What is most valuable?
The most valuable features that we're finding right now are the customer service portal and the ability to have a one stop shop experience, and that's what we're using the tool for. Been a lot of upgrades in the last year or so that have let us be much more customer friendly and create a portal that's easier for our citizens and state employees to use.
How has it helped my organization?
The benefits are if you go back a year, we'd have 20,000 tickets a month and we were to having to track each ticket individually and using the new integrated portal, we're able to combine those into workflows, and actually track a user's experience from the start to the finish. We were finding that we had to try to look for individual tickets and maybe people were closing tickets when they finish their part, but it didn't give us the whole picture. We've really been able to get out the metrics of a full service experience. That's been our prime focus over the last year.
I like to call what we are establishing is our operating model. I call it our ecosystem and so we really worked with the CA architects to design what that should look like, how it would integrate with other existing software and tools. We built a picture so everyone can understand this is what we're building, just like a real architect plan would be, and it let us have a road map for a few years and go to our state and get money to actually implement something.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I think the stability of the solution is pretty good. We've not had any major issues. I think that it's been stable and consistent and pretty quick response times.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability I think has done a reasonable job for us. We're at the beginning of setting up, we've about 15 workflows and we want to get to 30 or 40. It's not been that challenging for us to make that happen. What we've learned is that the tool can do what we want but you have to make the business process changes and to establish the workflows. Get in the process to finding people to work in the new way has been the real challenge.
How are customer service and technical support?
We do have access the architecture team specifically and do need to talk to the technical support staff. They've been able to help us through anything that we have challenges with from little problems to bigger issues. What we've really seen is the architect help at the beginning has really helped make our solutions better even before we implement them.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I think that we did use some other vendors to help us implement some of the solution, and some of those groups were not as strong as we might have wanted, but I think everything from CA's perspective has been pretty strong. The one element that we've wanted to see improved and we've really worked with them on is the user interface is what I like to call a little conky and so we are consistently working with them and the product marketing people to make it better.
Mostly it was a financial forecast, looking at how much it was costing us to do that. Also we're working in Colorado to setup our own cloud serves and maybe that we offer to the counties and to other state or other cities inside Colorado. It was just time to put that into our data center and a little bit more in our control, but really it was a cost scenario where it saved us money to convert those licences and better idea for 2 or 3 years and then we can look at where we could be in the future. Maybe the cloud providers were not as advanced we might have wanted at the time.
How was the initial setup?
I think we were a year, year and a half into our big implementation of that whole ecosystem. I think initially we probably had some bumps and it was a little bit slow based on we were in the cloud, and migrated back into our data center so that we could see growth and speed and improvements there.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We really looked for the capabilities of integrating with other systems. There were a lot of interfaces already defined, easy ways to leverage, we had VMware, internal setting infrastructure team already, time keeping systems. We probably had 2 or 3 of their products already, so it was easier to add the others rather than completely change it all together, even though we're completely open to the future looking at what is possible. Right now it makes sense for us to work within the existing suite. In the state government funding models, we have to plan 18 months in advance. You're never really current if that makes sense, so we look for mature tools rather than bleeding end solutions, because we can't take the risk.
I think we were certainly looking at ServiceNow as a possibility, and they would be a good provider and can meet a lot of our potential solutions. We couldn't replace things that we already had with CA, so it was an easier transition to use what we had.
What other advice do I have?
I think it's a 7 or 8/10 given that it certainly does what we needed to do, but I don't know if it's anything spectacular. It seems like it integrates things rather than really operates in more new and modern ways that I think the current population wants. Maybe that's a perfect fit for the state employees or a mixture of that, but I think that we would want to see continual improvement and really think differently in a way that mobility needs to operate.
I think I would really look at the business process first and then what are you willing to do and what are you willing to change. There are a lot of solutions that are possible. I think the CA suite really does work well, but you have to work at it. You have to be willing to bend to any solution's workflows, and so I think you just have to look for the one that's the best fit for your willingness to change.