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Accela Insights

Better government through civic engagement

Why We Chose Accela Citizen Relationship Management

Guest Blog from City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts Our citizen reporting application wasn’t meeting our needs—it was outdated and cumbersome, and we needed a better tool. I spoke with my Business Development Executive, Ken Cutroneo, about what Accela could provide, and never imagined the possibilities! We were looking for a more robust, digital communications system that would simplify how residents submit requests, receive updates and access city information, and we wanted it to be easy and a time-saver for our staff to use as well. We found our answer in the Accela Citizen Relationship Management (CRM) solution. Implementation a breeze Once I started the process of building our requests, departments, users and workflows into the system, it became evident I could get to a very granular level. Our process was simple at first—take everything in the old system and ask departments if they wanted anything changed in the Accela one. Next came build......
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Why Trump's Infrastructure Plan Needs Regulatory Technology Reform First

Why Trump's Infrastructure Plan Needs Regulatory Technology Reform First

This article was originally posted on Forbes.com.

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Top 3 Things to Know About the Civic Platform 9.0 Release

We are pleased to announce that our latest software release is now available – Civic Platform 9.0! With this release, we are delivering a number of customer-requested features to make your job quicker and easier. We think you’ll be particularly excited about the Civic Platform’s redesigned workflow, citizen payment updates and improvements to GIS mapping. 1. Redesigned workflow The biggest and most exciting change to the Civic Platform is the reimagined workflow. We continue to look for new ways to make you more efficient in your job, and in doing so, we completely redesigned the user interface and usability. The updates to the workflow user interface were made using Bootstrap, which is a sleek, intuitive and powerful framework for developing fast, responsive web pages which align with the new HTML interface that we are now using as well. The new UI is also responsive, so you no longer need to scroll left-......
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Legalize it? Regulate it!

Legalize it? Regulate it!
We are entering a new era of innovation, disruption and change. The very “norms” of how we live, travel and use energy are changing. Some of these changes are technologically-driven; e.g. ride- and home-sharing platforms such as Uber and Airbnb, or solar panels and their next generation, solar roofs. And some are cultural shifts—ten years ago we were telling kids not to talk to strangers online or get into unknown cars. Today, we casually hop into the car of a stranger we are connected to through an app and trust they will take us to our desired destination. Emerging responses While the sharing economy provides convenience and progress for many, it can also be quite challenging for government agencies to navigate. Across the country, the fight to determine how or if these changes will take permanent hold in our society continues to be waged. In fact, governments swing wildly on the spect......
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Civic Insight Has Seen Major Product Enhancements

a1sx2_614_scrnshot1_20170119-190649_1.pngCivic Insight, a cloud-based tool that measures, tracks and visualizes planning, permitting and code enforcement data, has been a part of the Accela family now for about a year. In that time, we have been working diligently to make the product even better for our users. We recently released Civic Insight 3.0, the most significant upgrade to Civic Insight since we first launched in 2012, and we want to tell you about all of the great new enhancements – many of which came about from user feedback and usage. Listening to feedback and working on moving the product forward resulted in the enhancement of two major features: 1) search and 2) analytics. Search The search bar is the most common way to find information in Civic Insight. Because it is used so frequently, we heard many great ideas of how it could be enhanced. In particular, most of our users wanted d......
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Marijuana and the Sharing Economy: The Top Government Regulatory Challenges of 2017

Presidential politics has the tendency to drown out all other electoral storylines. If you're in need of proof, consider this: marijuana was legalized for either recreational or medical use in eight of nine states in which it was on the ballot, including the big one – California. Cannabis is now legal in some form in 28 out of 50 states, yet that headline has barely been discussed in the mainstream media. This is just one of several public policy issues that will challenge government officials in 2017. Another is the sharing economy. State and local government officials throughout the U.S. have been trying to figure out how to handle the rise of Airbnb and ridesharing services Lyft and Uber for some time. In San Francisco, Airbnb hosts are now required to register and pay fees to the city. But of the 7,000+ residents who rent out their homes, only a little over a......
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