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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City Spotlight: Ventura, California

VenturaKnown for its beautiful harbors, parks, and beaches, the City of Ventura still lives up to its 18th century nickname as “the City of good fortune.”  This vibrant beach town of over 100,000 lies in between Malibu and Santa Barbara and overlooks the Santa Cruz Islands.

Behind every healthy city are good community development practices and efficient public services.  To this end, the City has overhauled its legacy land management system with the EnerGov system.  Since deployment, the City continues to increase efficiencies by centralizing data, streamlining processes, and improving inter-Departmental cooperation.  Significant returns on investment with this deployment include:

Improving Reporting Requirements: The City has improved upon its reporting abilities by leveraging the EnerGov enterprise data access model to ensure the proper information can be retrieved for informed decision making processes internally and constituent involvement externally.  One such benefit is for the building records disclosure report process within the City.  The current law mandates real estate sellers to request building records disclosure reports and provide this disclosure to respective buyers.  Today, these requests are managed as a case within EnerGov’s workflow model and citizens are now engaging City Hall from home, work, or any other remote location via fax or the internet.

Improving Processes:  EnerGov’s cross-departmental workflow model has enabled the City to incorporate all relative departments throughout the review cycle process.  For example, Ventura’s Water Department can easily access their distributed reviews, process the review, and quickly link to case attribute information, if needed, via a simplified, user-intuitive “My Reviews” dashboard.   Andrew Stuffler, the City’s Chief Building Official stated “The department is now able to confirm, with proper documentation, the sanitary and water utilities in new and altered buildings.  Additionally, all other departments have access to verify these updates and to perform their reviews concurrently.  Linear workflow models are being replaced with more efficient concurrent review models with the EnerGov system.”

Improving Citizen Engagement:   The City launched its first Citizen Access GIS based web portal, allowing constituents to spatially search and retrieve information regarding planning, building & safety, business licensing, and code enforcement cases from one common user interface.  With the convenience of these services, the city not only increases efficiencies but strengthens citizen participation and collaboration.  “Pairing Esri’s geographical information products with EnerGov system creates an effective tool for efficiency,” says Andrew Stuffler.  “Providing constituents and interested parties the necessary information without draining internal resources is a win-win for the City and the public. City GIS staff are making the most of this pairing by providing current deployment and business data in a user-friendly map-based interface that updates data automatically.” The maps that are currently available can be viewed here:  http://maps.cityofventura.net/menu/index.htm

The City of Ventura continues to build upon its historical foundation by implementing the EnerGov system.  Streamlining processes, creating transparency and citizen engagement are key initiatives for ensuring the City of Ventura remains sustainable, livable, safe and vibrant.

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.