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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...
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Accela Engage Is Next Week!

Accela Engage Is Next Week!
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It’s hard to believe Accela Engage 2015 is almost here! Many of us here at Accela have been working hard for months to make sure this is a great event. From planning the presentations, sessions and training to the event logistics and fun activities (like Paramount Studios Monday night for our Customer Appreciation Dinner!), the office has been a whirlwind of activity. To lighten things up a bit, we recently had a “guess how many pins are in a jar” contest, and the winner is the woman whose team is responsible for much of the design work you’ll see at Engage – be sure to tell her what an amazing job they did when you see her in LA! I’d also like to give a huge shout-out to master event planner Candice Nepomuceno, who is the wizard behind the curtain for this year’s conference. Our multi-talented Creative Director Karla Wong...
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Guest Blog on PBS MediaShift: Open Data Beyond the Big City

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The below is an excerpt of my guest blog on PBS MediaShift. You can r ead the full post here . Big cities, like San Francisco, are more likely to have adopted open data than smaller cities. This is a problem, says Headd. Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license . “The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.” –William Gibson. The Economist, December 4, 2003 The last time I heard Tim O’Reilly speak was at the Accela Engage conference in San Diego earlier this year. In his remarks, Tim used the above quote from William Gibson — it struck me as a pretty accurate way to describe the current state of open data in this country. Open data is the future — of how we govern, of how public services are delivered, of how governments engage with those that they...
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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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Working on a New Vision of Democracy at CivicMakers

Working on a New Vision of Democracy at CivicMakers
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In a world of civic cynicism and disconnection, a surprising group of people came together to discuss a new vision for democracy. The first Inaugural CivicMakers Salon was held this week at the Runway Incubator in San Francisco. The challenge posed to event attendees was to answer this question: What should real democracy look like and how can technology help us get there? A new conversation about the opportunity to use technology to bridge the gap between government and citizens is being encouraged by events like this. To kick it off we heard from one of the event organizers, Lawrence Grodeska, Director of Nonprofit Community at Change.org, "I'm so inspired by the 125 people who came together to share their vision for how technology can help improve democracy. It's clear that people want to talk about this, and I hope CivicMakers can help bring this conversation back to every tavern,...
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CivicData.com: Changing the Game on Open Data

CivicData.com is Accela’s open data portal. The site represents a new approach, one that emphasizes the core mission at Accela—to build bridges designed to connect citizens and government agencies—and we believe that it will change the game on how governments publish open data. A New Direction for Open Data As the open data movement matures, an increasing number of federal, state and local governments are formalizing their commitment to releasing data for external users by adopting open data policies and implementing open data portals . As open data portals become more common, and as more and more data is released through these sites, two open data portals from across the vast expanse of the U.S. stand out for their embrace of a different approach—an approach that signals a new direction that the open data movement will take in the next few years. OpenDataPhilly.org is the official open data portal for...
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