SSA shows off Internet interaction

The Social Security Administration will outline its brave new world of real-time,

personal Internet interaction between staff members and customers on Thursday.

The SSA presentation is part of a daylong program for government executives

and managers who use Internet-based technologies to streamline operations

and improve customer service.

SSA conducted a test run — or "proof of concept" — of the event in September

and October. During the trial run, a dozen companies ran four demonstrations

in which testers acted as customers and employees. They conducted business

via instant messaging, e-mail and voice over the Internet, said Tony Trenkle,

director of the electronic services staff at SSA.

"With the proof of concept done, we're looking at the actual blending

of these technologies together" to serve SSA customers, Trenkle said Tuesday.

SSA ran its pilot program in conjunction with CommerceNet, a nonprofit

worldwide consortium of companies that works with government, industry,

academia and others to promote e-commerce.

Trenkle said SSA will offer hands-on demonstrations of system prototypes

on Thursday and present an evaluation of them by KPMG Consulting LLC.

"We're hoping as a result of [the KPMG report] that we'll be able to

use these things in the next phase of our customer service," Trenkle said.

Because KPMG has not fully briefed SSA's executive board on its findings,

the consulting group likely will not go into great detail Thursday.

Once the board has received the entire report, a full release of the

details will follow, Trenkle said.

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