Accelerating omnichannel in the public sector

Published on the 14/06/2016 | Written by Newsdesk

accelerating omnichannel

SAP HQ has appointed local partner UXC Oxygen to build an app to enhance SAP's public sector solution...

Oxygen will build the public sector accelerator using SAP’s omnichannel e-commerce software Hybris.

The accelerator on which the SAP specialist is working is described as ‘a template of core online functions to work with the SAP Hybris Commerce solution’. The accelerator, which hasn’t yet been built beyond a demo concept, is ‘designed to help government agencies digitally transform their business processes by giving citizens access to comprehensive online services’.

The press release further explains that ‘the agreement with SAP calls for Oxygen to design, develop and market the SAP Hybris Commerce public sector accelerator, inclusive of a partner enablement plan to help make it easier for systems integrators worldwide to implement the solution’.

Omnichannel e-commerce in the public sector is, on the face of it, a good idea. Accessing and paying for online services, something Australians and New Zealanders have some experience with, is advantageous, saving time and money and eliminating the hassle of engaging with a bureaucracy, and those experiences should seamlessly segue into in-person, telephone and other engagements.

They should. However, it is acknowledged that even retailers have experienced difficulty in getting to grips with omnichannel implementations – and while retailers don’t enjoy the endless supply of taxpayer money that governments do, their motivation for successful implementation is driven by harder taskmasters in the form of shareholders and commercial bottom lines.

That doesn’t necessarily make Oxygen’s job a more difficult one, but it does illustrate the point of why an accelerator for the public sector may be necessary.

Tim West, Oxygen Public Sector Accelerator product manager, said that in order to properly leverage a digital future, public sector agencies must have the right technology, people and processes in place. “The more integrated and customer-centric a public sector agency, the more likely it will reap the rewards of citizen self-service.”

Oxygen said it has already begun work on the solution, with a first release of the product expected later in the year, with planned subsequent releases to add further functionality.

The deal is a coup for Oxygen, and is a vote from both SAP and new owner CSC in favour of the regionally focused partner.

Locals reps at Oxygen would not be drawn on whether the new app might be dangled as a carrot in front of the big local SAP-council-project du jour – Auckland Council, which quietly went live with its Newcore solution this week.

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