How did millions of Irish citizens reclaim some of the freedom that was lost during the COVID-19 pandemic? With quick and easy control of their Digital COVID Certificates (DCC) through the Ireland Department of Health’s new call centre and self-serve portal, they could once again visit people and places abroad.
With the support of Accenture and Avanade – a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft – Ireland issued approximately 4.5 million DCCs to its domestic citizens, representing almost 90% of the population. By contacting the call centre or visiting the web portal during the pandemic, citizens could request a new DCC, update their personal information or have an existing certificate reissued if it was lost to facilitate travel.
"The Accenture and Avanade team challenged our thinking and traditional mindset in terms of how to go about designing and delivering a solution that allows the public to engage with us across multiple channels. The project built on the ambition to evolve from eGovernment to Digital Government and how we deliver public services."
From the moment most of the world was locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic, people everywhere were counting the days until we could once again travel abroad to reunite with family and friends. For citizens within the European Union (EU), travel restrictions started to ease with the widespread availability of COVID vaccines. To ensure safe travel into member countries, the EU required the use of DCCs.
Each country needed to create its own system for citizens to request certificates, make changes and update personal information. Looking for a scalable, flexible and secure solution that could be built quickly to meet a high demand, the Ireland Department of Health partnered with us.
Together, we created a bespoke case management solution to support the rapid scale-up of an agent-based call centre using Microsoft Azure PaaS services and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service. The system was integrated with the internal infrastructure of Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) so that information relating to new and updated certificates was automatically imported into Dynamics 365. We also created a public-facing, self-service web portal using Microsoft Power Apps. Because the solution handled personal data, it was backed by Microsoft Azure Sentinel – an advanced threat detection and mitigation tool – to ensure the highest level of security.
As the world continues to move beyond the COVID crisis, the successful collaboration between the Ireland Department of Health, Accenture and Avanade will be one of the stories we tell about how people pulled together to overcome the challenges placed before us.