Environment

Peace of mind to use chat even in in-house settings, we survived the turmoil of Corona-Municipal Communications Online

Initiatives of Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture

Utilize local government tools for business reform①

Chat is safe to use even in an environment inside an institution where we survived the turmoil of Corona.

Tsukuba City Policy Innovation Department Information Policy Section Chief Yoshiki Iizuka

* The following is an excerpt from the Municipal Newsletter, Volume 37 (April 2022 issue), the article is from the interview.

Now that DX promotion is a common theme, more and more local governments are starting to focus on business chat as a trigger. Expectations are high for business improvement as a tool to facilitate communication rather than traditional phone calls and emails. Tsukuba City (Ibaraki Prefecture) is one of them. However, when it was introduced, there were some problems specific to local governments. We asked the person in charge of the city about the background and effects of the introduction.

[つくば市] ■Population: 248,140 (as of February 1, 2010) ■Number of generations: 114,770 (as of February 1, 2014) ■Estimated scale: 162,267,150,000 yen (As of February 1, Reiwa 4) Annual bill) ■Area: 283.72km2 ■ Outline: Along with the famous mountain Tsukuba in the northern Kanto region and Kasumigaura, the second largest area in Japan, it has been designated as a national monument, Tsukuba, a water town. The city’s Tsukuba Science City has a proven track record as a global tech hub that utilizes the concentration of research institutions. Currently, it is the largest science city in Japan with more than 20,000 researchers.

Chat tool censored over information security concerns

―Please tell us how Tsukuba City introduced business chat.

Before the general introduction of business chat, the use of business chat, which can only be used in an internet environment, has spread among some executives in the city, and due to its high convenience. I am there. However, because it is an Internet-based service, there are concerns about information security and restrictions on usage and usage scenarios. So, when I was looking for a chat tool that would eliminate these anxieties while maintaining traditional convenience, I found Trust Bank’s local government-only business chat “LoGo Chat”. Since a free trial is available, we will start the trial on February 2nd, Reiwa.

– What was the reason for the decision to introduce the test?

Since it is an LGWAN-ASP service, information security can be guaranteed even when used within an organization. In addition, there are great expectations that it can be used in the Internet environment as well as in the LGWAN environment. First, the Information Policy Section conducted a trial in advance, but as expected, the convenience was immediately confirmed. Using the detox feature, I can easily attach files from the Internet environment and send them to the agency.

About a month after the test was introduced. When I felt that the full-scale operations within the agency were responding, the novel coronavirus infection was spreading rapidly, and the city began to consider expanding teleworking for its staff. When I was instructed to do so, I decided to use “LoGo Chat” which was just starting to operate.

Information exchange with other local governments can help advance vaccination response

– How has the agency’s internal operations expanded since then?

With the support of Corona, the number of “LoGo Chat” accounts has increased by more than 10 times. Thanks to LoGo Chat, we were able to switch to telecommuting without confusion. I was able to communicate between home and office without delay, exchanging materials, and without interfering with my work.

After that, we moved from a free trial to a full introduction, and the internet tools used in some places were completely abolished. All chats within the organization are unified as “Logo Chat”. Today, the number of accounts has grown to about 640. According to a questionnaire survey conducted by the whole company a few days ago, the satisfaction rate of “LoGo Chat” users is over 80%, which shows high practicability.

– How effective is the introduction?

Sharing information with multiple people in real time works really well. In our city, the government building is divided into two, but with “LoGo Chat”, the scene of walking back and forth with materials is greatly reduced. Also, while there are many staff responsible across departments, chat is more direct than phone calls and emails, enhancing information coordination both qualitatively and quantitatively.

In addition, “LoGo Chat” has themed chat rooms where you can exchange information with staff from other local governments. When responding to the new crown vaccination in advance, I can quickly grasp the information here and exchange useful information, which is of great help to my follow-up work.

– Please tell us your future operating policies.

In our city, we leave use to employee independence, so we don’t have a “split to all employees” policy, but use is still expanding department by department. I think “LoGo Chat” is an effective tool that can be used for various purposes such as confirming safety in the event of a disaster, so I hope to further expand its use within institutions in the future.


Initiatives of Nakatsu City, Oita Prefecture

Utilizing local government tools for business reform②

An on-site “e-filing service” is a trump card for boosting DX momentum within an institution.

Zhongjin
Shudai Nakao, Chief of DX Promotion Section, Administrative Management Reform and Digitalization Promotion Section, General Affairs Department
Child and Family Section Chief, Child-Rearing Support Division, Welfare Department (Outline) Wakako Nakamura

As with the business chat used in Tsukuba so far, there are areas where business transformation is rapidly advancing due to the introduction of local government-specific tools. It is the digitization of operations that connect residents and local governments, such as various application procedures and questionnaires. Regarding electronic application, although there are many systems, Nakatsu City (Oita Prefecture) has launched the “local government-specific electronic application service” and has achieved remarkable results. We asked the person in charge of the city about the background and effects of the introduction.

[中津市] ■Population: 82,881 (as of February 28, 2019) ■Number of generations: 40,275 generations (as of February 28, 2004) ■Estimated scale: 60,939,459,000 yen (as of February 28, 2019) At the beginning of 3 years) Area: 491.44km2 ■Overview: Located in the northwest end of Oita Prefecture, it is bordered by Usa City to the east, Kusu Ward/Hita City to the southwest, Fukuoka Prefecture to the northwest, and Sotanada to the northeast. About 80% of the urban area is forest wilderness. With the Zhongjin area as the core, a large amount of farmland has been opened up on the plains in the lower reaches of the Shanguo River. The north is narrow, the south has a large overhang to the west, and Hikoyama rises to the west, forming a watershed of the Yamakuni River that runs through the area.

Digital mobility experience even for sick employees

―Please introduce the efforts of Nakatsu City to promote DX.

NakaoIn the fall of Reiwa 2 years, a “DX Expert Group”, centered on young employees, was established in the city to discuss various DX promotion measures for digitalization and operational efficiency. What appeared there was the online application process. In our city, we have introduced an electronic application system shared by local governments in the prefecture and used it for some procedures such as child allowance application and resident card issuance. However, it is difficult for the on-site staff to grasp it, the residents do not use it widely, and the procedures are numerous, which delays the time to surf the Internet.

In our city, we know “Logo Form” developed by the same trust bank, because we had already tried “Logo Chat” at the time, and after 3 years trial with Reiwa with free trial version, we decided to introduce it starting from April earnest.

-What was the reason for the decision to introduce it seriously?

NakaoLike “LoGo Chat”, it can be used in Internet and LGWAN environments, so it can be used in a wide range of applications as one of its points.

Another reason is that many departments used during the introductory trial said it worked well. Traditional systems cannot do this because the responsible person creates and modifies the form and aggregates the answer results on their own terminal. With the accumulation of successful cases in various departments, employees who have not been actively involved in digitalization before began to become interested in “Logo Form”.

NakamuraI’m a digitally reluctant worker, but when I actually used the “Logo Form” at work, I was surprised how easy it was to use. I was so impressed by the digital experience that I even wanted to take on new challenges.

The biggest effect of introducing this system is to change the way of thinking across the organization.

– What kind of scenarios is it actually used in?

NakamuraIn the temporary special support project of 100,000 yen for child-rearing families, we used the application procedure of “Logo Form”. Among targeted families, we have accepted applications from thousands of families who need to re-apply using the “Signature Form” while giving priority to families that do not need to apply for benefits. Being able to publish a form in a short amount of time is very helpful by using standard templates and making corrections on the spot.

– What kind of effect does it have in actual use?

NakamuraAbout half of the total number of applications was due to “signature forms”, which found that more residents than expected were using electronic applications. The effect of reducing on-site work time is also good. Aside from the front desk, the use of RPA completely eliminated the need to enter application documents, reducing work time by approximately 8 minutes per application. About 374 cases were processed in about a month from the start of acceptance, so there was a reduction of about 50 hours only during this period. When a sudden job happens, the response to the counter is squeezed immediately, so without the “Logo Form” it’s hard to handle the application with this sense of speed.

NakaoAdditionally, using the “Logo Form” is also an opportunity to increase DX momentum within an institution. In our city, which is positioning the 3rd year of Reiwa as the “digital first year”, we have launched a campaign called “Nakatsu DX Award 2021” in recognition of the DX measures of Reiwa 3rd year employees. Using the “Logo Form” is also a good option here, but most importantly, I feel this change in awareness across the organization is the biggest effect of the introduction.


Initiatives of Tama City, Tokyo

Utilize local government tools for business reform③

Low-code ‘e-application service’ motivates employees to improve work

Tama City
Tomoyuki Ishikawa, Head of Information Policy Division, Planning Policy Department
Kouki Higashi, Minister of Children and Adolescents, Ministry of Children and Adolescents

Similar to the previous content, Tama City (Tokyo) Nakatsu City has achieved business transformation in this field by introducing the “Logo Form”. Through the digitization of various application procedures and questionnaires, the city has greatly improved the work efficiency of staff and the convenience of residents, but there is a view within the agency that “the effect of introduction is greater”. We asked Mr. Ishikawa and Mr. Higashi, who were in charge of the city, in detail.

[多摩市] ■Population: 147,426 people (as of February 1, 2010) ■Number of generations: 73,454 generations (as of February 1, 2004) ■Estimated scale: 94,563,042,000 yen (as of February 1, 2019) 4th year original plan) ■Area: 21.01km2 ■ Overview: In the center of Tama New Town spanning Hachioji, Inagi, Machida, and Tama, 60% of the urban area is the new town area. Although a compact urban area, it has four lines and four train stations. The location about 30 minutes from the city center, take advantage of the urban development with convenient transportation, and conduct town development in harmony with abundant nature and housing. Among the 26 cities in Tokyo, it has the largest per capita municipal park area. From a family point of view, it features a safe and secure urban plan that preserves a separate road for people and vehicles in this lush green space. In November, Reiwa 3, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the implementation of the municipal system.

The use of electronic applications is not yet widespread and the process of digitization has been delayed.

– Please tell us how you launched the e-application service for local governments.

IshikawaSo far, the city has used an electronic application system shared by the Tokyo local government, but the operation has been difficult and must be handled by the information department within the agency when the application form is created. As a result, the system was not widely used, causing delays in online procedures.

In addition, the city regularly conducts large-scale internal questionnaires for all employees, but there is also an operating rule that existing systems cannot be used for administrative internal affairs, so the creation of the survey format is external. , the cost burden is also an issue. As a tool to solve these problems, we focus on “Logo Form”, an electronic application service dedicated to local governments.

– What caught your attention?

IshikawaFirst, it’s a low-code tool that can be easily used by field workers with simple instructions. In addition, since it can be accessed from the Internet environment and the LGWAN environment, we also evaluated that it can be used for various application procedures for citizens and questionnaires for internal staff of the institution.

First, we use the free trial service to try out the introduction from June 2, Reiwa. When we asked them to use it for free in about 10 departments of the agency, we got high marks for each department and said, “If so, we can use it ourselves.” Since the form is made in-house by my department , I can reply to residents’ inquiries by myself, thereby improving residents’ services and work efficiency. In response to these results, Reiwa 4/3/3 was officially introduced and used in many cases.

An opportunity to review the “natural” process

– How did you use it after the introduction?

EastThe Ministry of Children and Youth uses the ‘Signature Form’ to apply to join a school club. In the past, parents had to go directly to the counter or to the school club with documents. However, many parents are in their 20s and 40s, and this method of application is a burden, so I think this is a suitable procedure for electronic application. Even so, with the recent Corona disaster, there are growing calls for online curation procedures. Considering the scale of processing about 2,000 cases per year, we think that the introduction of an electronic filing system here will work well.

-How’s the effect?

EastAccording to preliminary data, 272 of the 1,685 applications (about 16%) were electronic applications using the “Signature Form”. Even in the case of over-the-counter applications, there are cases where only missing documents are submitted using the “mark form”, which is well received by parents. I shortened the application cycle by two days, but completed it without any confusion, feeling that the effect of the electronic application is to reduce the burden.

Since admission to this student club is largely at the discretion of each local government and facility, this is a task performed by each local government’s own methodology. This time, we have received inquiries from multiple local governments regarding the fact that we are able to start an online program of highly original works using the “Signature Form”.

IshikawaIn the process of creating the application format in “Logo Form”, the focus is on the deficiencies and improvements of the regular program, and the opportunity to review the process that was previously taken for granted is the greatest effect. I admit it. If you use the “Signature Forms” feature that allows you to share formats between local governments, you may be able to contribute to improving the business of the entire grassroots local government.


Support the company’s point of view

Utilize local government tools for business reform④

Chat tool launched by about half of local governments has changed the way we work

Masumi Kizawa, Director and General Manager of the Public Technology Department, Trust Bank

As we have seen, local government-specific tools such as “Logo Chat” and “LoGo Form” are supporting the rollout of DX in many local governments. Here, we asked Mr. Kizawa, who oversees both businesses at Trust Bank, which develops and provides these tools, to learn more about why both tools are so popular.

From user reviews, introductions spread to half of local governments

– What is the current launch volume of “LoGo Chat”?

As of Linghe February 4, the introduction record has reached more than 880 local governments. In fact, this is the calculation method introduced by about half of the local governments in the country. About two and a half years after its release in September of Reiwa 1, it has become an indispensable communication tool for changing the way work is done. At the time of publication, there is no chat tool that can be used in both the local government’s LGWAN environment and the Internet environment, so the evaluation of its convenience has led to the current introduction.

In addition, in order to further improve information security, a file detoxification function is standard, and the user group function can be connected with the staff of other local governments, which is also the main point of the decision to introduce it. The User Group is now a useful place for 12,000 people across the country to share their daily work-related issues and knowledge.

– Evaluate the reason for the feature from the user’s point of view.

Exactly. It is said that the introduction of “Logo Chat” is widely circulated because of word-of-mouth communication among users. Therefore, I always try to use the user’s voice for feature development. In fact, “LoGo Chat Plus”, released as an affiliate service of “LoGo Chat”, was born from the user’s voice. We’ve added scheduling and bulletin board features to enhance our character as an information sharing tool. These new capabilities leverage cloud services and update the product for immediate use after development.

As the number of users increases, chat tools become more convenient. Therefore, we will continue to strengthen the functions close to users and support the communication and promotion of local governments.


Self-produced “electronic application services” will be the basis for national municipal DX

Widespread dissemination of BPR results through template sharing capabilities

– It seems that the introduction of “flag form” is also in progress.

Yes. Launched for about two years since the order was issued in March 2018, the “flag form” has been introduced by 428 organisations, the calculation used by about a quarter of local governments across the country. Regarding the “signature form”, the development concept is not only to realize the digitization of resident procedures, but also to support the digitization of internal operations such as questionnaires and applications. Therefore, just like “LoGo Chat”, it can be accessed from the LGWAN environment and the Internet environment, so that it can be used for a wide range of purposes. At the same time, it improves the user interface, making it easy for anyone to create forms.

– What is the effect of using it?

Many local governments have reported the effect of bottom-up DX rollout momentum across the agency, as staff have a successful digital experience at each site. In the past, IT vendors who didn’t know the details of the hypervisor often created application forms. So not only is it a high-cost structure, but it is also an application form that is difficult to flexibly improve, and has heard of many cases where it is not used by staff or residents. If employees who are familiar with the process can make the form in-house, productivity will increase significantly and there will be an incentive to use it in a wide range of jobs. Additionally, by reviewing the work you’ve done so far in creating the form, you’ll come up with ideas that can lead to review and improvement.

– This will also be the trigger for BPR.

Exactly. The results of such business improvement can be presented to other local governments through the template sharing function of the “Identification Sheet”. In other words, it will become the basis for widely disseminating the results of business process reengineering of one local government to all local governments and realizing the efficiency of mutual synergy. We hope to further enhance the template function while developing new convenient functions to help local governments across the country create successful cases of DX.

About Masumi Kizawa

Born in Osaka in 1978. After graduating from Osaka University, he joined IBM Business Consulting Services Co., Ltd. (now IBM Japan, Ltd.) in 2003. Joined Change Co., Ltd. after working on system development and business reform projects. After being in charge of overseas business and local government business development, he was seconded to Trust Bank Co., Ltd. He has held his current position since December 2018.

Trust Bank Co., Ltd.

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