SAN RAMON, Calif., Aug. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Accela, the leading provider of cloud-based solutions for government, today announced continued momentum in developing and delivering innovative SaaS offerings to help government agencies navigate the challenges of delivering services amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Last quarter, Accela introduced its new Civic Application for Fire Prevention to help fire departments modernize fire prevention practices and keep communities safe as a follow-up to its Civic Application for Environmental Health.
Accela's growth trajectory is demonstrated by new customers, implementations, and go-lives including Abu Dhabi Department of Health; Arlington, VA; Baltimore County, MD; Charlotte, NC; Denver Fire Department; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Milwaukee, WI; Rochester, MN; San Diego, CA; and Shelby County, TN. The rapid adoption of SaaS underscores the importance of digital technology within modern governance to increase agility, efficiency, and productivity.
"Accela exists solely to serve governments, who are now on the front lines of keeping communities safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. Over the last quarter, our teams mobilized quickly with government agency, department and IT leaders to stand up SaaS solutions to empower remote staff and help them deliver vital services to their constituents," said Gary Kovacs, CEO of Accela. "2020 has been one of the most transformative years for Accela, and I'm looking forward to continuing our partnerships with governments across the world to keep tackling the challenges before us and help them best prepare for whatever comes next."
In April, Accela introduced its COVID-19 Response Solutions to address accelerated customer demand for digital service capabilities to adapt to new modes of business operation during "shelter-in-place" and "social distancing" mandates. Within a matter of weeks, the company developed a suite of 13 solutions built to solve the most critical challenges of the pandemic, including support for online citizen services, virtual inspections, mobile capabilities for agency staff, and more. Through its agile SaaS infrastructure and deep industry expertise, Accela was able to onboard existing customers to these new solutions within one to three days and offer 14-day-or-less implementations for new agencies to meet essential community needs rapidly. The company also offered free, live, instructor-led video training courses to further help agencies utilize the solutions. From the beginning of May through July, Accela donated 1,190 free training hours and anticipates to donate an additional 700 hours in August. The Response Solutions recently received a 2020 Microsoft US (MSUS) Partner Award for "Community Response," further cementing Accela's leadership in empowering its customers with best-in-class SaaS technology to rapidly adapt in the face of unforeseen circumstances.
"The COVID-19 outbreak posed significant challenges to our operations and service delivery," said Anthony Fajardo, Director of the City of Fort Lauderdale Department of Sustainable Development. "Working with Accela enabled us to quickly adapt to a changing environment by implementing a virtual inspections program that was responsive to our customers' needs and allowed us to keep construction projects moving forward."
The COVID-19 Response Solutions build on Accela's existing suite of out-of-the-box Civic Applications, which make product evaluation, procurement processes, and implementations easier and faster, and give agencies the tools to meet their community development and public safety modernization needs with certainty and ability. In June, Accela released its Civic Application for Fire Prevention to help fire departments increase their capacity and effectiveness.
Baltimore County, Maryland rapidly transitioned to Accela's solutions to create an online payments system and process outdoor dining permits. The solutions were implemented in just four days and one day, respectively. The County's online payment system processes anywhere between 100 to 500 transactions daily to keep important community development projects moving forward without compromising staff or citizen health. By completing all permitting and payments digitally, Baltimore County was able to successfully transition from 200 employees working from home at the start of Maryland's "stay-at-home" order to 3,500 remote employees within just three weeks.
"Like our counterparts throughout the country and across the world, we have been on the frontlines of local government response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly overnight we saw an exponential influx of emergency requests to put critical processes like payment processing and permitting online," said Rob O'Connor, Director of Information and Technology for Baltimore County. "Having the tools in our toolkit and the enterprise system in place made it easy to look at the business requirements and build something out of the box to meet our needs in a matter of days—not weeks. We were glad to see that our expert teams, end users, and our constituents agreed that this process was simple and allowed us to move faster than many other jurisdictions."
According to GovTech Navigator, government technology spending was originally expected to reach $111 billion in 2020, and while declining revenues have impacted budgets, IT spend is prioritized as agencies adapt to the "new normal." To further accelerate state and local governments' move to the cloud in this environment, Accela launched its new SaaS Upgrade Program to provide a cost-effective framework for agencies of all sizes to bolster resiliency, scalability, and efficiency. The initiative helps agencies transition from both on-premise systems and Accela's previous hosting environment to its robust and easily-configurable SaaS solutions powered by Microsoft Azure as seamlessly as possible.
Other major customer, product, and partner milestones over this past quarter for Accela include:
In April, Accela announced its Spring 2020 Product Release, including the launch of Accela Civic Platform V20.1 to modernize service delivery and support evolving agency needs. The latest updates to Accela's SaaS technology were designed to enhance user experience, system management, and mobility to deliver the next level of citizen engagement.
In May, Accela partnered with DigEplan, a global leader in electronic plan review, to create a streamlined, cost-effective end-to-end automatic plan review process to keep critical services running remotely, enhance government IT staff productivity, and reduce manual processes.
In June, Accela held the first of its new state-focused event series, Govern the Future Academy, for the States of California and Texas in partnership with fellow govtech leaders Microsoft, Esri, and KPMG. The roundtable panel discussion focused on the role of transformation, technology, and trust in reimagining government to meet increasingly unpredictable service delivery demands amid an evolving digital landscape.
On the heels of its Q2 momentum, Accela announced its annual conference, Accelarate, will be 100 percent virtual. The event, which will take place from October 5-9, will center on themes of transformation, trust, and technology in reimagining government. For the first time ever, Accela is opening the doors of the conference to all govtech leaders, influencers, and media.
About Accela: Accela provides market-leading cloud solutions that empower the most innovative state and local governments around the world to build thriving communities, grow businesses and protect citizens. More than 275 million citizens globally benefit from Accela's solutions, which are powered by Microsoft Azure, for permitting, licensing, code enforcement and service request management. Accela's fast-to-implement Civic Applications, built on its robust and extensible Civic Platform, help agencies address specific needs today, while ensuring they are prepared for any emerging or complex challenges in the future. The company was recently recognized as a2020 Microsoft US Partner Award winner for its innovative SaaS solutions to help governments respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Accela is headquartered in San Ramon, California, with additional offices around the world. For more information, visit www.accela.com.