How technology enhances the customer experience
Our Chief Technology Officer Kean Jones reflects on how we’re working towards smooth and seamless technology for our customers
The run-up to the year end is always a busy time and it can be all too easy to get stuck in the weeds. When it gets like that I find it helps to stand back and put myself in our customers’ shoes.
How do we want them to feel when they come into the office?
How can we help them be productive, collaborate with others and feel less stressed by problems with technology?
We know our vision is to create a transformed, shared, sustainable and value for money government estate, supporting civil servants to work productively in every nation and region of the UK. It’s all working towards One Estate, a component of the Civil Service Interoperability Programme and an enabler of Civil Service Reform.
But what does all that mean for our civil servants?
Think of the customer journey, a seamless customer experience when using our offices – that’s what we’re working towards.
Our goal is that our customers - your people - arrive at a building and use GovPass to securely access the building, with anonymous data recorded for occupancy reports to help us run and manage workplace services, and the property estate, more effectively.
They connect straight onto GovWifi with their devices, to which they’re already registered in a simple one-off sign-in process. Customers shouldn’t need to think about this happening, it should just work, so they can.
They send documents to print securely using GovPrint at any printer on any floor, and scan them too if required – and while we shouldn’t encourage people to print, quite the opposite, it should be seamless when they need to.
If it is a GPA-managed building they book a meeting room through the single booking system and plug a laptop in to use the AV provided. And if there are any issues, the service desk is there to fix them.
We call it interoperability, which is creating a hassle-free experience for you and your people. Those who work from our properties will be able to move freely from one building to another, collaborating with others across department boundaries, and working more productively than would otherwise be possible
We’re putting in place all the building blocks for that future vision of One Estate. GovPass is now used by over 96,000 civil servants across the UK. The occupancy data we collect extends to over 770,000 square metres offering greater strategic insights.
GovWifi has over 500,000 active users, with satisfaction at 85%, and shared networks are standard in our hub buildings.
GovPrint is already saving money with its economies of scale, more than doubling its customer base in October, and with room booking and AV that is simple to use, meetings are easier to manage, helping people be more productive at work.
We’re also setting the standards across government in property technology. Not only do we use these design guidelines, but others do too, helping to spread a consistent, high-quality approach across government.
Making a real difference
While our One Estate products are at different stages of maturity, all have now been implemented in offices shared by multiple departments. They’ve been well received and are starting to deliver benefits, and we’ll continue to work with departments to further improve them.
When we take an opportunity to look at the bigger picture, we can innovate and improve, ensuring we continue to make a real difference – and helping to make the Civil Service a great place to work.
Kean Jones Chief Technology Officer, GPA