October 8th, 2008
- Organizational Transformation
- Citizen Engagement
- Business Value and Results through Technology
- Team Work
MSBR Revenue Management Project, Ministry of Small Business and Revenue
Description - Faced with low revenue collection and declining customer service across various ministries, the Government of British Columbia (BC), through the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue, developed a Centre of Excellence (COE) focused on streamlining and simplifying revenue management across government while ensuring excellence in customer service.
Objectives - This project encompasses the implementation of the innovative Centre of Excellence for Revenue Management that combines IT Services; outsourcing and re-engineering of the Government's revenue management business processes; and the design, development and implementation an integrated technology environment. It is part of the revenue management services provided under the Alternative Service Delivery (ASD) agreement signed with EDS Advanced Solutions (EAS), Inc. in 2004.
The Revenue Management System enables the Ministry to consolidate revenue management under the Centre of Excellence for revenue and debt collection. The application is an advanced, SAP-based Revenue Management System that integrates client ministry source system (where the debt is established), imaging (for remittance processing) and telephony (for customer contacts).
- Commitment of the Ministry, EAS and its partners to using best practices in all approaches to this transformative project.
- Emphasis on organizational change management.
- Monthly project reviews with consistent and effective Client Dashboard reporting.
- Used lessons-learned from implementation best-practices.
- Engaged external third-party consultants to undertake both pre and post-implementation reviews of the project.
Results - The radical transformation achieved through this innovative approach has led to the Province of British Columbia being considered to be one of the global leaders in revenue management, resulting in many requests from organizations around the world to discuss elements of this project.
In November 2007, the project received the Canadian Information Productivity Gold Award for Excellence in Customer Centricity, in recognition of the transformation and improvement in customer service. This award recognizes visionary organizations developing innovative results-based technology.
WelcomeBC, Ministry of Advanced Education
Description - British Columbia had long heard that newcomers and potential newcomers to the Province were forced to navigate a maze of online resources to facilitate the immigration and settlement process. Given the economic and social benefits immigration brings to BC, the Province has met this need by creating WelcomeBC.ca, a comprehensive, one-stop, website for information on immigrating to BC and enjoying the many benefits BC can offer a newcomer.
- Improve access to information, programs and services for immigrants to BC, potential immigrants, their families, sponsors and immigrant serving agencies.
- Allow for streamlined access to information on services and programs from all levels of government and relevant community-based organizations.
- Allow for client-centered information.
- Translate the information needs of the client segments and related communities of interest into business requirements.
- Implement a governance structure to sustain the management, maintenance and continuous improvement of the web site.
Citizen Centric Service Delivery Channel Transformation: The project sought to engage potential users through a unique 20-week Customer Segmentation Program. Input from immigrants, potential immigrants and service agencies informed the design and development.
Demonstration of leading practices in Citizen Centric design for the Web Channel: The website brings innovation to the way government communicates via the web. It provides targeted information for individuals based on where they are in the immigration process.
Inter-jurisdictional Integration (IJI): BC obtained a federal commitment for multi-year funding to develop immigration information online. To leverage the funding cycles, the project team strategically planned the roll out of WelcomeBC.ca in three phases. WelcomeBC.ca secured the active participation of 11 provincial ministries.
Public and Private Sector Partnerships: The core project team represented a unique partnership between Ministry of Attorney General business and technical representatives, IBM, and several program areas within the Ministry of Labour and Citizen Services and leveraged resources from IBM through Service BC's 8-year IBM/Service BC Agreement.
Results/Successes - WelcomeBC.ca consolidated information on immigrating to BC from 11 provincial and 4 federal websites. Web analytic reports indicate an average of 14,000 visitors each month (without any marketing).
Using the axiom of "no wrong door", WelcomeBC.ca includes a wide cross-section of immigration content. The advantage to clients is clear - there is no need to shop around for information or second-guess sources, WelcomeBC.ca can be your first and only source for immigration information.
A governance structure was created through a partnership with the sponsor ministry and LCS for the project development and implementation, and for the continued maintenance of the site. A change request protocol ensures content changes are executed within 24 hours.
Business Value and Results through Technology
Data Centre Server Consolidation and Virtualization Project
Description - Technology is often a key component in driving business results. This award category recognizes the achievement of superior business results through the use of technology.
Organization - Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Services, Shared Service Accommodation and Real Estate Services (ARES)
Location - Victoria
Accommodation and Real Estate Services (ARES) were faced with increasing requirements for additional servers to accommodate new applications, software development, and overall growth. ARES was also faced with increasing and costly server sprawl and data centre capacity constraints.
The traditional approach to increasing requirements is to add more equipment which also increases support resource requirements, maintenance contracts and physical environment costs. The ARES team decided to evaluate the feasibility of non-traditional approaches with the objectives of reducing server sprawl and standardizing technology; provisioning multiple technical environments for development and complex business applications; providing non-disruptive, sustainable, scalable, flexible and maintainable Solaris and Intel servers; containing overall costs of operating the data centre; and redeploying retired servers for a disaster recovery infrastructure.
The solution embraced virtualization technologies that enabled server consolidation using Intel-based VMWare, SUN Solaris 10 containers, and shared storage to develop a multi-platform and flexible server infrastructure. This substantially reduced the overall number of servers, maintenance, resource, and data centre infrastructure costs. Servers were reduced by 45.5%, space consumed by 50%, and cooling requirements by 29% while still meeting a greater than 300% growth in required technical environments (from 25 to 80). The reduction in power consumed is estimated at 50% contributing to a significant reduction of the ARES carbon footprint that was given recognition by BC Hydro. Costs savings of $480,000 per year were achieved from reduced hardware and software support and maintenance charges alone.
The project was comprehensively initiated, planned, executed, controlled and closed out. Project objectives were focused on containing project scope. The project was implemented in stages ensuring stakeholder involvement; training and successful testing was achieved before production rollover to the new systems. Comprehensive measures were developed, and lessons learned at each phase were incorporated into subsequent phases to streamline work in each migration.
This project established a working, showcase "proof of concept" within the public sector of the value for business delivery, cost savings, and reduction in environmental impact of server consolidation using innovative virtualization ideas and techniques. While arguably a technical project, it also required substantial understanding and re-thinking of business processes by business users of the technology. Traditional technical costs and schedule constraints on innovative business ideas are substantively reduced enabling flexible and nimble business response, but new processes to control and manage the ease of growth are now required.
Description - The ability to innovate is one of the most elusive yet most sought after organizational capabilities. Organizations with this capability will find more efficient and effective ways of doing things. Projects in this category should demonstrate:
- New product or service development resulting from the application of existing, or new technology.
- Improvements to existing products or services.
- Breakthrough business process improvements.
- Achievements in research and development, technology and/or infrastructure.
Organization WorkSafe BC
Location - Richmond BC
WorkSafeBC is a provincial agency dedicated to promoting workplace health and safety for the workers and employers of British Columbia.
For the WorkSafe Mobility project, officers were equipped with Windows XP Tablet PC Edition units and wireless connectivity. WorkSafeBC built a platform known as WorkSafe Mobility that enables officers to enter workplace safety data in real-time using wireless connectivity.
The WorkSafe Mobility platform has the following features:
- An ability to operate both online and offline;
- It is connection and speed aware and reacts intelligently and gracefully to changes in the connection state;
- It contains a smart maintenance feature that ensures that the most current version of the application components is available;
- New templates (like the Employee Fact Sheet) provide information required by officers in an organized way and save time by taking data collected to pre-populate the forms;
- Smart Queue management enables the system to provide highest priority work to officers;
- It is environmentally friendly in that it minimizes the need to travel for officers; and
- Integrates into WorkSafe's single sign-on application, making it much more user friendly.
To secure the data on each Tablet PC, each officer's Tablet has individual databases. Coupled with the Windows Encrypting File System (EFS), WorkSafeBC can encrypt the entire database without any impact on worker productivity.
- The average inspection time has been reduced from 4 to 3 hours - a 25% productivity improvement.
- With the wealth of data accessible to them through WorkSafe Mobility, officers are now able to enter a work site fully aware of that organization's current safety status and armed with a full history of previous interactions.
- Officers are now able to prepare for and efficiently complete work site visits without having to re-visit regional WorkSafe BC offices. This has saved time and fuel costs.
- An increase in overall quality and effectiveness of all contacts with employers has been realized.
- Productivity has improved, allowing for an additional 3000 inspections per year.
- Productivity improvements for administrative staff achieved through the elimination of manual coding for 90% of documents.
With WorkSafe Mobility, field officers are no longer "tethered" to a physical office as they have been in the past. With real-time access to data, officers can efficiently plan their work days and weeks and do their work in the fastest and most effective manner. Customers experience a much more precise service from field officers. All of this now happens without the need to add additional travel time and associated costs to their workday, thus enabling an increase to their productive day.
Description - This award recognizes projects that demonstrate how two or more organizations from the greater public sector have collaborated effectively through the use of Information Technology for the benefit of British Columbia citizens.
Organization - Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development
Location - Victoria, BC
WelcomeBC.ca is a website that was developed to provide a single, comprehensive, authoritative source for information on immigration and settlement services for British Columbia.
The Province of BC had long heard that newcomers and potential newcomers were forced to navigate a maze of online resources to facilitate the immigration and settlement process. Given the economic and social benefits immigration brings to BC, the Province has met this need by creating WelcomeBC.ca, a comprehensive, one-stop, website for information on immigrating to BC and enjoying the many benefits BC can offer a newcomer.
This project represents the first time the Province of British Columbia has adopted a consolidated approach to providing information to immigrants and other newcomers. It serves as a clearinghouse for information, cross-referencing every type of immigration and arrival into BC with every stage of the immigration journey so that clients can access strategic information for their specific needs.
The project objectives embraced a client-centred approach. A cross-ministry steering committee was established including every BC ministry providing programs or services for newcomers. This team helped develop the project vision statement and guiding principles, and provided strategic advice and content through each phase of the website development. The project also linked into a federal/provincial/territorial committee and BC results were shared across the jurisdictions as a part of that commitment.
Until the website's launch in April 2008, there was no online source for authoritative information on immigrating to BC. Immigration-related information was spread across 11 provincial and four federal websites. This website represents the first time the BC government has set aside the administrative restrictions of independently managed portfolios to embrace the newcomer's needs - one stop, credible information on how to come to BC, settle in a community, find employment and learn English. With web analytic reports indicating an average of 14,000 visitors each month (without any marketing), the project team is confident WelcomeBC.ca has met its access objectives.
Using the axiom of "no wrong door", WelcomeBC.ca includes a wide cross-section of immigration content. The advantage to clients is clear - there is no need to shop around for information or second-guess sources, WelcomeBC.ca can be your first and only source for immigration information. For example, web analytics indicate an interest in labour market information. The website facilitates these searches by offering a site-specific search engine and by assembling information into easy to scan, cross-referenced bundles. The employment section of the site offers access to a WorkBC portal, federal job search tools, information on credentials, and language instruction agencies to help get that first job. The same approach has been adopted for health information, education and other key areas of interest for newcomers.
The Information Technology Awards recognize leadership, innovation and excellence in the use of information technology within the extended public services of British Columbia, including crown corporations, municipalities, public education and healthcare organizations.