By Jennifer LeClaire / CIO Today. Updated May 28, 2013.
Salesforce.com just rolled out new mobile solutions aimed at federal, state and local agencies. The enterprise cloud company aims to help agencies better connect with each other, citizens and employees with a social, mobile twist.
Rapid Response 311, Mobile Communities for Government, Government Social Command Center and Platform Mobile Services for Government are the latest government-targeted solutions in Salesforce.com's portfolio. The new technology makes it possible for governments to connect and respond to citizens on any device and any channel, drive agency collaboration with partners, and build mobile government apps faster.
"Serving the public today means being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and doing far more with far less," said Sonny Hashmi, deputy chief information officer/chief technology officer for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). "The GSA has developed more than 100 new apps on the Salesforce platform, averaging more than a 90 percent reduction in total cost of ownership and a 75 percent reduction in development time for the average app."
Government Not Up to Speed
Nearly 90 percent of all smart-connected devices shipped last year were mobile, according to IDC. More people than ever before are connected, but government is not keeping pace with the mobile revolution. The shift to mobile devices offers new ways for government to connect with citizens and employees quickly and provide a new generation of cost-effective services.
Rapid Response 311 promises to help government agencies deliver better service, improve agent productivity and resolve cases faster. Meanwhile, Mobile Communities for Government combines social networking features -- such as profiles, real-time feeds, trending topics, recommendations and influence measurement -- with the critical business information and processes found in Salesforce.
Government Social Command Center helps agencies connect with citizens in real-time wherever they are most engaged, whether on social networks, Web sites or mobile devices. Finally, Platform Mobile Services for Government lets IT build, integrate and deploy any government app that makes data available on any device.
Struggling To Deliver
We caught up with Dan Burton, senior vice president of Government Technologies at Salesforce.com, to get a deeper look at how the technology meets the unique needs of government agencies. He told us budgets are tight everywhere, but government agencies, particularly at the federal level, are facing unprecedented tight budgets due to sequestration and across-the-board cuts.
"Government agencies are very decentralized. Budgets structurally reinforce silos and duplicative systems," he said. "Innovation in public sector lags behind the private sector. Very few government agencies have mobile-enabled solutions, and few are able to serve citizens across all channels."
Business processes and language used in government are different, Burton said. Those differences require translating tools and systems built for private-sector customers. Salesforce.com anticipated all of these needs when it developed its latest solutions.
"Government organizations everywhere are struggling to deliver a new generation of citizen services in the face of shrinking budgets," he said. "To succeed, they must shed the legacy IT systems designed for the last century and embrace mobile cloud solutions that transform their ability to connect with citizens."