As with all Accela’s releases, the Fall 2021 release was driven by feedback and input from our customers, including established needs, and the “new normal” requirements introduced with stay-at-home and public safety mandates over the past eighteen months.
The focus of this release was to:
The Fall 2021 Release includes new capabilities in the Civic Platform to make it easier to configure and adjust solutions faster, a must with the increased need for solution agility.
New Configuration Manager
Accela’s new Configuration Manager is part of the administration tools offered with the Civic Platform to help agencies manage their configurations across environments and projects. Used by both SaaS and on premises customers, it is a powerful tool with rich capabilities to import, export and delete configuration files, which include record types and other configuration settings and information across environments.
With the need for solution agility and configurability comes the work to develop, implement, test, and train on various configurations and solutions within SaaS environments. For Fall 2021, we have introduced the availability for unlimited non-production environments for our Azure-hosted customers. This helps solves the complexities of dispersed IT resources, situations where agencies might be training and testing simultaneously, multi-phased projects, and other requirements driven by a customer’s specific Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) methodology.
Accela Insights is Accela’s advanced reporting and data visualization tool for our SaaS customers. It is built on Microsoft’s PowerBI platform, and customers can build powerful and comprehensive data visualizations, dashboards, and reports using their data to communicate insights that end users understand.
With the Fall Release, we are offering pre-built dashboards across our Civic Applications using Accela Insights. For customers, this means if they are deploying our permitting, environmental health, business licensing, or any of our other Civic Applications, they can use dashboards created specifically for those use cases at no additional cost. These dashboards reflect our deep domain knowledge of these specific areas, and save time and money in deployment, and ensure agency staff are receiving the most value from their process data.
Other new features in Accela Insights include new utilities to easily move dashboards across all environments, including Test, Support, and Production, and a “My Dashboards” feature which enhances the way administrators deploy dashboards and reports to end users.
With V21.2 in the Fall Release, Accela has enhanced Accela Mobile with support for Single Sign-On and Multi-Factor Authentication, ensuring agencies can implement these same security capabilities for their mobile users they have for the back-office. Accela Mobile also includes new features to improve how documents can be added or manipulated, including new markup capabilities options for photos, and upload of file types aside from images and videos, allowing users to attach PDF and other file types to a record or inspection.
Agencies are always looking for ways to improve the citizen’s experience, and Accela has improved ACA to meet those needs. This includes an optimized public user registration process for users using different mobile devices and a streamlined registration process. It also uses Accela’s Oxygen design system which includes an updated look and feel and adds accessibility updates that meet WCAG 2.1 guidelines.
Civic Applications are Accela’s pre-configured solutions built on the Civic Platform. They are designed to help agencies deploy solutions more quickly and cost effectively than custom-built solutions and are easier to support and maintain over time.
For the Fall Release, we are enhancing the user interfaces across all Civic Applications with our Premium Citizen Experience. This low-code web development system allows agencies to better provide information to citizens about services offered, create pre-qualification questions for citizens, and deploy more intuitive menu-driven and guided citizen experiences.
Civic Application for Environmental Health V3
For the Fall 2021 release, we are extending our Environmental Health Civic Application to help support our Decade customers. This includes data and report conversion tools which makes the migration from Decade to the Civic Platform much easier and cost effective.
Service Request Management V2 – Essentials and Extended
With the Fall 2021 release, the Civic Application for Service Request Management will include three levels, including Essentials, Extended, and Enterprise, each with a different set of capabilities and price points to meet the needs of specific customers. The Extended and Enterprise levels include the rich process automation power of the Civic Platform, to extend an agency’s service request (311) system to the Maintenance or Public Works departments for inspection, and management of service delivery.
The Fall 2021 Release reflects our new normal. It is designed to ensure faster development and deployment of new solutions, reconfiguration and modification of existing ones, and better experiences for back-office employees, field workers, and citizens alike.
For more information on the Fall 2021 release, please contact your Accela Account Executive.