The Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman is preparing for an overhaul of its customer service IT infrastructure, planning to introduce one solution to replace three in a modernisation exercise.
FWO provides advice and related services to employers and employees on workplace relations and entitlements. It has around 760 full time staff across offices in all capital cities and 18 regional locations.
Over 2011/12 the FWO dealt with 683,992 calls for advice and 48,665 live chat sessions, responded to 39,752 email and mail assistance requests, and experienced over 6.5 million visits to the Fair Work website, according to tender documents.
It has been using three separate systems to deal with customer interactions: a customer data and case management system, a customer enquiry and interaction management system, and an advisory information and knowledge management system.
FWO’s current enquiry and knowledge management solutions are approaching end-of-life. The Office is taking the opportunity to restructure its customer-related IT environment and consolidate the three existing systems into a one-stop-shop.
It has already decided on three Microsoft products as the foundation — SharePoint 2010, Dynamics CRM 2011, and Fast Search Server.
“To provide proper service to its customers, it is essential that FWO has a central repository of its customers accessible by different business units. This will also allow FWO to achieve its goal of a 360 degree view of its customers,” tender documents state.
The new solution will be used by the approximately 600 front-facing FWO staff. It will encompass knowledge management, customer experience management, and federated search.
The knowledge management component will include a single repository, editing and aggregation, analytics and multi-channel delivery.
The customer experience element will focus on managing customer records, enquiries, customer interaction, customer self-service, campaign, and analytics on contact centre performance.
The federated search engine will allow staff to search for data across all internal systems and specific external systems.
The CRM component will be handled by Dynamics 2011, and will replace the current VMware InfraEnterprise product, used as a ticketing system. The new Dynamics-based system will integrate with FWO’s Avaya telephony system and allow call centre workers to access a customer profile while on an enquiry call.
The FWO will implement a new SharePoint 2010 farm to run its knowledge management system. It will integrate with the CRM so call centre staff can access “knowledge objects” and link them to customer records. The agency will also employ Microsoft’s Fast solution for federated search.
As part of the upgrade, the FWO will decommission three systems:
- an instrument management system, which acts as a repository for information received from three other industrial relations-related government agencies. It is 300GB in size and will have its functionality replaced by the new customer service solution.
- a Console-based CA MetaData application, which retrieves files from the three IR-related agencies and stores them in the instrument management system
- a PIKS enquiry management system, which was designed to store and manage customer correspondence.
Customers can contact the FWO through its Infoline, its website, and a currently-underway My Portal project. MyPortal is based on Elcom’s ElcomCMS product and aims to authenticate users who visit the FWO website, so the agency can recognise them on return and give them a “front door” to other information.
It will integrate with the knowledge management component of the new customer service solution to offer them relevant information.
The FWO expects to award a tender for the project on October 28 this year and commence implementation the next day.
FWO shares its IT with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, including network, servers, security, email, SOE, authentication and database servers.
Servers are predominantly HP while the overall infrastructure is dominated by Microsoft — including Windows 7, Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2, and Active Directory. Remote access is provided to authorised users and is based on Citrix.