US Forest Service and USAID spotlighted at Salesforce World Tour - Washington D.C.

At Salesforce World Tour D.C. government leaders spoke about the steps they’re taking to enhance customer and partner experiences.

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Gartner's Government Technology Trends report outlines ten trends poised to disrupt government organizations as they enter a post-digital era. AI for decision intelligence, data sharing as a program, and cloud-based legacy modernization will impact service delivery. In fact, according to the report, many of these trends are already driving change among public sector leaders. 

For example, in 2023, Gartner predicted that 60% of government AI and data analytics investments will directly impact real-time operational decisions and outcomes by 2024. However, AI-generated recommendations are only as effective as the data that fuels them; the more information analyzed, the more statistically significant AI's findings will be, but building volume takes time and requires leaders to establish clear, forward-thinking data strategies. 

At the Salesforce World Tour in Washington D.C., this path became apparent as public and private sector leaders convened to discuss how technology is impacting their organizations, and share best practices for supporting mission outcomes. Mia Jordan, a digital transformation executive for Salesforce’s public sector division and former government CIO, emphasized this point in the keynote. Jordan shared examples of how empowering employees and teams can alleviate staffing shortages and increase responsiveness, and improve the customer experience, “laying the groundwork for a new frontier in government technology powered by data and AI.”

Agency Snapshot: USAID 

In 2022, the United States Agency for International Development’s Executive Director for Private Sector Engagement, Michael Metzler, sought to resolve a common problem many agencies face — fragmented data. To solve this issue, Metzler and his team listed out potential solutions, with a heavy emphasis on creating a platform that put humans at the center. 

Two years later, USAID announced Compass. Compass is USAID’s new enterprise-wide CRM, built in the cloud in partnership with their preferred implementation partner. 

Metzler credits much of their success to a focus on human-centered design, emphasizing that spending time with their private sector partners, customers, and users was what helped them ultimately understand what customers need and how the platform could be used across programs. 

Michael Rifer, USAID’s managing director for relationship management systems in the private sector engagement hub, agreed explaining that one of the reasons for their success was due to several closely held guiding principles, like human-centered design, that enabled the team to focus on creating cohesive, seamless experiences.

Agency Snapshot: USDA’s Forest Service 

Hiring and onboarding new employees is no easy task. For the public sector, the entire process from start to finish could take 80 days or more. When compared to private sector hiring practices, this puts many federal HR representatives at a disadvantage. 

True to the USDA Forest Service’s motto of “caring for the land and serving people,” Assistant Director of HR Enterprise Solutions, Laree Edgecombe, aims to reduce the amount of time it takes to hire, onboard, and equip new employees with the tools needed to do their job. 

Central to this effort is Forest Service's new hire experience onboarding platform, designed to help connect hiring managers to potential employees. By alerting tentative new hires of their status with the department, leaders can build rapport with potential hires and effectively combat attrition due to the federal hiring process, but doing so requires leaders to unite data to create a single source of truth. 

In the case of the USDA Forest Service, Edgecombe explained how they are using Salesforce as a communication and collaboration platform with employees across the organization, giving teams the information they need to welcome new hires to the force much faster. 

As organizations like USDA’s Forest Service make small incremental changes, Jordan emphasized that it’s these outcomes that will be crucial to improving not just customer experiences, but vital to supporting future service delivery.

Watch the replay of the Government Keynote on Salesforce+. 

This content is made possible by our sponsor Salesforce; it is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Government Executive’s editorial staff.

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