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Guest Blog from CitySourced | The Value of the Accela Civic Platform for Government Agencies

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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Customer Care: Revolutionizing the Way We Provide Customer Support

We all talk about partnership and what a good partnership means to us. At Accela, we truly strive to work in partnership with our customers. Accela Engage 2014 was a true testament of our commitment to our customers. We've been focusing on how to be the best possible partner to our customers and to that end, we created the Customer Care organization as the next step in that journey. At Engage, we educated attendees on how Customer Care is revolutionizing the way we interact with our customers. Customer Care team members during Accela Community Live  at Engage 2014 Two years ago, we experienced a paradigm shift at Accela. We decided to create a new team that was responsible for the overall care of our customers from the purchase of our software, through the implementation, to support and into the future with expansion projects. The Account Management team, responsible for overall...
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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

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: (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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Governments Worldwide Working for the People: 2014 Accela Engage Customer Award Winners

When Abraham Lincoln spoke the phrase, “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” he envisioned a government that existed to better serve its own constituents—one that was open to change and innovation, and would better the lives of every citizen. Although it’s easy to get caught up in the wave of cynicism that’s so popular these days, there are government agencies around the world that consider improving the lives of constituents a top priority, and are creating new and innovative technologies that embrace that populist ideal by making it easier for citizens to engage with their governments. The Accela Engage Customer Awards were created to honor agencies that are using technology to build better communities by providing online and mobile services, which streamlines processes and enhances collaboration. This year, Accela recognized nine government agencies with awards in a variety of categories. 2014 winners include: Mobility Award: Baltimore...
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Changing Civic Engagement for Good: Accela Construct App Challenge Winners

From voting to volunteering, civic-minded citizens have been committed to improving our society since its inception. But far beyond joining town hall meetings and handing out flyers, emerging technology in the hands of brilliant developers provides us with new and exciting ways to bridge the gap between citizens, businesses and the government agencies that serve them. To help accelerate that innovation, Accela hosted its 2014 Construct App Challenge , which called on our best civic-minded developers to build apps that help create more informed and productive communities. Participants were able to submit in two categories, New Civic Apps and Existing Civic Apps, and the top three apps in each category received prizes totaling $25,000; grand prize winners will also receive mentorship and, sales support, and received a chance to participate in the keynote session at Accela Engage . This year’s winners are: New Civic App Category Grand Prize Winner: Inspector...
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Guest Blog from Appallicious: The Case for Comprehensive Open Data Legislation

On October 17, 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay Area, killing 63 people and injuring nearly 4,000 residents. The quake also caused an estimated $6 billion in damage and displaced over 12,000 people. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the earthquake, and though we don’t know for sure when the next “big one” will hit, we now have access to resources and tools to better prepare and recover from disasters like these. At the White House last week, Appallicious unveiled one of these new tools during a disaster technology event -- the Disaster Assessment and Assistance Dashboard, or DAAD . This new online tool creates a “shareable economy” to aid in economic stability post-disaster. DAAD utilizes open data to assess community resiliency and promote pre-disaster preparedness, allowing for more resilient economic recovery in the wake of a disaster by creating a more robust and locally...
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