Joined up citizens?
Having read your cover feature last month (CRM redrawn), I was curious to read the report you mentioned from management consultancy Accenture, entitled 'Revitalising CRM – a look into the future'. However, the report was nowhere near as informative as your own article.
Accenture seemed to be saying that, for customer relationship management to work, organisations needed to invest loads of money in marketing. I seem to remember that the original message for buying a CRM system was that it meant that it was no longer necessary to spend loads of money on expensive marketing campaigns.
Working for government, we get a lot of pressure from the various CRM vendors' sales people, who claim that CRM will provide an answer to ‘joined-up government'. It would be interesting to see an article that looks at CRM from this perspective.
Camden Connect Team
Thanks you for your letter. Although Information Age has a significant number of readers in government and other vertical market sectors, we do not tend to run features looking at how various technology developments impact these individual areas. However, a number of analyst companies, including Gartner Group and Forrester Research, have published papers on government investment in software. We suggest you visit their web sites for more information:
I have just read the article (Remote Control) on applications outsourcing. I found it very well written and interesting from the perspective that it is, as you describe, a new business area taking over from the application service provider (ASP) model. However, there are alternative models that differ slightly from the one you describe.
Instead of just providing the type of remote support you envisage, companies such as www.myhelpline.com offer these services under a ‘white label' banner, to other business in the technology industry. This enables them, in turn, to offer this type of service to their customers. For example, we aim to provide such this service to a major server vendor's VAR community – something that, as you mention, "is being enthusiastically embraced".
Joint Managing Director
I believe I can help the Office of Government Commerce save money on its licensing of Microsoft Office. According to the April 2002 report on open source operating systems in Information Age,(Opening up the office) , Microsoft Office was resident on 150 million desktops in various UK government bodies. As there are approximately 400,000 civil servants in the UK, this amounts to some 400 copies (and, I guess, PCs) per civil servant. If the government were to adopt the industry norm of one PC and copy of Office for each user then there would be a pretty substantial saving. I look forward to a reduction in my income taxes shortly!
Thank you for your well observed reply. The Office of Government Commerce confirms that the actual figure was 1.5 million desktops, rather than the 150 million that was inaccurately reported in the feature. We apologise for this mistake and regret that we cannot grant any reduction in income tax.