Why is Dynamics CRM For Government So Popular?

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Dynamics CRM is not just for sales and marketing. A theme that was clear at Convergence 2015 is the growing popularity of Dynamics CRM in the Public Sector. For example, take a look at the visionary story of the Illinois Department of Corrections. There was also quite a bit of buzz around the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Government offering.

To find out more from an expert serving the Public Sector I asked James Townsend, President of InfoStrat, to give us his thoughts on Dynamics CRM for Government:

“In the past five years, Dynamics CRM has been one of Microsoft’s fastest growing products for government customers.  Dynamics CRM is being used by civilian and defense agencies, for healthcare, recruiting, human resources, grant management and many other functions.  Why is Dynamics CRM so popular for government?

When you think of government, customer service is not what usually comes to mind.  Although in most cases government agencies are not selling products and services in a traditional sense, that doesn’t mean they don’t have the equivalent of customers, such as constituents, voters, citizens, employees, clients, and patients.  In this respect, CRM is valuable for doing traditional CRM functions.

Elected officials, including at least one governor, are using Dynamics CRM for constituent management. They keep track of inbound requests and questions, and use CRM to route the requests and track when the request is fulfilled.  Cities and counties use Dynamics CRM for citizen requests such as those handled by a 311 call center number.  The request may be reported by phone, email, online, or even with a mobile app.

In some cases, governments really do have salespeople.  State and local governments reach out to businesses and offer incentives for them to locate in their jurisdictions.  For instance, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation uses Dynamics CRM for economic development activities to bring new business to the state.

Government agencies provide benefits to millions of people, and use Dynamics CRM for customer service. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was recognized by Microsoft for its use of Dynamics CRM in a call center.

Beyond Traditional CRM: XRM for Government

In addition to using Dynamics CRM for its inherent sales, customer support and marketing functions, Microsoft and its partners have developed dozens of public sector solutions based on Dynamics CRM, such as these common government scenarios. This approach is called XRM by Microsoft, where the “X” stands in for things other than “customer.”

The XRM approach allows more rapid development of many business solutions which track the kinds of structured data with which Dynamics CRM excels. The Commonwealth of Virginia and Los Angeles County, California have adopted Dynamics CRM (and the XRM approach) as a platform for replacing legacy agency solutions.

Some of the most widely deployed XRM solutions are:

Citizen Services

Investigative Case Management

Health and Human Services  Case Management

Grant Management

Offender Management

Licensing, Permitting, Field Inspections and Code Enforcement

Task Management

Many public sector solutions are available in the CRM App Store http://www.crm-appstore.com/zones/uspublicsector, including some free downloadable templates.

Microsoft has Dynamics CRM government customers throughout the United States.  The City of Charlotte, NC used Dynamics CRM Online during the 2012 Democratic National Convention.  The Indiana Department of Correction uses Dynamics CRM to provide victim notification services. Health and human services agencies in states including California, Louisiana, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan are using Dynamics CRM for case management.

Federal agencies are using Dynamics CRM for investigative case management, inspector general audits, and legal case tracking.  The United States Air Force has adopted a Dynamics CRM solution for task management which has been in use for over four years.

XRM came to the rescue during the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the economic stimulus).  New programs were devised which called for hundreds of billions of dollars in grants to state and local government along with unprecedented reporting in a short timeline.  Microsoft answered the needs of its customers by offering a free solution called Stimulus360 based on Dynamics CRM and SharePoint which was adopted by seven states and many large cities and counties.  Stimulus360 was rolled out in less than 90 days and used to track about $200 billion in stimulus grants.

So next time you think that CRM is only for business, remember that public sector agencies rely on Dynamics CRM just as much as Fortune 500 companies do."

James Townsend (@jamestownsend) is president of InfoStrat, a Microsoft Gold Partner specializing in public sector solutions.   He is author of over fifty books and articles as well as white papers and blog posts on technology topics.

by CRM Software Blog Editor, www.crmsoftwareblog.com