We changed the game in how to communicate with the public on an almost instantaneous basis.Dave KragenbrinkSolutions Administrator, Waukesha County
Redefining digital experiences for 680,000 residents
Waukesha County ‘liberate’ their digital services, migrating from Ektron to Optimizely
Third largest county in Wisconsin enjoy ''a more living and dynamic relationship with the people we serve'' by moving to Optimizely
500-year old government administration, Waukesha County provide services to nearly 700,000 citizens - ranging from court systems and public safety to mental health hospitals, tax collection and recreation services.
Highest quality of services for the best possible cost
Operating at a civil capacity, Waukesha County’s work is statutory or regulatory so are scrutinized on their delivery. They must demonstrate due diligence in their selection of suppliers. Being the sole government body for the county, the team has an obligation to provide the highest quality services, to the greatest number of citizens, within stringent budget allocations - so they don’t burden taxpayers.
‘’everybody wants a better service and to do this we need better technology. We have to figure out how to implement some of these newer technologies into what is obviously a very old business’’
Creating disruptive, positive change against the status quo
One of the greatest challenge’s Government authorities face, is the ability to change at the pace of their service-user’s expectations - especially in the adoption of better technology. However, this is difficult with a three-year cycle from ‘decision-to-implementation’ the norm.
‘’Nobody wants to be first – everyone wants to see a proven solution’’
With the exciting opportunity for change, Waukesha County ignited a movement to modernize their digital capabilities. They challenged the status-quo, opting for a digital transformation that would better serve their public and internal teams.
Meeting the needs of over half a million people
Following a consultation it was decided the time had come to modernise Waukesha County’s internal and external websites to create a better way of communicating with the public effectively and offer the town’s citizens a better service.
‘’Ektron wasn’t a long-term solution. We had to get off the older technology on to the newer’’
Engaging with as many people as possible, Waukesha County collated thousands of pieces of feedback from various stakeholders. They had taken onboard a broad subset of expectations, eventually having to reign in on a compromised solution that would satisfy the majority.
Implementing Optimizely to provide superior engagement capabilities
Waukesha County chose to migrate their digital platform from the existing Ektron platform to Optimizely. This enabled them to embrace newer technologies that would better serve its internal and external stakeholders.
With the Optimizely CMS having advanced functionality that was simple to maintain, the County described Optimizely as a “liberating platform” that enabled it to upgrade a lot of its function items and deliverables.
The Optimizely upgrade
Waukesha County converted its external and intranet sites from Ektron to Optimizely, deploying Optimizely CMS for its new interface. The intranet site was a complete site redesign, in addition to changing the back-end. Essentially a brand new Optimizely site was built from scratch and replaced the old site.Optimizely was able to leverage some functionality that the local government didn’t currently have with its site and gave the opportunity to upgrade lots of functional items and deliverables. It was able to build tools based on customer expectations and ongoing customer feedback as opposed to just adding things from a ready-made list.
For 2018, Waukesha County recorded 3.3m page views on its external website with 2.3m unique visitors. In January of 2019, 180,000 visitors were recorded.
The goal of the new interface is to deliver visitor information as quickly as possible. Visitors tend to want one thing at a given time before exiting the site.
Optimizely Find was is an extremely powerful tool for Waukesha, aggregating information quickly, so user journeys remain quick and efficient.
Optimizely CMS has allowed data visualization to become the norm for internal and external stakeholders. Integrating with Power BI, users can view graphic illustrations such as customer satisfaction levels and recycling rates.
Initial site feedback has been extremely positive. External users have reported the site is much easier to navigate and more desirable. Those inside the organisation have said the site is a stark difference to how it was with some describing it as ‘fresh and clean’ and ‘exactly what was needed’.
Content editors have expressed positive opinions on the usability of the media management of the site and stakeholders are enjoying the platform which is empowering them in their different business units. The site sees more information being posted and much more valuable information being posted because it is very easy to do.
Waukesha County is always looking at future options for improving both sites and expanding their functionalities. It is considering Optimizely Commerce for taking payments in the future and integrating its document management system.