State agencies reach for the sky to better serve Oklahomans
OMES helps four state agencies move into one of the tallest skyscrapers in Oklahoma City
The Office of Management and Enterprise Services is enabling four state agencies to operate from a central location in one of Oklahoma’s tallest skyscrapers, formerly known as SandRidge Tower. The consolidation of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, Tax Commission, Lottery Commission and State Department of Health comes during a time of customer-centric critical thinking, propelled by how state agencies can best serve Oklahomans during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. In line with this effort, and under the leadership of Chief Information Officer Jerry Moore, OMES is working to ensure the agencies’ phased-in move is as quick and seamless as possible.
The governing board of the Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office closed on the $35.5 million-dollar purchase Sept. 1. Since then, OMES Information Services has established technology infrastructure throughout the building. To equip the four agencies with everything they need to work effectively, OMES has worked to set up roughly 900 machines, upgrade video and audio capabilities and secure wireless access points, OMES IT Project Manager Cory Craig said.
Stress can accompany big moves like this. Employees are bound to encounter technology and connectivity issues. Understanding this inevitability, OMES teams were on-site and accessible for any difficulties to ensure these residents had immediate access to technology assistance. OMES Program Manager Brad Rogers said client experience is an important part of the project.
“If the client’s experience is not great, then we haven’t done our jobs,” Rogers said. “So, I think what the goal and the intention on this was, we’re trying to make it as simple and painless as possible to all these agencies.”
According to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, OMES achieved that goal.
“OMES did a tremendous job of preparing for our agency’s move. Our Oklahoma City staff of 90+ people was up-and-running on Day One with no major issues. OMES even provided each of our staff with a box of welcome goodies, as well as donuts and coffee on our first day at the new office!”
One notable achievement is eliminating the State Department of Health’s fax server and transferring to a secure cloud-based server. This modernization will not only save time, money and resources, it will provide Oklahomans with more efficient customer service.
“OMES has been an amazing partner and resource in helping to streamline this major transition,” the health department said. “Our goal is to be fully settled in our new home by the end of December.”
Both the State Department of Health and the Oklahoma Lottery Commission said they are excited for this transition to a central facility. With multiple agencies within floors of each other, there are more opportunities to collaborate with each other.
“We are thrilled to be able to upgrade our workspace and offer our employees a safer and more accessible place to work, all within a very cost-effective leasing model,” the Oklahoma Lottery Commission said. “Our ability to provide a better work environment for our current employees as well as create a more attractive option to potential new employees should benefit everyone in stronger productivity and help build an even more successful lottery for the State of Oklahoma.”
This year has drastically changed our state and how we serve our citizens. In addition to highlighting agencies’ strengths when working toward common goals, it has given them the opportunity to transform and modernize business practices.
“There’s a lot of people who just want to shred the red tape,” Craig said. “This is 2020. We’re not in the 1980s anymore where we need to follow a ton of processes to get something done."
Centralizing these four agencies gives a glance into the potential future of state government in Oklahoma. A future where people go to one location to receive excellent customer service.
Take a brief virtual tour of the tower:
About the author
- Recent writing
Christa Bolain coordinates and creates original content for all OMES social media platforms, with an emphasis on written and visual communication. She assists with the research, writing, editing and distribution of OMES internal and external publications for grammar, spelling, consistency and OMES branding compliance.
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