To enhance services for citizens, Municipio de Aguascalientes targeted faster, more efficient procurement processes—but paper-based legal reviews of tenders and contracts stood in the way.
Municipio de Aguascalientes adopted IBM Connections Cloud and IBM Verse® as its digital collaboration platform—enabling 1,500 users across all parts of the municipality to work together seamlessly.
Up to 77%faster procurement processes help keep vital services running smoothly
25%of users now work in digital communities, facilitating collaboration
Enablesthe municipality to start digitizing its processes to boost efficiency
Business challenge story
Tearing up paper-based processes
One of the 11 municipalities that make up the Mexican state of Aguascalientes, Municipio de Aguascalientes is responsible for providing more than 832,700 citizens with key services such as water, sanitation and streetlighting, as well as social assistance programs for disadvantaged communities.
Ramiro Pedroza Márquez, CIO at Municipio de Aguascalientes, begins: “We rely on our public procurement organization to purchase work, goods and services on our citizens’ behalf. Whether we’re buying new bulbs for streetlights or food and medical supplies for our social programs, our procurement teams must follow strict rules to ensure fairness, transparency and sound procedural management.”
With around 7,000 employees working at multiple departments throughout the city of Aguascalientes, Municipio de Aguascalientes faced significant challenges in completing its procurement processes in a timely manner. In the past, almost every stage—from issuing a tender, reviewing proposals and drawing up a contract—relied on paper. Because the municipality needed to mail documents back and forth between internal and external stakeholders, it could take a whole month to complete a single procurement exercise.
“We knew that drawn-out procurement processes were reducing our ability to deliver timely, high-quality public services,” continues Pedroza Márquez. “For a number of years, citizens have been able to use our website to pay their taxes and report issues with public services—and many citizens now prefer to communicate with us via the digital channel. Based on the success of our online services, we saw an opportunity to use digital workflows to accelerate our procurement processes.”
Enhancing efficiency with digital collaboration
To achieve its goal, Municipio de Aguascalientes selected a social business network based on IBM Connections Cloud with analytics-based email from IBM Verse. By adding leading-edge capabilities such as digital communities, wikis, instant messaging and collaborative document editing, the municipality is empowering its people to work together seamlessly with their colleagues across geographical and organizational boundaries.
“Of all the collaboration platforms we considered, we felt that the IBM solution was the most mature and feature-rich,” recalls Pedroza Márquez. “We hosted our previous Microsoft Exchange email platform on-premises, and from the outset we knew we wanted the reduced operational costs and minimal administration requirements of a cloud solution. With IBM Connections Cloud and IBM Verse, we’ve gained a comprehensive range of collaboration capabilities without the need to manage any underlying hardware, software and networking infrastructure.”
Working together with a team from IBM, Municipio de Aguascalientes migrated 1,500 users from its human resources, legal, finance and planning teams to IBM Connections Cloud and IBM Verse. With all the principle stakeholders in its procurement process working on the same shared collaboration environment, the municipality has created digital communities to replace paper documents.
“One of our main aims was to reduce the time from issuing a request for proposals to the chosen company starting the work,” says Pedroza Márquez. “Today, around 25 percent of our IBM Connections Cloud users are active members of digital communities—and many of those users are from our legal and procurement organizations. Rather than physically mailing contracts between departments for review, our people now create, review, share and edit documents in IBM Connections Cloud and IBM Connections Files.”
He adds: “Working with the IBM team was a great experience, and the technical expertise they demonstrated from the get-go gave us confidence we’d made the right choice. IBM supported us throughout our migration, and we knew we could count on them for guidance and support when we needed it. Overall, the process went extremely smoothly, and within a matter of weeks we’d trained all of our business users to use the new collaboration tools.”
Delivering higher-quality services for citizens
By replacing paper processes with digital workflows, Municipio de Aguascalientes is achieving its aim of accelerating its procurement cycles—contributing to more timely, higher-quality services for citizens. And with a complete audit trail of every change made to digital documents, the municipality can help ensure it complies with rigorous best practices.
“Working on contracts in IBM Connections Cloud means we can eliminate the need to shuffle paper back and forth between different parts of the organization,” comments Pedroza Márquez. “As a result, we’ve cut the average time to procure work, goods and services from one month to one week—77 percent faster. Our new approach is already having a positive impact. For example, we recently procured services and materials to carry out repairs on some streetlights in the city, as well as food supplies for disadvantaged communities.”
Every year, Municipio de Aguascalientes sets and tracks goals against key performance indicators, such as reducing the number of public safety incidents. Thanks to the IBM solution, the municipality predicts that it will be able to improve maintenance of public infrastructure, reducing the frequency of streetlighting faults and road defects.
“Our primary goal is to serve our citizens effectively, and we aim to devote as much of our time and resources as possible to that objective,” explains Pedroza Márquez. “By choosing the IBM Connections Cloud, we don’t have to perform backup or administration tasks, which frees more time to develop value-added services for people in the municipality.”
Looking to the future, Municipio de Aguascalientes is planning to digitize more of its paper-based processes, such as employee leave requests. By integrating a cloud content management solution from Box with its IBM Connections Cloud platform, the municipality aims to define digital workflows to reduce manual effort and further increase operational efficiency.
“We believe that integrating Box with our IBM solution could speed up our procurement cycle even further, and we’re excited to explore that possibility,” concludes Pedroza Márquez. “Embracing a social business approach to collaboration is already helping the municipal government work more effectively—enabling us to deliver better services to our citizens, faster.”
About Municipio de Aguascalientes
One of the 11 municipalities that make up the Mexican state of Aguascalientes, Municipio de Aguascalientes provides services for more than 832,700 citizens, many of whom live in the state’s capital city of Aguascalientes.
Take the next step
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