The Service Delivery Community
OBC currently recognizes three wholesalers that offer additional value-added services for requests and registrations already available through OBC. The wholesalers are currently limited in their services because of the portfolio of transactions offered by OBC, which hinders the profitability of being a partner in this project. The wholesalers come from sectors that already offer information and services to businesses dealing with the government. They have the financial and technical capacities to develop the necessary IT applications and links to OBC and its retailers. One wholesaler was eliminated (or eliminated itself) because of its inability to meet the service quality standards. Actually it was mostly because it could not invest anymore without a sufficient return on investment. This wholesaler was a small one.
The Retailers and Organizations Hosting the Interactive Workstations
Several municipalities, governmental agencies and libraries host interactive workstations, and the possibility of integrating related transactions or to coordinate services is under study.
Currently at least one local NPO which offered OBC services, Enterprise Toronto, became a retailer for one of the wholesalers, Dye & Durham. The objective was to make the service profitable. Although the service was exactly aligned with the organization's mission, it became demanding in terms of resources required to dedicate in order to maintain the same quality of service. Indeed, the workstations increased the services of their four centers and the manager had to reflect on how to follow-up on this growth without jeopardizing his budget. The workstations are designed to be user-friendly. However, for certain clients, like the immigrant entrepreneurs who don't have a good grasp of the language, assistance from the center's employees is absolutely necessary and is more time consuming compared with the usual paper registration. The solution envisioned added a lump sum to the government price (for example, it costs $60 to do a name search and they could have charged $ 75 and put the extra $15 in their program). However, OBC, as a public organization, excluded this possibility which could have made citizens feel that it was a tax on a tax. OBC was nevertheless open to the idea of Entreprise Ontario becoming a retailer for the private enterprise. Enterprise Ontario was the first organization to wear two hats. The organization signed a MOU with OBC, which provides the workstations, the technology, and the back office operation. It also signed a contract with Dye & Durham, which provides the Internet access and the support software for the transactions and all the connected services. This initiative is considered to be a "test-drive" and can be re-evaluated, but for now, the two partners seem satisfied with it.