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March 10, 2023

Governments Institutions Find the Road to Their Digital Transformation Journey

Governments Institutions Find the Road to Their Digital Transformation Journey

Jenifer Bond

Area Sales Leader, US SLED

The demand for digital services has escalated, driving state and local government agencies and educational institutions (SLED) to keep up with the rising expectations of citizens who are accustomed to the speed and efficiency of online services provided by the private sector.

The COVID pandemic accelerated digital transformation initiatives as agencies and educational institutions strived to meet growing demands for remote work, virtual learning, and increased digital services when offices, schools, and business shuttered their doors. As we move into a post-pandemic world, public sector agencies, schools, colleges, and universities want to continue digital transformation, but many are at different stages of this journey.

Many government entities are still hampered by older, outdated systems that do not have the capacity and capability to meet citizen demands while others are making greater strides by deploying advanced technology to foster new ways of interacting with government. Moreover, the SLED market is vast and varied, and each agency, school, and university has its own unique experiences and its own set of requirements.

It is so important for technology vendors to meet customers where they are on their digital transformation journey. Customers need help with innovating and transitioning to new technology without disrupting the processes and operations that help them deliver services to their constituents or serve the needs of students, faculty, and administrators.

Mapping Out a Journey That Focuses on the Outcomes

There are so many opportunities to provide more efficient and effective outcomes and improve the customer experience. It is happening every day, from the digitization of agency records to ensuring eligible residents receive Medicare or Medicaid benefits or applying technology to make sure elderly residents in rural areas are receiving their COVID vaccinations and booster shots.

The first step is to understand where customers are today in their digital journey and map it out from their perspective to better understand priorities. It is important to establish that this is the agency’s or educational institution’s individual journey. The technology vendor should not dictate where the institution should be. We are here to coach and guide and offer the right technology for the right tasks.

Through ideation sessions, we can better understand the customers’ objectives and environment. For example, for a college or university, what are the goals: increase online registration, bring people back to campus, recruit new faculty? Is the institution focused on generating revenue? For example, with the decline in student enrollment, university administrators are looking for ways to generate revenue. A university in the southwest recently completed building a new sports venue, which will also host concerts. Sports events and concerts help generate revenue and these are areas that one might not think about when talking with education institutions.

A huge priority for schools, colleges, and universities across SLED is student and employee safety. So, perhaps an education institution’s highest priority would be to deploy a flexible, reliable, and capable communication platform that integrates well with different campus safety applications, rather than developing a software bot to generate ticket sales.

Innovative Thinking Improves the Customer Experience

Avaya is helping many state and local government agencies and education institutions through their digital transformation journey, improving outcomes and the customer experience.

Dauphin County in Pennsylvania digitized communications, and successfully transitioned from a 25-year-old on-premise phone system to a flexible, modern cloud-based solution. The phone system needed a major tune-up to meet the needs of 40 departments and over 280,000 citizens. Then, COVID struck, and the county needed to shift its focus to transitioning 1,600 workers to telework in three days. Employees did not have laptops, and the county’s aging phone system lacked the functionality to transition to users’ homes. Avaya gave Dauphin County licenses for the Avaya Spaces collaboration application until county leaders were able to find a permanent solution, which ended up being Avaya Cloud Office® by RingCentral.

Dauphin County has used Avaya Cloud Office on the judicial side, as well. Thousands of citizens summoned to court could not go into an actual court room as they normally would during the height of the pandemic. The county used Avaya Cloud Office to create virtual breakout rooms for court officials, lawyers, and citizens to gather. Citizens and their lawyers could meet in one breakout room, lawyers and judges in another, and another breakout room could act as a virtual waiting room as individuals waited to be addressed.

Another example includes a major university children’s hospital that recently moved communications and collaboration platforms into the cloud, tying into the hospital’s benefit systems and patient care portal.  The move streamlined operations for the nursing and ambulatory teams.  Avaya also developed a security application for one large state’s department of corrections that detects if a telephone is off the hook and notifies appropriate staff if something is awry.

Building Long-lasting Relationships at Every Step

The bottom line is Avaya meets state and local governments and education institutions where they are in their digital transformation journey, helping to improve services and support for citizens, students, and employees. Avaya helps capture the endless opportunities of a digital journey that crosses any device or application across various touchpoints.

Avaya can help SLED institutions build employee customer loyalty by creating easy, fully integrated interactions across any channel, any time, while also delivering exceptional digital services to constituents, students, and faculty. We don’t just work with you for a few years, and then we are gone. We build long-lasting relationships and are with you every step of the way along your digital transformation journey.

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