Kirkland, WA, Shows Some Love For EnerGov

Change doesn’t always come easy — especially when it comes to overhauling a computer system that a city has supported for over 20 years.

Kirkland, WA, along with many other eCityGov customers in the Puget Sound area of Washington state, realized it was time to update their legacy technologies with a state-of-the-art “enterprise” land management platform (EnerGov 9) in order to more efficiently and accurately manage the city’s regulatory business processes — even if it required taking the necessary time, effort, and resources to achieve the city’s goals.

“The EnerGov software is quite a bit more advanced than other permit systems that primarily just track data,” said Chuck Newberry, west coast regional manager for EnerGov. “Implementing an enterprise business process management software system is not a simple task and change management can often times be one of the most difficult parts of the process.” said Chuck. “A lot of the workflows and processes that were disconnected and in silos within the legacy environment is now being managed and automated centrally and concurrently — that’s a big change for these agencies.”

Working closely with EnerGov’s onsite project team, Kirkland employees dedicated countless hours through the assessment, workflow configuration, data migration, integrations, and testing stages of the EnerGov implementation. Recently the city geared up for the training and production stages of the EnerGov implementation by hosting a training kick-off event aimed at bringing excitement to the training and roll out of the new system. The city understands that investing in the implementation of the new enterprise system, by facilitating and enabling change, increases the overall adoption rate and success factor.

EnerGov’s very own Stephen Remminger and Patrick Chapman (aka P-Town) worked with the city of Kirkland to provide a 60s-themed training kick-off event replete with giveaways, games, cakes, and costumes.  The excitement of training and going live with EnerGov was “euphoric” much like the 60’s!!!

Kirkland Go-live Kirkland Go-live

Kirkland Go-live Kirkland Go-live

Kirkland has definitely set the bar for software training kick-offs events.  Change management at it’s finest!!!!

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Register Today For EnerGov’s 2012 User Conference

EUCTake advantage of early registration for EnerGov’s 2012 User Conference and save 25% before March 31, 2012.  Last year end users, administrators, managers and other key decision makers from more than 20 states and Canada learned about the newest features and latest products, including the iG Workforce mobile platform for the iPad.

This year EnerGov will continue to provide hands-on training sessions and innovation showcases that will help attendees leverage the EnerGov system to improve business processes and reach operational goals. Attendees will also have time to network and learn how other agencies are using the EnerGov system to work more efficiently and improve public services.

Consider participating in conference sessions and sharing your success and ROI stories with EnerGov.  Participating agencies will receive complementary passes to this year’s conference.   For more details, go to http://www.energov.com/user-conference.html.

Enterprise Automation Enables Effective Citizen Engagement

Long waits, confusion, and red tape are images that come to mind when dealing with many government agencies but with new technologies and enhanced automation, these stereotypes will soon disappear. By advocating and adopting web and mobile technology, government agencies are improving public service through increased access and transparency.

Unbeknownst to the average citizen,  the regulatory process of issuing permits and licenses can be extremely complex and layered.  Historically, most government agencies have required paperwork to be filled out on premise or delivered via mail through a courier. Subsequently, the completed application would pass through dozens (if not hundreds) of checks in order to meet required regulatory standards and conditions. This process often involves a multitude of departments and individuals each of whom are operating on disparate databases, and/or have separate “forms” for each department, with no central process workflow. Because of this, agencies end up wasting significant amounts of time and introduce significant errors – not to mention it may be weeks before the applicant hears back from the agency.

Citizen Engagement

This scenario was typical to the licensing and permitting process in Charleston County, South Carolina. To help manage the process more efficiently and improve citizen engagement, the county implemented the EnerGov 9 enterprise government software platform (Land Management and Licensing & Regulatory Suites) thereby enabling constituents to perform a variety of tasks from the convenience of their home or on the go — all managed within one centralized enterprise database that help the agency run smarter and more efficient.

Through an easy-to-use citizen access website, customers and contractors can pay for, apply for, and monitor the status of permits in addition to paying for and renewing licenses (over 13 billion dollars of gross reported revenues) . Other services include scheduling, searching and cancelling inspections and submitting citizen requests.

Within the first 10 months of deployment, the county issued over 44,000 permits and processed over 8,000 plan reviews, saving time and money for applicants working with the agency. By centralizing data, improving cross-departmental collaboration, and enforcing regulatory workflow, the county is able to process applications more quickly and accurately. Furthermore, within the first six months of deployment, the county collected over $150,000 in revenue that had slipped through the cracks under the previous software system.

Charleston County is a prime example of how, through investments in automation, government agencies can better connect with citizens and increase efficiencies within the permitting and licensing process.

Automating and Improving Data and Process Quality Control with GIS and EnerGov 9

One of the many ways a government agency can increase efficiencies in their permitting, licensing and asset management process is to leverage their geographic information system (GIS).  The EnerGov 9 Enterprise Server  platform was specifically built to be seamlessly integrated with GIS,  allowing government agencies to accurately manage and analyze data from a spatial standpoint— enabling well-informed decisions about land use or assets.

One simple but effective feature in EnerGov 9 that allows the leveraging of geographical data is the ability to initiate events, such as a case, permit or license application process, directly from GIS.  Code enforcement officials can accurately locate an address, parcel or even a vacant lot and initiate an inspection case or permitting process right from the map, allowing for case histories to be queried spatially in the future.   Parcel attribute information, such as the size of the parcel, can be automated and streamlined within the regulatory process.  Furthermore, EnerGov’s  “Georules Engine” can be configured a variety of ways in order to automate notification processes related to any conditions or alerts related to the property.

GIS polygon toolIn addition to addresses and parcels, GIS tools allow any type of irregular area to be tracked and managed.  With refined editing capabilities, points, lines and polygon features can be drawn and tracked for a parade route permit or an irregular-shaped area of an engineering encroachment permit.  Agencies can also improve managing their public assets by tracking any object with spatial relevance, such as hydrants, water drains, or trees.

EnerGov’s integration of a government agency’s GIS allows for powerful automation of business functions, ensures the uniformity and verification of the case location, improves accessibility of information between different departments and helps to visualize and analyze regulatory cases and records. As GIS continues to rapidly advance with other technologies including 3D and building information modeling, it will become an indispensable and foundational technology utilized within the regulatory and asset management processes.

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

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.