IBM Acquires Optevia, Expanding Role as Solutions Provider for Public Sector Clients

ARMONK, N.Y. – 18 Mar 2016: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it has acquired Optevia, a privately owned Software as a service, (SaaS), systems integrator specializing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions for public sector organizations. Optevia will join IBM Global Business Services and help meet the increasing client demand for CRM SaaS solutions within the public sector.

Industry experts estimate that the world-wide Customer Relationship Management (CRM) opportunity is in excess of $23B, with cloud-based CRM solutions expected to surpass 50 percent of that total. The acquisition of Optevia, will help IBM establish itself as a premier SaaS and digital consultant and accelerate leadership in CRM solutions.

Optevia’s main focus on UK Emergency Services, Central Government, Local Government, Health Authorities and Housing and Social Enterprises, allows them to offer their clients highly differentiated solutions. Optevia’s client base includes ministries, councils, regulators, licensing and grant management organizations, transport authorities and social housing organizations.

“By acquiring Optevia, IBM will be able to provide Public Sector clients and prospects with a range of unique, industry focused CRM based solutions,”said Joanna Davinson, IBM Public Sector Leader – Europe. “This strategic acquisition will help strengthen IBM as a SaaS provider and Global Software Integrator.”

Since its founding in 2001, Optevia has rapidly established itself as a trusted partner for Public Sector and Social Enterprise clients. The acquisition will allow IBM to scale Optevia’s solutions across other areas worldwide, where Optevia’s software, assets and highly skilled, industry-focused workforce, coupled with their expertise will significantly increase IBM’s current capabilities.

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Dynamics CRM from Optevia drives shared services and service design at Wealden District Council

Optevia, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM specialist for the public sector, today announces that Wealden District Council has significantly improved customer services, whilst being more cost efficient through the digital delivery of services and citizen self serve. Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the authority will be able to further promote shared services with other Authorities and improve partner working.

Wealden District Council’s call centre currently receives in excess of 125,000 calls per year and call resolution is already at an impressive 70% at first point of contact. However, as part of the Council’s drive towards improved customer service and greater efficiency, it wanted to increase this figure further.

By working with Optevia and its Optevia Public Sector Essentials (OPSE) solution, a collection of local government specific features and processes which includes Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the Council implemented an FAQ library, enabling contact centre staff to quickly access information to deal with customer queries. The Council is also using Optevia’s Dynamic Portal in combination with OPSE, so that citizens can answer their own queries online.

Vicki Burton, CRM lead comments: “We wanted our contact centre staff to better handle and capture the queries the Council was receiving. Using OPSE, FAQs are handled entirely by the customer service team; for questions and answers that are not included in the library, the customer service team can create new FAQs on the fly. The FAQ library is also available through our online self-serve portal enabling our customers to answer their own queries.”

As part of the project, the Wealden team has completed business process redevelopment to release 35 events. Wealden has imported over 400,000 records. Additionally, OPSE is enabling the Council to better capture recurring queries and questions, which in turn will help shape the Council’s service delivery and design.

Brett Levett, ICT Business Manager, comments: “As part of our drive to improve service levels and become most cost efficient through digital, we needed to capture our customer interaction better and provide our senior management team with insights into the types of queries we are receiving from our customers. OPSE empowers us to see whether the services we provide are meeting expectations and, if not, we can respond accordingly to improve our overall service delivery and customer satisfaction.”

The Council is also using Optevia’s iHub integration engine to integrate CRM with their outsourced waste management provider. Any queries captured by the customer services team, missed bins for example, are automatically forwarded via web services to their waste management provider and a worksheet is raised.

Similarly, CRM is used to underpin environmental health shared services with Rother District Council. Pest control, noise pollution and light pollution queries are dealt with by Wealden District Council’s customer contact centre, but the service is handled by Rother District Council.

Brett Levett comments: “It was essential with all the changes we were being asked to do around partnership working and shared services, that we had a strategy in place to address that – without CRM that would be very difficult to do. In both the waste management partner integration and the shared service with Rother, we have retained the public facing side of public health and waste management, but the actual service is provided by our partner and neighbour.

Brett concludes: “In the future, we are looking to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM enterprise wide, becoming the central repository for customer insights and enabling a much better, holistic view of our customers and the services we provide to them. Without CRM and the help from Optevia, this would be very difficult to achieve.”

Optevia worked closely with the Council on a series of knowledge transfer sessions whereby the team was given in depth training on how they can use Microsoft Dynamics CRM and OPSE to quickly create new service lines. This means going forward, Wealden is now able to configure and develop the solution themselves using in-house resources.