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Government CRM Software Glossary

311 System
311 services or systems are non-emergency telephone information systems which provide universal access for non-emergency (police, fire) services. 311 is a single prefix intended to connect callers to a call center. While 911 is the national standard for emergency services, 311 is a newer standard for local government non-emergency services and information. 311 services are intended to provide a central source for citizen input or informational requests. Such requests may include common community information such as trash removal schedules, utility department business hours, or notifying the right source of a pothole in the road or non-working street lights.

508 (Section 508)
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law requiring that CRM and other information systems developed, purchased, used, or maintained by all Federal Government agencies and departments be accessible both to Federal employees and members of the public with disabilities and that these groups have the same or equal use of these information systems as do people without disabilities. While there are at least six Section 508 technical standards, it is most likely that CRM software applications will fall under the "Software Applications and Operating Systems" standard or the "Web-based Internet Information and Applications" standard (with this later standard applying to web-based, on-demand, hosted or software as a service CRM systems). Inquire directly with your CRM vendor to find out if they are section 508 certified. To validate internal applications for 508 compliance, reference the WebAIM Section 508 Checklist.

Customer/Client/Constituent/Citizen Relationship Management (CRM):
While the "C" in "CRM" stands for one of four words depending upon who you're speaking with, CRM is a constituent focused operational strategy aimed at understanding, anticipating and responding to citizen needs. CRM objectives are of course different for every type of Government and public sector group, however, goals common across Government entities often include increased citizen service, decreased operational costs and achieving a central and holistic view of the citizen relationship using CRM software. It's important to remember that CRM is an operational process and not software, although it is well recognized that CRM software is a necessary tool to achieve a CRM strategy. From a software perspective, CRM software suggests the integrated use of citizen data for economic development, marketing and support.

Customer/Client/Constituent/Citizen Relationship Management (CRM) Software:
CRM software manages the business processes necessary to achieve a CRM operational strategy. While CRM software vendors use different definitions to describe their information system solutions, most public sector experts agree that CRM software should provide capabilities or modules for economic development (sometimes called sales force automation when referencing private industry comparison), marketing management and citizen support. The below table illustrates CRM software components (often called modules) in more detail.

 bullet Lead management  bullet Marketing management  bullet Multiple channel services  bullet Case management
 bullet Account management  bullet Campaign management  bullet Self service  bullet Automated escalation
 bullet Contact management  bullet Telesales and call scripts  bullet Incident resolution  bullet Case resolution
 bullet Activity management  bullet Email distributions  bullet Diagnostics  bullet Search and retrieval
 bullet Opportunity management  bullet Nurture marketing  bullet Automated workflow  bullet Root cause analysis
 bullet Forecasting  bullet Marketing analytics bullet Call center and 3-1-1  bullet Case metrics
 bullet Citizen metrics & analysis bullet Surveys bullet Surveys  

Citizen Support Software:
Citizen support software, sometimes called Citizen Service or Citizen Management, is generally a module within a CRM software suite. The citizen support software module is often used by call centers, help desks and/or citizen support departments in order to manage and automate front-office activities such as customer requests, incidents or cases.

Economic Development:
Economic development is sometimes referred to as either account management or Sales Force Automation (SFA) reflecting is heritage in private industry. This software component organizes and manages the many sales-related tasks necessary to win a deal. Economic development tasks often include lead tracking, account management, contact management, activity management, opportunity management and forecasting. Economic development software integrates with marketing management and citizen service software systems.

Marketing Management (MM) Software:
Marketing management is an additional module within a CRM application suite. The marketing management function typically assists marketing staff by managing and automating activities such as campaigns, lead generation, e-mail distributions and marketing program effectiveness analysis.

NIST is the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the source which provides the Certification and Accreditation (C&A) for CRM business applications at the federal level. The NIST C&A is a comprehensive and lengthy process that validates strategic security planning and over 100 information security internal controls. This certification is more taxing on SaaS vendors who may be outsourcing CRM systems that contain federal information.

Software as a Service (SaaS):
SaaS, sometimes called on-demand or hosted delivery, is a relatively new shift in CRM applications and other business systems which uses the delivery of hosted business software based on a subscription payment plan and managed by an third party organization; as opposed to the normal purchase, installation and maintenance of on-premise business application. The shift to SaaS has succeeded in changing the acquisition of CRM applications from a capital expenditure to a pay-as-you-go subscription arrangement whereby the CRM system is remotely hosted and delivered to staff on-demand via their Internet browsers. The SaaS cost model is based on staff utilization instead of ownership. The SaaS software delivery, procurement and support model provides several public sector advantages, including no capital expenditures, faster implementations, elimination of long-term contract lock-in, predictable costs, improved system uptime and reliability and increased ROI.

See for a more detailed glossary of CRM on-demand and hosting terms. | Public Sector & Government CRM Software