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Guest Blog from Buildingeye | Referendum for a Dream: Why Data Standardization Is the Next Evolution for U.S. Cities

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The private sector has always led the race in technological advancement, usually leaving government agencies and city municipalities decades in the past. However, one of the few places where government entities have been pressed forward in this area is for defense applications. Yet collaborative technology partnerships continue to move forward—and even in the past few years, we’ve seen how companies like Accela and governments have been working together in mitigating disasters. Appallicious has a disaster assessment dashboard to help citizens in disaster situations and are working directly with FEMA. DigitalGlobe was recently able to help the U.S. military move their assets in place during the massive flooding in Colorado and even the California wildfires this past year.Through such a powerful partnership, the U.S. military was able to save countless lives, and these scenarios also taught a very important lesson: the data needs to flow, because populations depend on it. How...
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Guest Blog from CityGovApp | Inspection Request App: Easier for Contractors and Less Work for the City

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Accela Engage was a great opportunity to hear directly from agency staff how they are using the Accela Civic Platform in their building and planning departments. Many cities are competing with each other to attract new investments in their communities. Having an efficient planning, permitting and approval process can make the difference between keeping or losing new development projects. At CityGovApp, we’ve had a long history of working alongside Accela to build and deploy apps that help agencies across the country to be more efficient and citizen-friendly. We’ve worked alongside agencies like Westminster, Colorado , to develop their Manhole Inspection app and at Accela Engage 2013 we showcased the Garbage Collection app for the City of El Paso, Texas. To that end, we recently released Inspection Request, a new mobile app on the Accela Civic Platform, designed to reduce the workload for building departments and streamline the inspection request process...
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Guest Blog from Charlotte County, Florida | Becoming Resilient: Fighting Back against Hurricanes and Taking the Unexpected in Stride

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I recently had the honor of presenting at the National Association of Counties (NACo) Resilient Counties Forum as part of a keynote session focused around technology. My fellow presenters included Jeff Stiles, Accela’s Vice President of Marketing, and Ron Hughes, Chief Deputy State Information Officer for the State of California. The Forum was part of NACo’s Presidential Initiative to encourage counties across the country to be more resilient against the many challenges they face. My brief was to talk about how the county I work for, Charlotte County on the southwest coast of Florida, utilizes technology—primarily Accela Land Management on the Civic Platform—to help us become more resilient. Initially, my thoughts went to resiliency against natural disaster and post-disaster recovery. In August of 2004, Charlotte County took a direct hit from a category 4 hurricane (Hurricane Charley). During our recovery, we identified many aspects of our existing technology that was...
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Guest Blog from CitySourced | The Value of the Accela Civic Platform for Government Agencies

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At the Accela Engage User Conference in San Diego, many of us heard Accela software referred to as the “Civic Platform.” What does it really mean to be a software platform? For us at CitySourced , as a strategic development partner for Accela, we believe the platform provides the back-office foundation on which our solution can thrive. We’ve created a citizen engagement platform that serves as a municipality’s “mobile City Hall.” Through our solution, a resident can get easy access to such services as reporting a pothole (asset management), submitting overgrown brush (fire code enforcement), purchasing a fishing or pet license (licensing) or paying a parking ticket (finance). Our audience is your organization’s public-facing community, and our development strategy is a mobile-first, responsive approach. What that all means is that we don’t personally want to build the code enforcement system or the licensing system. However, without these important underlying systems...
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Customer Care: Revolutionizing the Way We Provide Customer Support

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We all talk about partnership and what a good partnership means to us. At Accela, we truly strive to work in partnership with our customers. Accela Engage 2014 was a true testament of our commitment to our customers. We've been focusing on how to be the best possible partner to our customers and to that end, we created the Customer Care organization as the next step in that journey. At Engage, we educated attendees on how Customer Care is revolutionizing the way we interact with our customers. Customer Care team members during Accela Community Live  at Engage 2014 Two years ago, we experienced a paradigm shift at Accela. We decided to create a new team that was responsible for the overall care of our customers from the purchase of our software, through the implementation, to support and into the future with expansion projects. The Account Management team, responsible for overall...
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Guest Blog from VuSpex | It’s a Win-Win-Win: Government, Accela and Industry Partners Work Together for Even Greater Results

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We’re energized following a great week at Accela Engage. The event brings together agencies from around the world, best-of-breed partners and the growing Accela ecosystem. The VuSpex team enjoys our membership in the Accela community. Maybe it sounds a little hokey, but we are actually true believers in the spirit and message of Accela stakeholders. We know we are part of an innovative community and movement that is making democracy better. We do our bit by helping communities build better and in real time. For those of you who do not know about what we do at VuSpex, please check out this 2.5 minute video that we shared at Accela Engage last week: https://vimeo.com/102289421 (password is “engage”). The video shows our Smartphone Inspection Solutions app in action, and we’re proud that it was a winner in this year’s Accela Construct App Challenge. If you’d like to learn more, take a...
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