Improve Citizen Experiences: 4 Key Questions For Government Agencies Evaluating CRM Solutions

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1 Vlocity Public Sector White Paper 4 Key Questions For Government Agencies Evaluating CRM Solutions 1

2 Technology is transforming almost every aspect of our lives, including our interactions with government. We have come to expect the same speed and ease when dealing with government institutions as we have when streaming a movie, ordering a gift or signing up for car insurance. Forrester has found that poor customer interactions with government can actually reduce people s faith in the institution of government itself. 1 Government agencies, while recognizing these changing expectations, often feel limited in their ability to transform their citizens interactions. They feel constrained by internal pressures, such as budget uncertainty, an extremely competitive IT hiring landscape and a desire to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. Given these constraints, changing existing citizen interaction systems can seem risky, and agencies are particularly hesitant to embark on a lengthy deployment of expensive, on-premises software systems that require significant customization. Instead, agencies want agile delivery of new technologies to help them increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve citizen experiences. Cloud computing is one such technology to which businesses and government agencies alike have turned en masse. As government agencies consider making a change to their citizen interaction software systems, four questions consistently arise: Why should we move our citizen interaction and case management systems to the cloud? Will it be secure enough? Why not just access our own private servers in the cloud? How should we compare cloud-based COTS versus custom-built applications? In this white paper, we ll address these common questions and explain why moving citizen interaction applications to the cloud is a strategic imperative for government agencies. Q1 What are the strategic advantages of cloud hosting vs. on-premises software? Of the many advantages cloud hosting offers government agencies, perhaps the most important is a predictable, on-going cost structure. In contrast, on-premises software requires a large upfront investment in hardware and software with unpredictable future maintenance costs. Cloud hosting also enables rapid deployment and scalability, so you can quickly react to new demands on your systems brought on by new legislation or other changes in circumstances. On-premises software requires your IT team to spend substantial time and resources on the day-to-day tasks of system administration, maintenance and upgrades. When you move your system to the cloud, you free up your team s time and resources to focus on innovation. For example, when the U.S. General Services Administration moved its core functions to the cloud, their IT team was able to build more than 100 apps to manage agency-wide initiatives, such as project management, requests for funding and other agency business processes. More time for innovation also makes it easier for your agency to attract and retain IT talent. As well, cloud hosting typically includes built-in cross-device, responsive application support, so it s easy to deliver your software via mobile devices, enabling your case workers, supervisors and other staff to work on the go and in the field. CLOUD COMPUTING ALLOWS FOR LESS CAPITAL EXPENDITURE: INSTEAD OF AN AGENCY PURCHASING AND MAINTAINING THE INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THEIR COMPUTING NEEDS, A THIRD PARTY PROVIDES AND MAINTAINS THE INFRASTRUCTURE. cio.gov 2 1 Rick Parrish, Forrester, https://www.govloop.com/8-reasons-customer-service-success-agency/ 2 2

3 Q2 Which is more secure, on-premises software or public cloud hosting? Q3 What are the differences between multi-tenant, public cloud platforms and dedicated servers in the cloud? According to Roger Baker, former CIO for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Commerce, public cloud hosting is more secure than on-premises software, in large part because public cloud vendors (also known as commercial cloud vendors) must make security a top priority in order to remain competitive. As well, many cloud vendors serve customers from the finance and healthcare industries, which have stringent security requirements of their own. By using common security controls across an infrastructure which supports all their customers, commercial cloud vendors invest substantially more in security than any one customer could, resulting in a more secure application for all customers. Public cloud vendors provide a high level of security by: constantly updating their offerings; employing new and sometimes purpose-built equipment and software; using standard system configurations to eliminate variance; applying security patches simultaneously for all customers; and building skilled, highly-talented security teams. In contrast, protecting on-premises software from new viruses and breaches requires continuous maintenance patches and security upgrades by your own personnel, which takes up valuable IT team resources and continues to pose a significant liability for agencies. Many of the largest public cloud providers have achieved FedRAMP certification on their infrastructure. For example, the Salesforce Government Cloud is FedRAMP approved and has been granted Authority to Operate (ATO) from the Department of Health and Human Services. THE SECURITY POSTURE OF COMMERCIAL CLOUD VENDORS ALREADY FAR SURPASSES THAT OF MOST OF THE 6,000- PLUS LEGACY FEDERAL DATA CENTERS. Many software providers now offer private cloud hosting, in which your agency s dedicated servers are housed in a private data center, and your employees access your applications and associated data from off-site. However, private data centers lack many of the advantages of the public cloud, such as: Reliability Public cloud hosting companies provide superior uptime, failover and disaster recovery compared to privately-hosted dedicated servers. In contrast, privatelyhosted servers require their own dedicated backup servers in the private hosting environment. These are costly to maintain and are far less reliable than the essentially endless numbers of back-up servers available with public hosting. Flexibility Need to add more users quickly, or have a seasonal surge in the usage of your application? With multitenant cloud providers, your increased demand can be instantly addressed by the massive shared infrastructure of your cloud computing vendor. If you re trying to do that in a private cloud your vendor will need to add more dedicated servers, which takes time and increases your costs. Security Further, security updates in the public cloud are rolled out to all customers at the same time, quickly eliminating vulnerabilities across the entire network at once. In contrast, security updates in the private cloud must be applied to each server one-by-one, just as if they were on-premises, leaving individual servers open to exploit for longer periods of time. BY BRINGING CITY GOVERNMENT INTO THE CLOUD, BOSTON CONTINUES TO MODERNIZE OUR TECHNOLOGY WHILE SAVING TAXPAYER DOLLARS...OUR TECHNOLOGY EXPERTS WILL NOW BE ABLE TO FOCUS ON MOVING THE CITY FORWARD, RATHER THAN MAINTAINING SERVERS. Thomas Menino, Former Mayor of Boston 4 Roger Baker, former Chief Information Officer for the Departments of Veterans Affairs ( ) and Commerce ( )

4 Q4 What are the advantages of cloud-based, Commercial- Off-the-Shelf (COTS) applications vs. custom-built software applications? Cloud-based COTS applications offer software that s pre-built based on industry best practices and can be easily configured to suit your organization s specific needs. These days, COTS applications can be delivered on trusted public cloud platforms, and the provider is responsible for making continuous enhancements and upgrades at no extra cost to the customer. Custom development is when a provider (a systems integrator or consulting firm, or possibly your own IT team) builds a software system specifically for your organization. Maintaining and enhancing the software becomes the responsibility of your organization, requiring ongoing investments of time and money to keep up with new feature requests from your users. These two options are sometimes hard to tell apart, yet they are far from the same and have different long-term implications. In general, cloud-based COTS apps offer the following key benefits over custom development: Rapid deployment Certain COTS apps are industryspecific, so they have already been designed around the business processes of government and are a better match for your existing business processes out of the box. That means you can jump right into the specifics of your implementation and shorten the amount of time it takes to be up and running. Regular upgrades at no extra cost Cloud-based COTS apps typically include regular upgrades and new features as part of the package, with no additional customization or integration, so you no longer need to worry that your agency s technology will become outdated in a few years. With custom development, any new features come with a new scope of work and a new contract with your systems integrator, so the total costs of your system can grow substantially over time. Industry-specific documentation, support and training Once your software is up and running, you ll still need help and support along the way. COTS apps include readily available customer support for the functionality your agency uses on a daily basis. And if something breaks, the provider of the COTS apps will deliver a fix, at no additional cost. Custom development typically only comes with support for general functions; building out support for more specific agency functions comes with an additional price tag. 4

5 Why Vlocity Public Sector Vlocity Public Sector, a COTS application built on the Salesforce1 Platform, enables caseworkers and case managers to facilitate the entire lifecycle of casework - from intake through service planning and delivery - thereby improving outcomes for the citizens they serve. Vlocity Public Sector offers the following key benefits for government agencies: Pre-built functionality for government case management Designed by experts in government case management and developed by engineers experienced in working with government clients, Vlocity mobile and cloud apps are prepackaged with robust functionality for full lifecycle case management, including case intake, eligibility, benefits delivery and appeals. These pre-built case management business processes reduce the risk associated with custom software development and shorten your time to deployment. These pre-built capabilities also ensure that project teams can focus on key integrations and adoption strategies rather than timeconsuming configurations. Continuous flow of enhancements Vlocity provides a regular cadence of government case management updates that are made available in three annual product releases. The Vlocity release timeline mirrors the Salesforce release schedule. Vlocity provides these updates at no extra cost and incorporates Salesforce.com upgrades into the product as soon as they are available. This ensures that our customers will always be running the latest Salesforce1 Platform release with the most up-to-date security patches and new features. And, there s never an expensive custom upgrade to factor into your budget. Built on a proven, secure platform Salesforce.com received FedRAMP certification for its Government Cloud by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in May 2014, and releases continuous enhancements around security, reliability and back-up. Hundreds of government customers use the Salesforce platform today, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the US General Services Administration, and the State of Colorado. Vlocity Public Sector provides applications designed for the business needs of government agencies. Vlocity has incorporated best practices based on our team s years of collaboration with a broad range of federal, state and local agencies to improve customer interaction systems. Our deployment timelines are measured in weeks and months, not years, so you can get the new tools into your employees hands rapidly and with a much lower total cost of ownership than onpremises systems or custom-built solutions. These are just a few reasons why Vlocity Public Sector and the Salesforce1 Platform make a great combination for your complex case management needs. REQUEST A DEMO Salesforce, Salesforce1 and others are trademarks of salesforce.com, inc. About Vlocity Vlocity is the first Industry cloud software company to deliver multiple industry-specific applications on the Salesforce1 Platform. Vlocity Industry Cloud Apps are modern cloud and mobile software solutions that embed deep industry-specific functionality, best practices and business processes. Vlocity helps organizations dramatically improve their omni-channel customer experience at a significantly lower cost of ownership versus on-premise legacy applications, non-industry specific software, or custom development. Our company is led by executives and founders who helped build winning companies including Salesforce, NetSuite, Veeva, Guidewire, Siebel Systems and Oracle. 5

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