Vincent MartinezOctober 26, 2021

Why State Agencies Should Embrace the Composable Enterprise

The time is ripe for state and local government to embrace the composable enterprise to further enhance citizen engagement.

During the pandemic, state governments received federal funding and made investments that improved communication with their constituents. Initiatives, such as COVID contact tracing and vaccine tracking, depended on state and local agencies communicating directly with constituents.

As the recent National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) report, The Need for Speed, stated, “The pandemic came on fast, and suddenly states were faced with unprecedented challenges that needed to be dealt with urgently.” State agencies had to deal with myriad issues, including “surging unemployment insurance applications, the need for testing appointments, rental assistance portals, social assistance programs, food assistance programs, vaccine appointment portals, inmate COVID-19 management systems and, more recently, solutions to manage bringing employees back to the office,” the report states. 

To cope with these challenges, state CIOs turned to low-code/no-code technology. This allowed business users to build functional (but generally limited) applications without having to write a line of code, and professional developers to streamline and simplify their work in delivering enterprise applications with little-to-no hand-coding.

The composable enterprise will be built on low-code technology, because it takes a modular approach to software development, where pre-existing building blocks can be quickly reconfigured and reassembled with ease. The goal is to build applications quickly, align them with rapid business changes and enable greater innovation.

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Call Center as a Service (CCaaS) are important foundations that enable agencies to communicate with their constituents, as well as within and across government. Agencies now can enhance that customer experience with the concept of the composable enterprise. By overlaying a whole development platform over their UCaaS and CCaaS solutions, agencies can better integrate cloud applications — such as Salesforce, Medicaid information management systems, unemployment, motor vehicle, taxation, and revenue IT systems that have published API’s into these collaboration and communications platforms.

Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) is the cornerstone. The platform offers a customizable, flexible approach and a comprehensive framework for building or adding a wide range of communications workflows and functions into existing business processes using open application programing interfaces (APIs).

Collaboration is Key

Collaboration across departments is essential for successful implementation of the composable enterprise. CIOs will need to seek out the business unit leaders that are closest to citizen engagement activities. CIOs recognize that they need to collaborate with other departments. A whole range of new positions, such as Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Digital Strategy Officer, and Chief Customer Experience Director, need a seat at the table.  So, the question becomes, who is going to be in the room to help define this journey to the composable enterprise?

  • The first step is to determine who is already in the room.  There will need to be executive buy-in and ownership of this initiative. Sometimes it is multiple people or multiple agencies.
  • The second step is to determine who should be in the room. Who is dealing with constituents daily? The small group dynamic is the best approach. You want the people closest to constituent or customer interaction involved.
  • Third, map out your current processes and determine where you want to be in the future. How do you want interaction with constituents to take place? Many CIOs know about artificial intelligence, voice chat, messaging by text, and setting up processes for constituents to contact them through different channels.
  • Last, but not least: getting everybody to buy into the initiative. This step is imperative to success. Then, roll out the implementation in multiple phases to allow for proper testing and tuning. 

Agencies will need a platform with an open architecture. Think of the high-level architecture as a rectangle, where at the top are the integrations and APIs from the major cloud vendors, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and Salesforce, as well as vendors of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems such as Oracle and SAP.

 

The Avaya platform is UCaaS and CCaaS-agnostic. At the bottom of the architecture are the integration APIs; these incorporate into different communication systems, including Avaya UCaaS and CCaaS, as well as solutions from other vendors.

In the center of architecture is where AI workflows are orchestrated. It doesn’t matter what AI technology the agency is using; the platform should integrate with it. Then, it can pull data from the different tools and send out text messages, web chats, or use AI chatbots to address the top 10 questions coming into a call center, for example.  

Avaya has an architecture with all these capabilities and can help state government agencies build the composable enterprise. Avaya OneCloud Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) is an Avaya public cloud service that offers innovative APIs and Applications as a Service for communications and collaboration.

Today, technology is so advanced that there is really nothing we cannot do. However, there is a gap between what we are doing today and what technology is capable of. The composable enterprise will enable you to enhance citizen engagement as you embark on your digital transformation journey. Avaya can help state agencies understand the composable enterprise and assist you with the journey toward digital transformation.

If you’re a CIO, decision-maker, IT manager, or involved in customer or constituent communications and experience, consider registering for Avaya ENGAGE 2021, our comprehensive event on the future of communications and its impact on digital transformation. With four days of workshops, speakers, networking and experts, ENGAGE is an invaluable opportunity for communications professionals of all levels and industries. The conference will be held at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida from December 12-15.

Why State Agencies Should Embrace the Composable Enterprise

Vincent Martinez

Vincent Martinez brings 25 years of experience working in information technology to the role of Executive Government Advisor at Avaya. He has a unique combination of working as a state government executive, a small-business owner, a sales leader in the technology sector, and serving as a state legislator.

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