In 1990, the State of Utah created the first statewide automated fuel network. I had enlisted Neal Francom after working with him on a project to create a database financial model for the olympic bid. One of our first steps was to analyze our potential customer base and develop a strategy for contact management. Within a few years, we had enlisted about half of the cities and towns, 75% of the school districts and the majority of the counties in the state, in addition to every state agency and every college and university - over 1000 agencies which we carefully tracked as unique customers. We carefully managed our relationships with each customer and tracked their utilization of our service. Our goal in doing this was to minimize the unit cost that we would have to charge to any given customer. This practice is standard for any business who wants to remain in business. It is not always standard practice for government internal service funds.
One of my first goals with ITS will be to analyze how we are managing customer relationships, what kind of contact management system we have in place and to improve this process - make it more proactive and less reactive. A good contact management system that is shared by our CRMs, section managers, etc. will be a critical element of this goal. We own a limited number of licenses of Siebel, but have not implemented it. We have Remedy that we use for help desk management. Open source solutions are also available.
I will also be asking a few ITS managers to put Linux on their desktop (Linux/Windows) along with Open Office in order to have some experience with these tools in case our customers take an interest. It is something that we should be able to support if necessary.