Penrith City Council had been managing its essential services to residents and businesses without the use of a customer relationship management (CRM) system for years.
But with the city expected to grow to more than 260,000 over the next decade, due to the opening of the second Sydney airport and the planned “aerotropolis” surrounding it, the council needed to scale up better to meet that demand.
The council had been working with Microsoft partner Velrada since 2018, when the council sought to improve how to manage field service mobility and finally let their field technicians work remotely.
Penrith City Council turned again to Velrada to deploy a CRM and replace its existing enterprise content management (ECM) system to streamline its processes while also providing a better view of what issues the customers were raising.
The council said Velrada was picked for its expertise in designing and developing Dynamics 365 environments while bringing best practices to the table.
Velrada first deployed Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service to support interactions with customers regarding their waste management services, now allowing customers to raise requests through a web portal instead of calling the waste service provider directly.
The service provider would usually get as much as 80,000 calls in a year for queries such as missed collections and damaged bins, so Velrada helped redirect those requests through a portal called My.Penrith.City.
“With Dynamics 365, the council would be able to track, capture, manage, escalate records against, and plan for all of the issues the residents were raising before it was done,” Velrada delivery director Ian Kirby told CRN.
“It’s really about owning that customer experience for them.”
Council workers are now also using Office 365, giving them “anytime, anywhere, any-device” access.
Council ICT operations manager Jane Howard said the program of work has a customer focus front and central.
“We want to be able to deliver agile, innovative, and efficient services through technology,” she said. “Our vision is for the customer to be kept informed, and receive feedback through the duration of the requests they’ve made of council, until finalised.”
Velrada will continue working with the council on more Dynamics 365 projects, with the next one focused on providing field services crews with mobile access to data and information systems. The crew members focus on many community services like tackling graffiti, fallen trees, and maintenance of fencing, buildings, parks and roads.
“At Velrada, we pride ourselves in our approach of working in partnership with industry and organisations to deliver transformational outcomes through understanding business practices and processes and leveraging appropriate Microsoft technologies to drive change,” Velrada GM for solutions Dominic Nolan said.
“Penrith City Council is a forward-thinking Council delivering a large program of customer-service led, digital transformation and Velrada has enjoyed the challenges and complexities of helping create their Microsoft Platform.”