SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwired - Jan 14, 2014) - The U.S. government's beleaguered launch of Healthcare.gov is destined to be remembered as one of the great failures in the history of government online initiatives. Moreover, it has delivered a wake-up call to government agencies globally on the importance of online self-serve channels architected for peak performance, and with privacy and security best practices. Addressing the need for successful online government initiatives, KANA Software, Inc., today announced the latest version of its LAGAN Enterprise customer service suite loaded with new functionality to enable agencies to unlock the full economic benefits of "Digital First" channel shift strategies.
The new offering marries KANA's extensive experience in the government and commercial sectors. The result is functionality and expertise that governments need to improve customer service and reduce the cost to serve, along with the enterprise-grade scalability, security and ease of use that has long benefitted KANA's corporate clients.
Government executives worldwide are demanding their agencies come out of the "digital dark ages" and become more citizen-centric, including U.S. President Barack Obama, who admitted that "there's probably no bigger gap between the private sector and the public sector than IT" in a statement this past December.
Government has trailed the commercial sector in making its offerings accessible online despite having an even greater imperative to lower the total cost to serve in the current age of austerity. However, a recent survey for KANA showed government adoption of online self-service technology is on the rise, with 40 percent surveyed saying they hope to have 25 to 49 percent of their services accessible via self-service technology, such as the Web, mobile or kiosk within the next 12 to 18 months.
"While government as a whole is moving forward with Digital First strategies, concerns over security risk and data loss continue to thwart agencies' efforts to launch successful online initiatives. LAGAN Enterprise is designed to eliminate these barriers to entry, and helps magnify the ROI agencies can achieve from digital service," said David Moody, head of worldwide product strategy for KANA Software.
The U.K.'s Staffordshire Councils (through the Staffordshire Connects Partnership) are among the public sector organizations anticipating service efficiencies from new self-service and Digital First capabilities in LAGAN Enterprise.
"We invest in KANA for their continuous help improving productivity and service experiences for our one million residents," said Sander Kristel, chief information officer for Staffordshire County Council. "LAGAN Enterprise Web, mobile and social capabilities all support our goal for providing citizens superior service through innovative digital and cost-managed methods."
Key new LAGAN Enterprise functionality includes:
Secure Web Self-Service Portal. A new portal supporting secure access to customer data and transactional services enables agencies to increase availability of online services in alignment with best practice data security and privacy protocols.
Social Media Integration. The platform also offers new functionality to support seamless handling of social network communications, including Twitter and Facebook, in a similar manner as other channels. By leveraging social media, agencies can support a quick, easy and cost-effective channel for dialogue on topics ranging from emergency preparedness, utility outages or missed trash pickup.
New Mobile Capabilities. The advent of the smartphone has given governments an important tool for citizen engagement. New LAGAN Mobile efficiencies leverage the engagement of "citizen sensors." These features streamline service requests initiated by citizen mobile devices, via address and location handling, for more exact pinpointing of work sites, reducing the cost of service delivery.
Citizen Status Updates. While Digital First efforts to date have focused on providing access to information and services, issue resolution and reporting must also be addressed in the interest of responsiveness and accountability to citizen tax payers. New features in LAGAN Enterprise address closed loop reporting to keep the customer informed throughout service delivery, improving government transparency and mitigating "avoidable contact," which can trigger costs for agencies.
Deployment Cost Savings. A new tool expedites the deployment of existing services through the secure Web self-service portal and employee mobile application, reducing deployment and maintenance costs.
The new LAGAN Enterprise functionality maps to the need for governments to embrace digital channels that meet citizen expectations for customer-centric service, which industry analyst Nishant Shah of Ovum says is essential. "Taking a page from the private sector, some governments see advantages to viewing citizens and other agencies as 'customers'. Capitalizing on the opportunities provided by digital technologies is therefore a necessity to align what the government can provide with citizen expectations built on ubiquitous exposure to consumer technologies. A comprehensive digital strategy is not another massive, top-down transformation plan .... [but] should be a highly leveraged attempt to take a coordinated, information- and customer-centric approach to government operations and service delivery. The goal is to make data work and add value while reaching people through all the channels they naturally use."1
The latest release of LAGAN Enterprise is available today, offering choice and flexibility in licensing and deployment scenarios, including cloud, on-premises and hybrid models.
About KANA Software
KANA understands the value of great Customer Service experiences. We know every channel through which a customer communicates with -- and about -- your brand. We provide on-premises and cloud solutions for large enterprises and mid-market organizations. By unifying and maintaining context for customer journeys across agent, Web, social and mobile experiences, KANA solutions have reduced handling time, increased resolution rates and improved net promoter scores (NPS) at more than 900 enterprises -- including many of the Fortune 500 and more than 250 government agencies. At KANA, we help create differentiated and personalized customer experiences that count.
KANA is based in Silicon Valley, California and has offices worldwide. For more information visit www.kana.com, phone +1 800-737-8738, and follow KANA on Twitter @KANAsoftware.
KANA is a registered trademark of KANA Software, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.
1 "2014 Trends to Watch: Government Technology," Ovum, Nishant Shah, October 2013.