HMRC picks £5m partner to support programme to ‘transform customer interactions’

Written by Sam Trendall on 27 July 2021 in News

Department awards 18-month contract to William Alexander

Credit: Images Money/CC BY 2.0

HM Revenue and Customs has awarded a £5m deal for a partner to support a programme to transform its interactions with citizens. 

The tax agency’s Transforming Customer Interactions scheme aims to increase use of digital services and online self-service tools, as well as improving how the department manages demand in its call centres.

The goal of the programme is to “significantly drive down the costs of supporting customer compliance”, alongside increasing “investment in the redesign of customer interactions and deployment of technology components [that are] widely used in other organisations”.

The central strand of the TCI scheme is the Customer Engagement Programme, the aim of which is to break up and replace an existing overarching arrangement with KCOM. This work is intended to conclude by the end of March 2022.

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This disaggregation work is taking place across four technology areas, the first of which is the migration of “webchat and virtual assistant components” which have already been moved to a platform from Nuance. HMRC’s advisor-user interface has also been moved from KCOM to Pegasystems.

The department still needs to complete the process of moving its telephony infrastructure and data and reporting platform from KCOM to new suppliers. This work will continue for the next eight months, with the new telecoms system delivered by Capgemini, Odigo, Nuance, and Capita. The data platform, meanwhile, will be provided by RStudio, Microsoft, and Amazon Web Services.

Alongside the work to renew and replace customer-engagement platforms is HMRC’s Debt Management Transformation scheme.

The initiative is “a four-year programme to deliver a new debt-management system to transform the debt collection services HMRC offers, in line with the wider transformation of HMRC’s end-to-end customer service approach”.

All these transformation initiatives will be supported by William Alexander Consulting, which has been awarded a £5m deal, running from 1 July until the end of 2022.

“Our requirement is for the provision of a service contract partner to support the Customer Engagement Programme work streams and Debt Management Transformation,” the contract said. “HMRC are seeking a service contract partner to support… implementing new contact centre products and capabilities whilst exiting an incumbent platform. This includes knowledge transfer and capability development of its internal staff to increase the level of maturity and skill to manage the new service.”

The technology consultancy, which has offices in London and Brighton, will be set statements of work each quarter, with its performance and progress then tracked against these statements month by month.


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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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