City of Oakland Selects Accela Cloud Platform Boost Efficiency, Transparency, Ease of Access
City of nearly 400,000 is third major Bay Area city to choose Accela in recent months
OAKLAND, Calif., July 18, 2012 – Accela, Inc., the leader in solutions for government-citizen interaction, announced today that the City of Oakland, Calif., has awarded the company a more than $3.5 million contract to deploy Accela Automation® enterprise software in the City’s Department of Planning, Building & Neighborhood Preservation (DPBNP). The new system, to be hosted in the Accela Cloud, will increase transparency, improve public access, and streamline processes for planning and zoning, building permits, and code enforcement.
The contract with Oakland marks Accela’s third with a major Bay Area city in recent months. The company last October announced it had added the City and County of San Francisco’s departments of Planning and Building Inspection to its customer roster, and in June the City of Berkeley’s Department of Planning & Development.
Serving a population of nearly 400,000 people covering approximately 56 square miles, the City of Oakland intends to leverage technology for far-ranging operational improvements, with the system targeted to go live in the summer of 2013. Accela Automation and a range of add-on applications will replace the existing legacy green-screen system with innovative functionality designed to:
- automate the dozens of steps in permitting, inspections, and plan reviews;
- meet the needs of Oakland’s diverse population with multilingual content;
- provide disabled employees and citizens with improved access to electronic information;
- deliver 24/7 online access to residents and businesses; and
- serve up geographic information systems (GIS) data to City employees in the office or on the street; and equip mobile workers with the tools and information they need to perform their jobs more efficiently.
“The Bay Area has always been home to people who look toward the future and envision new ways to do everything better,” said Maury Blackman CEO and President of Accela. “As a Bay Area-based leader in technology for e-government, Accela is a product of this environment. We’re proud to work with local cities, like Oakland, which share the same philosophy.”
Accela Automation is deployed by hundreds of governments of all sizes and populations as a complete solution for automating critical tasks associated with permitting, licensing, code enforcement, community development and planning, inspections and investigations, infrastructure asset management, emergency response, and more. The software also is used by the Port of San Francisco, as well as numerous Bay Area governments, such as Contra Costa County, and the cities of Alameda, Concord, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, Pleasanton, and many others.
The Accela Automation platform offers numerous capabilities to address the City of Oakland’s needs.
- Cloud-Based: By being hosted in the Accela Cloud, Zoning, Planning and Building inspection data will be secure and available to employees whenever and wherever needed – a vital component for today’s “always-on” e-government.
- Centralized: Accela Automation utilizes an open architecture and a centralized database, allowing information to be easily accessed across departments. For the City of Oakland, the software will track permits and fees, log code enforcement cases and actions, and automatically route applications to appropriate personnel to ensure compliance with City zoning laws and building codes – creating more consistent and transparent revenue streams.
- Java-Based: The platform-independent Java programming language makes it easy to move from one computer system to another or to run the same program on many different systems – spurring greater efficiency and transparency.
- Multilingual: The City of Oakland will benefit from Accela Automation’s extensive multilingual capabilities, using language packs for Spanish and Chinese. These language packs can be deployed in the back-office application for agency users, as well as through the companion Accela Citizen Access™ product to serve the public.
- Accessible: The software is compliant with Section 508 the Rehabilitation Act, providing internal staff and members of the public with even broader and more equitable access to these innovative e-government solutions. Accela Automation and Accela Citizen Access have been enhanced to fully support the use of assistive technologies such as the JAWS® text-to-speech reader and text-to-Braille hardware, and to leverage browser-based tools for screen color and contrast, enabling those with sight impairments to make effective use of these products.
- GIS-Enriched: Accela Automation delivers advanced mapping capability in a rich user interface, allowing users to access and share data from agency or Bing maps. Accela GIS™ supports Esri’s ArcGIS Server and integrates with an agency’s existing GIS systems to provide a geographic view of all land-use, zoning, and infrastructure information associated with a parcel, permit, inspection or plan.
- Mobile for Citizens and Workers: The software’s mobile capabilities via Accela Mobile Office™ will allow field-based staff to access, update and share key data and GIS maps in real-time, boosting accuracy and reducing trips to the office for coordination and paperwork. Meanwhile, businesses and residents will be able to apply, pay for, and track their permits and licenses online from their home, office or mobile devices using Accela Citizen Access.
- Tailored Apps: City staff will be able to leverage a number of current and planned applications for tablet PCs and smartphones or potentially develop their own apps using the Accela Mobile SDK™ (software development kit).
About the Department of Planning, Building & Neighborhood Preservation
DPBNP improves the physical and economic environments of Oakland through sustainable development that embraces three core principles: healthy environment, economy, and equity. Key focuses for the department include: promoting sustainable development and a vibrant, urban city; making it easier for Oakland residents to live and work in the city; improving code enforcement to keep Oakland residential and business neighborhoods safe and healthy; providing responsive, timely and accurate customer service; streamlining processes and improving communication with residential and business communities; and improving Oakland’s overall livability through well maintained streets, sidewalks, parks, trees and facilities. Further background is available at http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/PBN/index.htm.
About the Department of Information Technology
The City of Oakland’s Department of Information Technology provides the timely delivery of strategic, responsive, cost-effective technology solutions and quality services to meet the goals defined by the Mayor, City Council and Oakland’s citizens. Details are available at: http://www.oaklandnet.com/government/informationtech/technology_home.htm.