Microsoft is serving up another round of Dynamics Customer Excellence Awards. This time the recipients of the awards -- which are offered each year to Microsoft Dynamics customers that most effectively use technology to transform their organizations -- are government agencies.
Although reducing costs is a key initiative for federal agencies using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, many are also adopting the software to better align with Executive Order 13571. That order calls for agencies to embrace technologies to more efficiently provide citizen services. Microsoft said federal leaders are turning to the platform in place of expensive legacy systems in an effort to modernize their infrastructures and streamline operations.
"Federal government leaders are balancing the reality of significant budget cuts with the need to meet increasing citizen service expectations in this era of digital government," said Greg Myers, vice president of U.S. Federal Government at Microsoft. "A number of agencies are adopting Microsoft Dynamics CRM to overcome complex challenges, cut costs and modernize legacy IT environments."
The VA's Overhaul
For example, the Department of Veteran Affairs used Dynamics CRM to overhaul the Veterans Benefits Administration National Call Centers and its Pension Call Center. Through the VA's Veterans Relationship Management initiative, the agency used Dynamics CRM to integrate access to 13 different databases. Those databases previously had to be individually queried and are now viewed simultaneously.
"Microsoft Dynamics has helped VRM provide a platform to help millions of veterans and their families each year," said Maureen Ellenberger, director of VRM. "To date, over 1 million calls have been better supported using CRM. We are already planning expanded deployments to other VA call centers."
Meanwhile, the Air Force is using information technology to project global military power through air, space and cyberspace. The implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps the Air Force create, manage and advance its capabilities in workforce management, mission planning, event management and visitor access and to offer more efficient access to personnel records, resulting in improved mission execution.
Why So Much Fed Interest?
Microsoft has other Dynamics CRM federal customers, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all military departments and the Unified Combatant Commands. These federal agencies use Microsoft Dynamics solutions for intelligence gathering, mission planning, operations, workforce management, onboarding, correspondence and targeted outreach, task management, and more.
Microsoft also named AgFirst, the Peace Corps, the U.S. Department of State, INTERPOL Washington, The Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Human Services, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma as new customers. The U.S. Risk Management Agency is also using Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
We asked Rob Enderle, principal of the Enderle Group, why Microsoft is so popular with federal agencies. He told us there are several reasons.
"One, the product works. Two, Microsoft over the last decade has been set up to sell to the federal government. That means they are capable of going through all the paperwork required at a scale that allows them to bid very aggressively," Enderle said.
"And they are used to being aggressive in terms of bidding. At a time when the government doesn't have a lot of money a company in Microsoft's class that provides a cost-effective solution will get in the door. Microsoft represents relatively low risk and that gives the government a relatively high value."