Award-winning govtech veteran expands network of partnerships with industry leaders OpenCities and Forte and agencies including Charlotte, North Carolina and Wine Australia
San Ramon, Calif. – November 5, 2020 – Accela, a leading provider of cloud-based solutions for government, today announced continued momentum in driving digital transformation for governments amid the COVID-19 pandemic. New cloud implementations and go-lives for the quarter included Arlington, VA; Baltimore County, MD; Charlotte, NC; Denver Fire Department; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Milwaukee, WI; Rochester, MN; San Diego, CA; Shelby County, TN; Wine Australia, and Abu Dhabi Department of Health. This past quarter, Accela rolled out its new Premium Citizen Experience powered by OpenCities designed to give governments a no-code way to create an intuitive digital front door for vital citizen services, announced new strategic partnership with Forte Payment Systems to provide a powerful digital payments processing engine for Accela’s cloud solutions, and successfully migrated over 200 customers from their on-premise solutions to its SaaS infrastructure powered by Azure. Accela also received awards from Microsoft, SaaS Mag, and the San Francisco Business Times, underscoring its status as a market leader in helping governments of all sizes adapt to a rapidly-changing civic landscape.
“At Accela, our mission is to help our state and local customers better serve their communities through innovative SaaS technology. Residents and businesses are depending on government leaders now more than ever, and supporting those agencies in putting community outcomes first is all we do,” said Gary Kovacs, CEO of Accela. “2020 has shown us the power of bringing people and technology together to solve some of the greatest civic challenges we face. As we approach the end of a transformative year, I could not be more proud of the incredible progress we’ve made that has demonstrated increasing demand for Accela’s market leading technology and expertise.”
Partnerships to Reimagine Government
In September, Accela also announced its new Premium Citizen Experience powered by OpenCities to redefine the modern relationship between citizen and government. This new offering helps agencies build engaging, easy-to-use websites and online forms that connect residents and businesses with licensing, permitting, service request, and other functions. Beyond facilitating transactions, these sites act as agency and jurisdiction “front doors” enabling information sharing, transparency by putting the citizen experience first. Using the solution, governments of all sizes can create modern, intuitive, and “consumer-like” experiences without the need for custom coding, outside vendors, or contractors to maintain digital services, saving valuable time and resources amid widespread government budget cuts.
“As technology evolves, the standard for agencies to exceed citizen expectations and not just deliver on ‘government as usual’ continues to increase,” said Kevin Goodwin, Chief Technology Officer of the City of San Antonio. “With people now increasingly relying on virtual forms of connection with their governments, user-centric design is imperative to effectively provide critical services and build trust with citizens. Having easy-to-use solutions built with the user in mind that can be implemented quickly has enabled San Antonio to consistently put the needs of our community first and deliver greater results.”
In keeping with a deep focus on creating consumer-like experiences for government customers, Accela also announced a strategic partnership with flexible payment solutions provider Forte Payment Systems to provide a powerful payments processing engine for Accela’s SaaS solutions. As work-from-home mandates for citizen and agency employees have complicated team workflows for accepting paper or in-person payments, online transactions have become an absolute requirement. The partnership will empower government agencies to refine cumbersome manual processes for evolving regulatory and business procedures. Agencies leveraging this integration will gain value from Forte’s capabilities as both a payment processor and gateway for 90 percent of online payment processors.
Additionally, Accela and Australia-based strategic partner DWS partnered to help Wine Australia, which regulates Australia’s AUD2.84 billion wine export sector, launch a SaaS licensing and approval system powered by Accela technology. The new system is projected to process more than 200,000 transactions from more than 3,000 wine exporters from around Australia each year. The system provides end-to-end processing and allows exporters to apply online for licenses and certificates, with greater control of their applications, including review and payment online in real-time and with 24/7 access.
Transforming State and Local Response to COVID-19
Since the launch of its COVID-19 Response Solutions earlier this year, Accela has continued to partner with cities, counties, and states across the country as they navigate evolving citizen, financial, and technological needs in the face of the pandemic. These solutions were developed in response to accelerated customer demand for digital service capability to tackle the challenges of the pandemic and include support for remote workers, online citizen services, virtual inspections, managing the process of re-opening businesses, and more. In July, the COVID-19 Response Solutions received a 2020 Microsoft US Partner Award for “Community Response,” recognizing Accela’s innovation in empowering state and local governments to respond to increasingly challenging external events by transitioning critical citizen services online.
By leveraging Accela to provide digital services prior to the pandemic, Charlotte, North Carolina was able to continue business as usual amidst the new work-from-home paradigm. The fastest-growing metropolitan area in the nation, Charlotte, North Carolina, needed to improve customer experience and quickly overcome the physical challenges presented by COVID-19. With the help of Accela, Charlotte had moved its entire planning process online in 2008, which enabled a seamless transition into remote work for office staff when “shelter-in-place” orders went into effect. By offering digital citizen services, the city could continue providing quality service to citizens remotely during a time when traditional methods would have been impeded or stopped project owners in their tracks.
“The City, being an early adopter of Accela, and using the product, has made what could have been a horrible experience almost seamless,” said Nan Peterson, Business Relationship Manager, for the City of Charlotte. “We basically walked out the door that Tuesday night, and by Wednesday people were back to work at their home office wherever that might be, working seamlessly.”
Other major company, partnership, and event milestones achieved last quarter include the following:
- Accela successfully completed over 200 customer migrations from Accela’s data center-hosted solution to its SaaS infrastructure powered by Azure, completing the project in just nine months. Accela’s open, flexible, and secure cloud solutions hosted on Azure offer agencies a wide variety of benefits by centrally hosting and maintaining all infrastructure and application software. These include increased agility to navigate the shifting civic landscape, radically decreased deployment time, financial predictability, and more. The shift improves Accela’s ability to continuously ramp capacity to meet the influx of demand for its cloud offering. Further, it enables Accela to take advantage of Microsoft’s growing suite of Azure applications, increasing Accela’s pace of innovation.
- SaaS Mag named Accela one of the world’s fastest-growing SaaS companies for the second consecutive year on its SaaS 1000 list.
- The San Francisco Business Times named Accela among the 2020 Top 50 Largest East Bay Tech Employers.
- Microsoft awarded Accela in its One Commercial Partner (OCP) FY21 Q1 Winners Circle program within the category of Top IP Co-Sell ACR in the Public Sector by an ISV partner. The program rewards top managed partner performance on key Microsoft U.S. metrics from the previous quarter, effectively helping Microsoft and its partners’ customers digitally transform.
- To help simplify fire inspections and fuel emergency preparedness, Accela hosted a three-part webinar series hosted with Microsoft Director of Justice and Public Safety Solutions Rick Zak on how to leverage SaaS technology to build safer communities, as fire departments face rising challenges from the pandemic and peak fire season simultaneously.
- Accela redesigned its annual conference and training event, Accelarate, to be 100 percent virtual in 2020. This year’s speakers included Microsoft Executive Director of State and Local Government Solutions Kim Nelson, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Brett Culp, and Accela CEO Gary Kovacs.
Accela works with over 80 percent of the largest cities in the United States. More than 80 percent of Accela’s new customers purchased its cloud solutions, and 66 percent of all Accela customers are now in the cloud. To learn more about Accela solutions, please visit https://www.accela.com/solutions/.
Accela provides market-leading cloud solutions that empower the most innovative state and local governments around the world to build thriving communities, grow businesses and protect citizens. More than 275 million citizens globally benefit from Accela’s solutions, which are powered by Azure, for permitting, licensing, code enforcement and service request management. Accela’s fast-to-implement Civic Applications, built on its robust and extensible Civic Platform, help agencies address specific needs today, while ensuring they are prepared for any emerging or complex challenges in the future. The company was recently recognized as a 2020 Microsoft US Partner Award winner for its innovative SaaS solutions to help governments respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was named as one of the Largest East Bay Tech Employers by San Francisco Business Journal. Accela is headquartered in San Ramon, California, with additional offices around the world. For more information, visit www.accela.com.