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Better government through civic engagement

Using Accela To Meet Department Needs And Save Money

Guest Blog from City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts Recently our Building Maintenance Department informed us of the upcoming license renewal for their internal work order system for the City of Pittsfield. This system was used to report a building issue to the Building Maintenance department, and also housed all of their preventive maintenance calls. Upon further investigation, we learned the cost for renewing the license and bringing the application up to date would be a staggering $42,000. Accela to the rescue A search was conducted to find a less expensive suitable replacement. During the search process, I realized we had a product in our arsenal which could do the job. I approached the Director of Building Maintenance and told him I was pretty sure I could adapt the Accela Citizen Relationship Management (CRM) solution to fit his department’s needs. I met with his staff and examined their request submission, workflow and preventative m......
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Making Modernization a Reality for More Than 300 Communities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Making Modernization a Reality for More Than 300 Communities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

While the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the most populous state in New England, it is also packed full of very small communities, over half of which have under 10,000 residents (with 80 percent under 40,000). And the proportionally smaller budgets have traditionally kept the most advanced and capable technological solutions out of reach.

Not any longer.

Accela and zedIT have partnered to bring the Civic Platform to small towns in an affordable and quick fashion with rapid implementation packages, making the best in government modernization finally attainable to the small towns in the Commonwealth.

With built-in industry best practices specific to the needs of Massachusetts towns, the Civic Platform includes support for emerging state-level initiatives to improve user experience and citizen service.

Read the announcement.

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Reflections and Predictions: How 2015 Successes Position Us to Capitalize on the Year Ahead

Reflections and Predictions: How 2015 Successes Position Us to Capitalize on the Year Ahead
Without a doubt, 2015 was Accela’s biggest year to date. In February, we announced new funding — bringing us just north of $233 million invested in the business. We’re using the latest round to continue growing the Accela family through acquisitions and partnerships, while investing in building an even stronger Civic Platform. Building on six announced acquisitions in 2014 (Decade Software, Government Outreach, Kinsail, Envista, IQM2, GeoTMS), we established our productivity and civic engagement platform as unparalleled in the industry, adding Springbrook Software, SoftRight and PublicStuff in Spring 2015. We’re now laser-focused on efficiently integrating these stellar technologies into the core infrastructure of the Accela Civic Platform. In October, we proudly released Civic Platform 8.0, offering a responsive and carefully crafted user interface that reinvents the way government workers interact with residents and meet their daily goals. In 2015, Accela’s customer base grew significantly, and across all product lines we celebrated more than......
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The Mobile Citizen: Accela, the Construct API and...Lasagna? (Part 3 of 4)

The Mobile Citizen: Accela, the Construct API and...Lasagna? (Part 3 of 4)
This is the third post in a series on "The Mobile Citizen," a look at how the Civic Platform is helping agencies of all sizes engage their mobile citizens and stay ahead of the "mobile mind shift." ------ Wednesdays in the New York City office means a rotating assortment of cuisines for team lunch (follow @dshaeffbk for the occasional #foodtweet). Typically we gather to talk about work, upcoming weekend plans, sports, movies, anything really. Every now and then new faces will spice things up. Earlier this month, Mark Headd and Seth Axthelm from our technical evangelist team were visiting. They work to enable, support, educate and innovate with Accela partners and customers to expand the Civic Platform. The lunch gave Mark and Amir Reavis-Bey, a co-founder of Civic Insight, the chance to catch up between bites of lasagna. As I eavesdropped on their conversation I realized that Mark and Amir's relationship......
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Keeping Track of What Is Happening in My Community with Civic Insight: Creating an Amazon.com experience for government…and much more

Keeping Track of What Is Happening in My Community with Civic Insight: Creating an Amazon.com experience for government…and much more
Today, I am proud to announce that Accela has entered into a strategic partnership with Civic Insight. In this blog post, I will discuss three tangible benefits Accela customers and citizens will gain from bringing the Civic Insight team into Accela. 1. Understanding what is going on in my neighborhood At Accela, we take a lot of inspiration from our neighbors in the Bay Area that are disrupting the way we do things. As such, we have also closely followed the success of nextdoor.com, which makes it easy for citizens to be up to date on what’s going on in their communities. We believe Civic Insight, which gives residents a new level of transparency – from what type of commercial property is being developed four blocks over, to keeping track of home improvement projects their neighbors are working on – is the logical extension of the idea of localization and has simil......
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Why Civic Platform 8.0 Matters

Why Civic Platform 8.0 Matters
Over the weekend, Accela released Civic Platform 8.0. For many of our employees, partners and customers, these releases are an annual or biannual event that produce a litany of new FAQs and release notes on the platform’s newest features. After many years of releasing product, it’s easy to see how these events become yet another “ho-hum” release listing off the “new stuff” added during the past cycle. However, this is not an ordinary release by any measure. Not only is it the most significant release in Accela’s history, but Civic Platform 8.0 is the most dramatic release in the government technology sector, ever. And I realize that is making a bold statement! So what’s the big deal? Why does the release matter? A little more than two years ago, Accela closed its first round of institutional funding. Our desire to raise outside money was centered on our belief that we had the right stuff......
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