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OMES assists OESC in helping unemployed Oklahomans

Friday, April 17, 2020

Steven Harpe

J. Kevin Stitt


For Immediate Release

OKLAHOMA CITY - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and a record number of Oklahomans file for unemployment, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services is doing what it does best, providing technology and human resources solutions to agencies that need it during this unprecedented time.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reached out to OMES for help to upgrade their legacy technology; to recruit staff and train them to provide information to the record number of Oklahomans filing for unemployment; and to completely rework the outdated and hard-to-navigate OESC website.

“The needs of the agency to respond quickly to the monumental task of assisting tens of thousands of claimants required technology solutions and OMES rose to the challenge,” said OESC Executive Director Robin Roberson. “The ability of OMES to swiftly design and implement results-oriented outcomes gave our agency the ability to improve the customer experience both on the web and in its call center. This economic crisis required us to rapidly create the capability to connect displaced workers with monetary relief and OMES was a primary partner in achieving this success.”

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, OESC had 26 people answering phones. OMES reached out to agency partners for volunteers and recruited current OMES staff, and within one week, raised that number to over 500 representatives handling unemployment calls and answering questions in the newly installed chatbot on the OESC website. 

"We have teams equipping OESC to fully monitor their mission-critical systems via interactive, real-time dashboards to provide agency leadership a new level of visibility," said Steve Harpe, director of OMES. "OMES used Virtual Desktop Infrastructure to expand the agency’s work-from-home capacity for over 200 employees, and OESC call wait times have dropped from an average of over four hours to 17 seconds."

Additional key metrics and ongoing technology projects:

  • In three days, OMES created a new website to provide clear and concise unemployment information to citizens, employers and veterans.
  • OMES assisted OESC in setting up two separate virtual town halls last week for legislators and the general public.
  • OMES created explanatory YouTube videos to help answer citizen's frequently asked questions about unemployment claim filing.  
  • Response times on key webpages have improved by 60%, creating a better citizen experience. Ongoing website improvements will be rolled out over the coming weeks.
  • OMES is rolling out a new feature today for OESC that will enable citizens to email their requests to the OESC service center, rather than having to call.
  • Over the next week, OMES teams will be making several upgrades to the technology supporting claims processing and other core services; and are working to provide citizens the ability to check claim status online within the next two weeks.

Media Contact

Shelley Zumwalt
405-990-6611 | [email protected]

About the Office of Management and Enterprise Services

The Office of Management and Enterprise Services provides financial, property, purchasing, human resources and information technology services to all state agencies, and assists the Governor’s Office on budgetary policy matters. Our mission:  Provide excellent service, expert guidance and continuous improvement in support of our partners’ goals. For more information, visit


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