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GCN : November 2012
30 GCN NOVEMBER 2012 • GCN.COM Virginia's executive branch of government was facing a classic case of being stuck with legacy sys- tems that would have cost mil- lions of dollars to replace if left to the normal normal cycle of software use. But by deploying an off-the- shelf product with a bit of modi- fication and creativity, the Com- monwealth not only replaced legacy systems, "but provided a considerably enhanced user ex- perience and workflow process in the back office that did not exist at all," according to Sam Nixon, Virginia's CIO. Using Microsoft's Dynamics customer relationship manage- ment application, Virginia's CRM system is allowing state agencies to accelerate delivery of citizen services, respond more quickly to inquiries and concerns, retire outdated and often unsupported software and hardware systems and redeploy staff to other tasks. Setting up the CRM platform reflects the vision Nixon laid out two years ago to consolidate its business IT enterprise in a way that would offer greater services sharing among agencies across the state. Virginia has completed a near- ly six-year journey to consolidate the IT building blocks of each executive agency, which has re- sulted in "a uniform, standard and secure infrastructure avail- able across the enterprise of state government," Nixon said. FROM OFFICE TO CRM Virginia chose Microsoft Dynam- ics since it was already using the centralized desktop and messag- ing features of Microsoft Windows and its office productivity suites, as well as Outlook and Exchange for e-mail. Dynamics integrates with Outlook, while its security is driven by Microsoft Active Di- rectory, so it was a natural fit, said Nancy Kuppich, workgroup productivity manager with the Virginia Information Technolo- gies Agency (VITA), the state's central IT department. Before deploying Dynamics, agencies used a hodge-podge of custom-built databases, Kuppich explained. Virginia agencies now using the CRM platform include the Gover- nor's Office, the offices of the Sec- retary of Trade and Commerce, Secretary of the Commonwealth, and Secretary of Technology, as well as the State Board of Elec- tions, and the departments of His- toric Resources and Education. GOALS: To replace Virginia state agencies' legacy systems with an enterprise customer relationship management system to streamline business functions and improve citizen services. TACTICS: Build a CRM platform that allows state agencies to automate their paper-based business processes; leverage databases across citizen-facing agency systems and services. TOOLS: Microsoft Dynamics CRM system With CRM system, Virginia retired legacy systems, sped up service delivery and redeployed sta to other jobs. MORE WITH LESS? VIRGINIA'S CRM SYSTEM SHOWS HOW CASE STUDY