Editorial

The Digital Marketplace Contenders, 14: IEG4

‘We knew G-Cloud was going to work better for us once our prospective customers began to ask us about procuring through it, rather than the other way around’

Posted 27 July 2017 by

In the latest of our series profiling interesting new G9 suppliers, we meet Alderley Edge-based smarter digital services firm IEG4‘s Product Director John McMahon

Welcome to the Digital Marketplace Contenders, John. Let’s start by you telling us about your company; what is your value proposition?

We’re an enabler of digital services in the public sector. In local government, for example, we offer solutions capable of delivering a genuine pan-organisational citizen account and strength in delivering successful digitisation projects. Our strategy focuses on helping our clients achieve something we call Digital Ubiquity. For us, digital transformation is simply an aspiration – we see Digital Ubiquity as a goal. Whether it be in local government, or health and social care, our focus is on delivering the best end user experiences whilst simultaneously optimising service delivery. We believe technology is an enabler of change not one that dictates service delivery.

We were the first public sector supplier to deliver:

  • A single digital platform across many council services to enable users to track the progress of any request they make
  • Robotic automation of highly complex benefit claims into back office applications
  • A secure multi-agency case management solution for social care/health
  • A welfare solution capable of automating decisions in the same way banks automate credit decisions.

IEG4 has also been recognised at a global level by Microsoft for many of our innovations, and has been Microsoft Partner of the Year or short-listed finalist for its Government award three times in the last five years.

What’s the relevance of all this for the public sector?

To date we have supported over 100 public sector organisations to achieve channel shift and increase efficiency with our solutions. Our main product, OneVu, is an omni-channel, mobile responsive digital platform designed to enable transformation of how council services are delivered and used. OneVu breaks down the barriers associated with traditional solutions by providing citizens with the ability to sign in quickly and easily, view their own data in a way designed for optimum user experience, complete online requests and track the progress of any request/report they make online.

To use a real-world example, our project at King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Council has seen over 5000 online accounts created since going live with since February, with an average of 52 new digital accounts created per day. Of those accounts, 43% were created using a mobile device and 43% were created out of hours.

Why are you on The Digital Marketplace now, and what do you hope to achieve?

We want to see change. A digital-first and customer-centric approach is essential for any public sector organisation that wants to make its services the ones that consumers want to use.

One could argue that digital transformation is a persistent activity without end. This is true in terms of continually improving the user experience, take up levels or saturation and conversion to actions, but not in terms of what technically can be done to make the entirety of a process digitally enabled. Progress tracking, proactive updates and real time communication within a single council-wide digital platform are critical to the next generation of public sector services – achieving high transformation rates and close to full digital ubiquity.

IEG4 has embraced the Digital Marketplace and has made its entire portfolio of products available on G Cloud 9 for the first time. We have been on G-Cloud since its second iteration, and have enjoyed success up to this point, primarily from within the local government space. Buyers have been looking for smarter, more flexible and transparent relationships with their technology partner, and through G-Cloud we have been able to offer them something truly unique.

With G-Cloud 9, after the initial two-year contract period, the buyer can extend the contract for an additional two periods of up to 12 months each – without the need for approval for local government and healthcare. As a result, we are confident that will increase uptake across the board, providing users with a vendor that they can partner with over a longer period, share roadmaps with and join the transformation journey the sector is undergoing.

How did you find the process of on-boarding onto the Marketplace, and do you have any guidance or others on the basis of that experience?

The application process has become simpler with each iteration, and we were able to re-use some resources from previous applications. The Digital Marketplace website provided a useful suppliers guide for any new applicants. Providing the right information to ensure accurate searching by potential customers is still a challenge, though, I have to admit, and we have missed out on potential opportunities because our service description and/or features and benefits may not have contained the exact phrase or keyword buyers were looking for.

However, our experience is positive enough for us to advise all suppliers to dip their toes in the Digital Marketplace water, if they haven’t already done. We knew it was going to work better for us once our prospective customers began to ask us about procuring through it, rather than the other way around.

Finally, if ThinkDigitalPartners.com came back to talk to you in a year, what would you like to be able to say you’d achieved in the public sector?

Our biggest market is local government – a sector where, in the past, sales through G-Cloud have been described as lacklustre, accounting for less than 10% of total G-Cloud sales.

So there is a perception that this sector is laggards when it comes to The Digital Marketplace. However, our experience is that this is changing. And as we aim to propel digital technology take-up in local government, we see our customers do now recognise the Marketplace’s value as an efficient procurement route. In a year’s time, then, I’d like to be able to say local government sales through the Digital Marketplace had significantly increased, along with our own.

Sounds very interesting, Mr McMahon. Thanks for speaking to us today, and good luck on the Digital Marketplace!