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The Accela Civic Platform: What’s (Trust) Love (and Creativity) Got to Do with It?

The Accela Civic Platform: What’s (Trust) Love (and Creativity) Got to Do with It?
At Accela, our company values of Trust, Love and Creativity drive everything we do. Though we don’t outwardly talk about these values frequently, they inform and support the way we behave internally as well as how we interact with customers, partners, developers and citizens. Because our beliefs and values are so important to us and everything we do, I wanted to take a moment to describe to you how we are living out these values. We believe that engagement makes all the difference, and we make engagement easy by building bridges between citizens and government. To take it one step further, how does being a platform provider fit in with our corporate purpose of building a better democracy through engagement? And what are the implications of living our core values of trust, love and creativity? The answer is in the Civic Platform, which simultaneously helps us serve agencies, citizens and...
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Amazon, Google…and Accela? The Power of the Platform

Amazon, Google…and Accela? The Power of the Platform
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Amazon, Google and Accela are three distinct companies with one core commonality. We have all built platform solutions that are unique to our industries. Maury introduced the Civic Platform in August at Accela Engage 2014, and we gave more detail in a recent blog post, “ What Does the Civic Platform Mean to Me? ” Because the Civic Platform is so powerful, and encompasses so many solutions, with value to many different types of people, over the next several months we will post several series of blogs to demonstrate the power and value of the Civic Platform, and how it can benefit you, your agency and your community. But first, let’s get down to basics: what is a platform? What is a platform? A platform is a technological foundation on which one or more firms and partners can build complementary products, services and systems, supporting an ecosystem of innovation. Going...
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Guest Blog from Charlotte County, Florida | Becoming Resilient: Fighting Back against Hurricanes and Taking the Unexpected in Stride

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I recently had the honor of presenting at the National Association of Counties (NACo) Resilient Counties Forum as part of a keynote session focused around technology. My fellow presenters included Jeff Stiles, Accela’s Vice President of Marketing, and Ron Hughes, Chief Deputy State Information Officer for the State of California. The Forum was part of NACo’s Presidential Initiative to encourage counties across the country to be more resilient against the many challenges they face. My brief was to talk about how the county I work for, Charlotte County on the southwest coast of Florida, utilizes technology—primarily Accela Land Management on the Civic Platform—to help us become more resilient. Initially, my thoughts went to resiliency against natural disaster and post-disaster recovery. In August of 2004, Charlotte County took a direct hit from a category 4 hurricane (Hurricane Charley). During our recovery, we identified many aspects of our existing technology that was...
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Guest Blog from CitySourced | The Value of the Accela Civic Platform for Government Agencies

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At the Accela Engage User Conference in San Diego, many of us heard Accela software referred to as the “Civic Platform.” What does it really mean to be a software platform? For us at CitySourced , as a strategic development partner for Accela, we believe the platform provides the back-office foundation on which our solution can thrive. We’ve created a citizen engagement platform that serves as a municipality’s “mobile City Hall.” Through our solution, a resident can get easy access to such services as reporting a pothole (asset management), submitting overgrown brush (fire code enforcement), purchasing a fishing or pet license (licensing) or paying a parking ticket (finance). Our audience is your organization’s public-facing community, and our development strategy is a mobile-first, responsive approach. What that all means is that we don’t personally want to build the code enforcement system or the licensing system. However, without these important underlying systems...
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Guest Blog from VuSpex | It’s a Win-Win-Win: Government, Accela and Industry Partners Work Together for Even Greater Results

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We’re energized following a great week at Accela Engage. The event brings together agencies from around the world, best-of-breed partners and the growing Accela ecosystem. The VuSpex team enjoys our membership in the Accela community. Maybe it sounds a little hokey, but we are actually true believers in the spirit and message of Accela stakeholders. We know we are part of an innovative community and movement that is making democracy better. We do our bit by helping communities build better and in real time. For those of you who do not know about what we do at VuSpex, please check out this 2.5 minute video that we shared at Accela Engage last week: https://vimeo.com/102289421 (password is “engage”). The video shows our Smartphone Inspection Solutions app in action, and we’re proud that it was a winner in this year’s Accela Construct App Challenge. If you’d like to learn more, take a...
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On Open Data, Platforms and Public/Private Partnerships

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Mark Headd and I were asked by Professor Peter Robertson to share our perspectives at the upcoming Academy of Management Conference . Unfortunately, our Engage Conference precludes us from attending in person, so we filmed a brief video to send on our behalf. We had a chance to discuss the Accela Civic Platform and CivicData.com and to share our thoughts on: Challenges and opportunities agencies face when building open data How standardization is essential to fostering innovation The value of open data to agencies, developers and citizens How public/private partnerships foster innovation How a platform approach is essential for scale How civic engagement and collaborative governance improve communities These things are inextricably linked. Opening data fuels civic hacking and innovation. Standardization brings cross-jurisdiction visibility and scale and leverage to civic developers. Collaboration and true partnerships between agencies, developers and vendors like Accela incubates these civic innovations. A platform-based business model...
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