David Shaeffer, Author at Accela

Posts by David Shaeffer

Accela Engage Series: Q&A with Doug Petroshius, Assistant Village Manager for the Village of Lincolnwood, Illinois

David Shaeffer
Doug Petroshius is the Assistant Village Manager for the Village of Lincolnwood, IL, where he has been since 2004. This year will be his first time attending Engage, and he’s looking forward to it! What are you most looking forward to at Engage 2016?I work for the Village of Lincolnwood, which has been a Springbrook customer since 2003. Recently with Accela’s acquisition of Springbrook (now Accela Finance and Administration) and Lincolnwood’s implementation of Accela Citizen Relationship Management (CRM) earlier this year (and recently executed contract for Accela Land and Licensing and Case Management), my community is investing in the Accela Civic Platform. I am looking forward to understanding more about the Accela approach to software and previewing other software systems…. Continue reading

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Accela Engage Series: Q&A with Stan Reichert, IT Project Manager for Oklahoma City

David Shaeffer
Stan Reichert is IT Project Manager with the City of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He has been joining us at Engage for the past 10 years, and has been a frequent speaker and collaborator at this event. Have you attended Engage in the past?Yes, for about 10 years. If so, what things do you enjoy most about Engage?Connecting with other clients with similar interests and needs as well as solving common problems together. I also enjoy being able to meet with Accela staff face-to-face. What are you most looking forward to at Engage 2016?Learning about what is coming up in future versions of 8.0.x for Accela Land Management and Accela Licensing and Case Management…. Continue reading

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Launching Accela CRM: Muhlenberg Township Shares Its Keys for Success

David Shaeffer
Recently, Muhlenberg Township, Pennsylvania, launched Accela Citizen Relationship Management (formerly PublicStuff), expanding its use of the Accela Civic Platform – the Township also uses Accela Finance and Administration to manage its complex finance and accounting processes. Notably, the Township was able to launch Accela Citizen Relationship Management (CRM) in less than seven weeks. As a way to understand this successful launch, and hopefully provide lessons to those currently in the implementation stage (and others considering a CRM solution), I spoke with Joe Mench, Director of Information Technology for the Township. Like many IT officials in local government, Joe wears many hats. Not only is he responsible for IT planning,… Continue reading


Evanston 311: City Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary of Its Successful 311 Call Center

David Shaeffer
This post is part of our weeklong celebration of 311 Day on March 11th. Use the hashtag #Getthe311 to follow the celebration on Twitter. —- Earlier this month, the City of Evanston, Illinois, celebrated the five-year anniversary of its successful 311 call center. The success of the program can be summed up by this July article in the Chicago Tribune. Columnist Christine Wolf describes how, following an accident involving her son, Evanston 311 helped drive change that brought improved signage to a dangerous intersection. “Knowing I had someone to call about an issue important to me kept the lines of communication open and positive – a much-needed reminder for this working mom,” she wrote…. Continue reading

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The Mobile Citizen: Winter Storm Jonas, Philly 311 and a New Form of Customer Service (Part 4 of 4)

David Shaeffer
This is the fourth post in a series on “The Mobile Citizen,” a look at how the Civic Platform is helping agencies of all sizes engage their mobile citizens and stay ahead of the “mobile mind shift.” —— Late last month, Winter Storm Jonas hit much of the east coast. From Friday, January 22 to Sunday, January 24, the storm affected 102.8 million people and covered about 434,000 square miles in 26 states, according to the NOAA. For many local government officials, Winter Storm Jonas meant around-the-clock work to keep citizens safe, roads accessible and communication constant. In Philadelphia, the nationally renowned Philly 311 call center received more than 21,000 calls (8x more than normal),… Continue reading

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The Mobile Citizen: Accela, the Construct API and…Lasagna? (Part 3 of 4)

David Shaeffer
This is the third post in a series on “The Mobile Citizen,” a look at how the Civic Platform is helping agencies of all sizes engage their mobile citizens and stay ahead of the “mobile mind shift.” —— Wednesdays in the New York City office means a rotating assortment of cuisines for team lunch (follow @dshaeffbk for the occasional #foodtweet). Typically we gather to talk about work, upcoming weekend plans, sports, movies, anything really. Every now and then new faces will spice things up. Earlier this month, Mark Headd and Seth Axthelm from our technical evangelist team were visiting. They work to enable, support, educate and innovate with Accela partners and customers to expand the Civic Platform…. Continue reading

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The Mobile Citizen: What Makes a Good Mobile Tool? (Part 2 of 4)

David Shaeffer
This is the second post in a series on “The Mobile Citizen,” a look at how the Civic Platform is helping agencies of all sizes engage their mobile citizen and stay ahead of the “mobile mind shift.” —— What makes a good mobile tool? This was the question I was asking myself as I read the results of the annual Digital Cities Survey. The survey identified technologies and initiatives that cities are likely to have an increased focus on in the coming year. Mobile technology ranked in the top 3, behind only cybersecurity and open data. As I thought about good examples I’ve seen as both a student of government and working in the industry,… Continue reading

The Mobile Citizen: Reach Them Where They Are (Part 1 of 4)

David Shaeffer
There’s a shift happening in how we get information, use services and communicate with others. It’s a mobile shift. Forrester, a leading market research firm, calls it the “mobile mind shift” and describes it as an “expectation that I can get what I want in my immediate context and moments of need.” As companies like Uber and Amazon continue to leverage mobile technology to reach customers during these specific “mobile moments,” it’s not as easy for government to engage their “mobile” citizens. Why? Because, unlike businesses, governments can’t target their customers with a service tailored to a specific need. Government must serve everyone by delivering a multitude of services as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible…. Continue reading

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