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Springbrook Software and SoftRight Acquisitions Bring Finance & Administration to the Civic Platform

Springbrook Software and SoftRight Acquisitions Bring Finance & Administration to the Civic Platform
We are excited to announce that today we acquired Springbrook Software and SoftRight, leaders in cloud-based fund accounting, payroll, human resources and utility billing software. These new additions to the Civic Platform allow cities and counties not only to be more productive and modernize finance and billing processes, but also to meet demands of local residents. As we expand our platform and solidify our position as the leader in civic engagement, our truly connected and integrated solutions offer more capabilities to fit all agencies no matter the size or complexity. We will rebrand the Springbook and SoftRight solution suite as Accela Finance & Administration, and going forward we’ll have the ability to provide city and county agencies with the tools, training and solutions they need to manage finance, payroll, billing and more. Our customers will benefit from the expanded breadth of the Civic Platform. These new solutions will mean the...
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CA Fwd’s Summit on Data: Creating Sustainable Open Data Programs

CA Fwd’s Summit on Data: Creating Sustainable Open Data Programs
On March 18th I attended CA Fwd’s annual Summit on Data. Speakers touched on many themes related to the sustainability of open data programs, with a focus on how open data can create value for governments, the private sector and citizens. Making open data programs within government agencies sustainable has been a recurring theme that I have come across in my research on open data. One point that Michael Chui, a partner from the McKinsey Global Institute, brought up was that opening data is not an end in itself. Rather, people need usable applications to contextualize the data and make it actionable. Referencing the McKinsey Global Institute’s study , which claims open data can unlock $3 trillion dollars of value or more in the economy, Chui asserted that one way open data can create value is by enabling governments and private sector companies to benchmark themselves off others. Another trend...
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Bringing a New Era of Citizen Engagement to the Big Apple

Bringing a New Era of Citizen Engagement to the Big Apple
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New York is a hub for civic technology and open government initiatives. With one of the most detailed open data policies and the newly launched Civic Hall center for civic innovators, the City is on the forefront of true civic engagement – applying technology to better serve citizens. This past Wednesday we held a gathering for civic-minded developers, government officials, influencers and media at the historic Fraunces Tavern in New York to celebrate the civic technology boom in the city. The Tavern boasts a rich history as the setting for George Washington’s famed farewell to his officers in 1783. It served as the perfect backdrop to talk about changes in government and how open data and automated services can improve relationships between agencies and the citizens they serve every day. We kicked off the event with comments from New York City Council Member Ben Kallos on the critical role of...
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Announcing the Governing Institute’s 2015 Citizen Engagement Awards: Start Nominating Today

Announcing the Governing Institute’s 2015 Citizen Engagement Awards: Start Nominating Today

As the leading platform provider for government, Accela is always looking for innovative approaches to improving access to information and to citizen engagement. That’s why we’re so excited to announce the 2015 Citizen Engagement Awards with the Governing Institute. We’ve collaborated to develop this program to recognize the agencies and champions creating more accessible, transparent and citizen-centric communities.

The awards program is open to any state and local government agency, with the following categories: City/County Government, State Government, and Leadership/Innovator. The Leadership/Innovator category is open to any elected official, government employee, civic organization or nonprofit agency supporting citizen engagement through innovative technology solutions.

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Bringing the Ten Faces of Innovation to Accela

Bringing the Ten Faces of Innovation to Accela

It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Accela family! As a member of Accela’s Product Management team, which is responsible for product vision and planning, I need to understand what is important to government agencies. The team looks for ways to ensure our customers’ goals are met across all of our solution offerings. Pulling from different areas in and outside the company helps us accomplish this, which is why I attended IDEO’s Ten Faces of Innovation seminar led by coauthor Jonathan Littman.

The seminar brought people from Pandora, UCSF, Walmart, Cisco and, of course, Accela – a great group with varying expertise and backgrounds. I was excited to attend the seminar because it focused on using strategies to spark innovation within organizations, and it did not disappoint. The day consisted of lectures and several exciting group activities that pushed us to produce under pressure.

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Announcing the Accela Connect Hackathon Winners!

Announcing the Accela Connect Hackathon Winners!

The Accela Connect Conference - held from March 1st through 4th at the Squaw Valley Resort in Olympic Valley, California - brought together Accela staff, partners and developers for four great days of networking, training and discussions. And, of course, we found some time to do some civic hacking.

We kicked off our annual partner conference with a one-day hackathon! Civic technologists, developers and Accela staff worked together to build new solutions using government open data hosted on CivicData. Almost 30 developers signed up to participate in the event.

By the end of the day, we received nine inspiring submissions, including: data visualizations and analytics, custom CivicData agencies, a restaurant score alert system and a 3D building inspection app. These solutions were developed using open data from Alameda, California; Evanston, Illinois; Newark, New Jersey; and Cincinnati, Ohio.

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