Engaging Citizens with Social Media and Spatial Data using EnerGov Social IO’s


The advancement of automated technologies and social media has enabled government agencies to become more transparent and engaging with their constituents more than ever before.   First Lady Michelle Obama created her official Twitter account earlier this month and Vice President Joe Biden held his first Twitter interview yesterday.

State and local governments are also actively using Twitter to communicate with the public as well. Whether it’s to communicate emergency alerts, road conditions, or job opportunities, government agencies can effectively keep citizens updated and well-informed in real-time.

For instance, the City of Marco Island, Florida, one of the east coast’s most popular vacationing spots, uses EnerGov’s Social Intelligent Object Engine, or “Social IO’s”, with Esri Geographic Information System (GIS)  to proactively deliver real-time alerts related to community development through social media platforms as part of their automated business workflow.  Through EnerGov’s social media automation, a tweet from the city’s Building Services Division Twitter account, @Marcoisland_FL, is automatically generated to inform citizens of a new permit with links to additional permit information as well as a map or spatial view of the activity. By using social media as part of the permitting & development process, the city has taken transparency and constituent engagement to a new level.

Utilizing the EnerGov 9 platform, agencies can configure EnerGov’s social intelligent object engine as a way for government agencies to effectively communicate important news and alerts to the citizen they serve. Informing the public of road closures, traffic jams, parade routes, and construction projects are just some ways for government agencies to connect and effectively engage with the public utilizing this exciting new technology.

Read more about EnerGov’s other tools that help governments improve public services and citizen collaboration here:  http://www.energov.com/citizen-access.html

Government field inspectors take full advantage of the iPad with iG Workforce

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a media tablet to mobilize your workforce. Industry experts believe that the iPad will continue to be the preferred tablet for some time because of its overall design, strong ecosystem, and Apple’s trusted brand name.   The iPad has become the gold standard in the marketplace backed by its amazing iOS and its 170,000 tablet-specific apps.

Another critical factor to consider is the ability to take advantage of many of the tablet’s features to perform required tasks — a key reason why the iPad was the best choice to run iG Workforce, a powerful mobile platform designed to help government workers do their job more efficiently in the field.  The iPad’s native functions were easily integrated with the iG Workforce platform to help field workers carry out tasks more quickly and efficiently. Here’s a look at four of iPad’s features that are useful tools for the field worker:

Location Services

The Esri GIS map that comes standard with iG Workforce is integrated with the iPad’s GPS to leverage geographic data and provide location-based services.  For instance, you can optimize the best travel route for a daily inspections list and get step-by-step directions from your current location to the next inspection site on the list.


Built-in Camera

Rather than carrying a separate camera to take photos of code issues or violations, an inspector can use the built-in camera in the iPad.  The photo can instantly be attached to the inspection record, reducing the time it would take to go to a computer to download and then upload the photo from a separate camera.


Digital Signature

The iPad comes with a digital signature capability, allowing contractors and inspectors on site to sign off on inspections and instantly submit them to the back-office system without the hassle of scans or faxes — a quick and seamless process.


Reporting and Printing

Instead of waiting to get back to the office to print reports, they can instantly be generated and printed to give to those who need it on-site.

iPad printer

These are just a few of the native iPad functions that work seamlessly with iG Workforce to increase productivity of field workers.  Users have found the iPad coupled with iG Workforce to be an intuitive, and an overall cost-effective mobile solution when considering the amazing increase in efficiencies the solution can bring.  To see other benefits iG Workforce can extend your mobile workers, click here or go to www.iGWorkforce.com.

Mobilizing Your Workforce in 2012

Mobile technology was the number two priority for CIOs surveyed by Gartner in 2011 and continues to be  the number two priority for CIOs in 2012.  The federal government also took initiative this year to formulate a mobile strategy of its own to reduce costs, increase productivity of employees and improve the accessibility and efficiency of its services.

Many state and local governments can also benefit from mobile technologies but may often be slower to embrace them due to a variety of factors: tight IT budgets, a long and political due process to overhaul legacy back office systems and software, or simply an uneasiness to change to what is new.

Rather than revamping an entire legacy system all at once, government agencies can implement a mobile strategy relatively quickly and in staggered steps, starting with one department or even one process at a time. Field inspection processes are a great place to implement a mobile strategy as enabling research, checklists, comments, printouts and other processes in the field on tablet devices often can provide significant efficiencies and high ROI with relative ease.

With the iG Workforce platform, mobile workers can easily and quickly manage all aspects of the inspection process from the iPad.  The native app works seamlessly with the iPad to instantly access, manage and sync data with any back-office system via an open API and if required, cloud-based hosted environment.  Here are three simple ways the iG Workforce platform can help inspections be processed more efficiently:

  • Prioritize inspections:  the iG Inspect app includes an Esri GIS mapping technology to optimize the best route to take for the day’s inspections, in addition to other functions to help analyze inspections geographically.

  • Standardized the Process:  iG Inspect streamlines all the items that need to be reviewed for a particular inspection with the choice to pass or fail the item and add any comments or notes.

Check list

  • Sync and normalize data – iG Inspect was the first mobile government platform designed specifically for the iPad that utilizes an API and cloud-based architecture to manage your data centrally allowing for integration with multiple back office system.  The mobile environment allows field inspectors to store and forward data when they’re out of range of the Internet.

iG Workforce Cloud

For government agencies looking to mobilize their field staff, the iG Workforce platform provides an easy transition to a mobile solution with its superior interface and intuitive features.  The advancements in mobile technologies just within the last few years is staggering as shopping and banking on the phone or media tablets have become the norm.  For government agencies looking to leverage these advancements in mobile to help increase work productivity and improve public services in their regulatory processes, iG Workforce is the first step to take for a long-term mobile solution.

For more information, go to www.iGWorkforce.com and follow us on Twitter: @iGWorkforce1.

2012 EnerGov Certification Courses – Registration Now Open

If you haven’t already, register to become a certified EnerGov professional in 2012. The EnerGov certification courses are held within EnerGov’s state-of-the-art training facilities within EnerGov’s corporate headquarters (greater Atlanta area). These courses will provide an in-depth overview on how to administer and configure particular modules and components of the EnerGov platform.  These certifications are essential in ensuring your agency has the know-how to fully leverage the investment made in the EnerGov system.

Additionally, in response to Gov 2.0 initiatives, EnerGov will also be offering a seminar on Citizen Engagement, which will offer insight on how to utilize the EnerGov platform in addition to using social media and other technologies to better engage the public. This seminar is open to all government agencies (EnerGov and non-EnerGov clients) and will be held in the greater Atlanta area.

Please note that EnerGov customers with certified EnerGov professionals receive a discount on their support plans as well as discounts on user conferences and other events on an annual basis. Professional certifications must be kept up to date annually.

For more details and the full listing of certifications courses, click here.

Clients’ High ROI Drives EnerGov’s Success in 2011

By helping government agencies achieve tangible benefits with increased efficiencies, enhanced services and improvements in overall economic vitality, EnerGov witnessed its most successful year in its ten-year history.  EnerGov reached a milestone year in 2011 with record corporate growth and all-time new sales increases up 89% from the previous year.  Over 5,000 new government agency users have been signed up over the past 12 months – an astounding number in which the success is derived primarily from the value EnerGov is bringing to its customers.

Take for example, Cedar Rapids, IA (2nd largest city in the state), which has realized substantial ROI by implementing EnerGov 9 Enterprise Licensing & Regulatory suite for managing rental properties.  Before implementing the system, the city could not process landlord license application and property registration fees centrally with a single check as different departments had to collect the fees. Requiring two separate checks was not only inconvenient for the applicant, but became a cumbersome process of waiting for new checks to arrive in the mail, tracking forms between departments, and generating new invoices and receipts.

With EnerGov’s automation platform, the landlord license and property registration process can immediately be initiated within a centralized database, and payment received online within a matter of minutes instead of up to 30 days, yielding a 99.85% net increase in efficiency. This type of payback in various departments across the city will allow the city to quickly realize the investment they have made in their 2.1 million dollar EnerGov enterprise platform.

“And this is just a very small example of an actual EnerGov system benefit,” said Scott Foens, Project Manager for the city of Cedar Rapids.  “We will certainly see many more of these as we go forward and I believe we will see some dramatic improvement in overall operational effectiveness with the implementation of the enterprise system.”

British Columbia Safety Authority, which manages regulatory and safety processes over a 364,800 square mile region and has 4.5 million residents, also achieved significant efficiencies after implementing phase 1 of their EnerGov 9 system last year.  On average, the agency will process over 121,000 permits, conduct over 211,000 inspections and manage over 20,000 licenses per year… a staggering amount indeed!

With the authority’s prior client-server software, cases often sat stagnant because the system did not have the ability to route them to the next step, nor did employees always understand how to process licenses and certifications outside of their respective departments. With EnerGov 9, any agency employee can understand the licensing procedures for any industry sector because the common enterprise platform standardizes and automates the workflow for processing and managing licenses.  With the centralized platform replacing disparate databases, employees throughout the agency’s 13 satellite offices can now access and work with the same information. Furthermore, certain tasks that were done manually or with workarounds are now easier and faster to finish in a streamlined the process.

EnerGov’s commitment to enable government agencies improve efficiencies and overall economic vitality will continue to be a key factor in driving success for 2012.  Also available for 2012 is EnerGov’s latest service, EnerGov 365, a cloud-based SaaS offering of the EnerGov enterprise back-office software, as well as iG Workforce, a cloud-based mobile government platform for the next generation of mobility.

Cloud Computing Will Shape IT Landscape in 2012

 We’re excited to kick off the year with our newest offering, EnerGov 365, a cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) for government agencies of any size.  With a scalable pricing structure to fit any budget, this comprehensive SaaS is ideal for agencies looking to reduce costs related to renewing traditional software licenses and the costs of maintaining traditional on-premise environments.

Cloud computing marks a new shift to a post-PC era as mobility and connection to the Internet is becoming imperative and big data continues to exhaust resources.  The cloud will continue to dominate the IT landscape as a cost-effective solution for those who want to leverage its existing IT capabilities without investing in a new infrastructure and new personnel to maintain it.

Here are just a few benefits cloud computing:

  • Cuts costs of upgrading servers and purchasing software and software licenses
  • Reduces client storage needs
  • Improves accessibility as a Web-based service
  • Enhances collaboration between users with ability to access and utilize the same information

However cloud computing is not a one-size-fits-all solution.   There will be a more suitable level of cloud services to choose from depending on one’s budget, resources and needs. Mid-sized agencies may be looking for a cost-effective data disaster recovery solution while larger agencies are looking to reduce operating costs and expensive upgrades.

With a scalable subscription pricing starting at $249 per named user per month, as well and other flexible options to choose from, EnerGov 365 will extend government agencies of any size a comprehensive stack of EnerGov’s leading government automation to meet its regulatory processing needs.