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Working on Government as a Platform

I’ve been excited by the idea of government as a platform for a long time. It’s what motivated me to join my first civic hacking contest in 2008, and it has informed every decision in my professional career since then—including my decision to accept an invitation from the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia in 2012 to help implement that city’s award winning open data program. And it’s this same belief in the transformational power of the idea of government as a platform that led me to Accela. I’m thrilled to be joining the team at Accela as a Technical Evangelist to help developers and business partners build powerful new solutions for Accela’s customers on the Accela Civic Platform . By leveraging the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity of our partners and of civic technologists everywhere, Accela has developed a framework that can generate tremendous value for governments tasked to do...
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Should You Be Moving to the Cloud?

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We’re only one month into 2014 and we’re already seeing significant momentum around cloud delivery, specifically as it ties to cloud use by government agencies of all sizes. For Accela, this means helping these agencies realize the opportunity to reduce costs, improve service levels and engage with citizens. And we’re not alone. The Center for Digital Government recently published an issue brief (registration required) talking about why it is time to move to the cloud. The idea of outsourcing is not new. Government agencies have been outsourcing for decades. However, this latest push toward outsourcing (also known as Cloud Computing) appears to be driven not only by the economy and cost pressures, but also by a shift in citizen expectations as well. In a Government Technology article last year, Maury Blackman, Accela’s CEO, talked about changing citizen expectations and how cloud can impact an agency’s ability to deliver these services...
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fr
Jeff, Great points and resources for governments looking to move to the cloud. Accela certainly grasps the power of the cloud and... Read More
Thursday, 13 February 2014 19:17
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Looking Back at Accela Engage 2013: Civic Engagement Trends and the Value of Open Data

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I’ve had a chance to reflect on Accela Engage 2013 and wanted to share a few key takeaways. It was my first year attending the conference, and I was delighted by the energy and level of active participation throughout the week. Over 450 customers representing more than 100 agencies around the world made it a priority to attend to learn about our strategy and plans, to network and to learn. First, a quick synopsis for those of you who were not able to attend this year. Our CEO, Maury Blackman, opened his keynote by showcasing the power of engagement between government agencies, citizens and businesses. Engagement was a common theme throughout the week, and is the reason we renamed our user conference Accela Engage this year. Accela CEO Maury Blackman delivers the keynote address at Accela Engage: 2013 User Conference. During his keynote, Maury discussed four key trends we’ve talked about...
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Looking Ahead to Accela Engage: 2013 User Conference

Looking Ahead to Accela Engage: 2013 User Conference
Our user conference is just over two weeks away, and the team at Accela is hard at work making final preparations. We have a lot of great sessions and networking opportunities in store, and we’re looking forward to seeing many of you in San Diego. (If you would like to attend but have not yet signed up, you can register online through August 2, 2013.) So, what makes this user conference different than previous ones? First, you may have noticed that we changed the name of the event to Accela Engage. We did this to reflect the shift within many communities toward improving the delivery of government services through civic engagement . Agencies of all sizes can now deploy cloud, web, mobile and social technologies to more effectively engage with their constituencies, meet changing regulatory and compliance standards and manage civic functions. This is something that our customers are embracing,...
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Better Governing through Civic Engagement

It’s already happening. You see it when citizens report potholes, broken signs, graffiti or nuisances using 311 apps. You see it with hackathons , the open data movement, and with organizations like Code for America and Tumml brokering innovation by bringing together developers and government agencies. There’s a palpable energy driven by technological innovations, heightened expectations, and the diverse needs of governments and the businesses they serve. At Accela, we’re keenly focused on improving governing and governments through civic engagement . Why Civic Engagement and why now? Agencies of all sizes can now deploy cloud, web, mobile and social technologies to more effectively engage with their constituencies, meet changing regulatory and compliance standards and manage civic functions.  The Center for Digital Government recently completed a survey of 150 local government IT and business leaders to measure awareness and need for regulatory software. The study showed that government efficiency is the...
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CityCamp Palo Alto: Thoughts on Civic Hacking from Dr. Jonathan Reichental

Accela is a proud sponsor of the upcoming CityCamp Palo Alto, part of the National Day of Civic Hacking. The event, scheduled for June 1, 2013, will include panel discussions, technology demos, music and amazing food. Jonathan Reichental, the City of Palo Alto Chief Information Officer and the Founder and Co-creator of CityCamp Palo Alto, sent along some thoughts on civic hacking, which I've posted below. Read, comment, join us for a day of Civic Good and let us know if you will inspire and be inspired. Why Civic Hacking is Good News for Government and Our Communities by Dr. Jonathan Reichental City of Palo Alto Chief Information Officer Founder and Co-creator of CityCamp Palo Alto Hacking 101 When US Navy warplanes returned to base after bombing missions during World War 2, engineers would use  hack saws to cut pieces off broken aircraft and apply them to good planes to get...
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