from front to back office and vice versa.
Our experienced technical team has seen just about every one of these scenarios and can not only help but can provide knowledge transfer to in-house teams too. We also work in partnership with experienced service design and transformation specialists, Change Network, who complement our development capabilities with wrap around services that support process design, service re-configuration, programme oversight and benefits realisation.
So, if you want to go from ‘good to great’ we’d be happy to help – just get in touch, without obligation.