Accela Showcases Software Innovations, Customer Successes at 2010 User Conference
CEO urges governments to focus on strategies for reinvention and relevancy
GARDEN GROVE, Calif., Aug. 2, 2010 – Accela, Inc., the leading provider of Web-based software that makes government services available 24/7, today opened the 2010 Accela User Conference, a week-long event attended by hundreds of government professionals, and which includes user training sessions, demonstrations of new technologies, and presentations by both government and private-sector innovators who are changing the way governments fulfill their mandates amid unprecedented challenges. Running from Aug. 2 - 6, the Accela User Conference features sponsors and exhibitors such as: Microsoft, GIS leader ESRI, mobility solutions providers Motion Computing, Panasonic Toughbook, and Trimble; as well innovators such as General Dynamics, Selectron, Woolpert, and many more.
New Era in Government Service
Accela President and CEO Maury Blackman led off the conference with an address urging local governments to focus on strategies to reinvent themselves, and to improve their effectiveness and relevancy in a world of unpredictable economics and evolving public expectations. Blackman equated the revolution of anytime-anywhere access to information with earlier paradigm shifts – such as the advent of railroads and the Interstate Highway System which created boomtowns, but also left some communities lacking the means to compete.
“We don’t have to look far for examples of the high price paid for not moving quickly to address a changing world,” Blackman stated. “Staffing and budget pressures, combined with public demands for greater transparency, mean that governments must reinvent their business and transform themselves by making the investments that will create fast-moving, economically vibrant communities. Governments that don’t think ahead and take matters into their own hands will surely be left behind.”
Calling for a new era of how governments serve their citizens, Blackman envisaged communities in which:
- business owners can arrange licenses or permits from their jobsite, rather spending hours in lines;
- parents can report downed stop signs with smart applications that know where they are and inform governments of which actions to take;
- contractors can quickly respond to their customers and communicate instantly with cities to arrange inspections;
- and government departments can instantly share and act upon information in order to maintain quality neighborhood services.
Technologies for Government’s Next Phase
The Accela User Conference follows a year of continued innovations in Accela solutions designed to empower governments as they move toward their next phase of greater efficiency and service.
- In February, the company delivered Accela Automation® 7.0, the newest version of its flagship enterprise application featuring innovations in data management, geospatial mapping, and mobile technology designed to boost the ability of governments to streamline critical tasks – such as permitting; licensing; code enforcement; community planning and development; asset management; and emergency response – while offering greater self-service capability for citizens via the Web.
- A product update in July included Section 508-compliant features that support the use of assistive technologies, enabling disabled employees and members of the public to make effective use of Accela Automation and Accela Citizen Access™. Accela also added numerous features designed to improve navigation, empower mobile public access, and extend real-time editing of GIS map data to field-based workers.
Comprehensive workshops and training sessions for all facets of these solutions will be held throughout the Accela User Conference. Government customers, such as Evanston, Ill., will also share their stories. The city has moved to a completely automated, real-time tracking process for managing citywide rental properties including related registration, inspections, complaints and citations.
On Aug. 4, industry visionary Matthew Miszewski, General Manager for Worldwide Government at Microsoft, will present an overview of his work moving governments toward shared services, consolidation, and cloud computing in order to lower costs and help the strategic goals of elected leaders.
Following Blackman’s keynote address, Accela showcased the next phase of its software development strategy, by previewing Accela Automation’s forthcoming Project Manager solution, expected in 2011, which will provide a comprehensive and collaborative enterprise project review and management capability for a range of regulatory documents – including plans, architectural drawings, licenses, and more.
Accela concurrently announced an agreement with the International Code Council (ICC), the world’s primary source of regulatory design and construction compliance standards, which will enable ICC’s eCodes digital code products to be directly accessible Accela Automation users. The agreement allows Access to ICC’s eCodes Premium Subscription service to be incorporated into the Project Manager solution. The agreement also allows Accela to serve as a reseller of eCodes Premium Subscriptions to its hundreds of worldwide customers.
“Innovation and reinvention can never stop – either for Accela products, or for the business of government,” said Blackman. “The Accela User Conference brings together the best minds and the best technologies to help governments keep up with an ever-changing world.”