A newly formed partnership between APPCityLife and Accela promises to completely change the way cities and people connect through mobile by providing access for the first time to governments across North America to a revolutionary mobile publishing platform developed specifically to address the unique needs of governments.
Why is this significant?
Consider this: in the past 90 days, there have been over 1.51 billion visits to federal government websites, and over one third of those visits have been on a mobile device or tablet. This doesn’t include the millions of visits to city, county and state government websites – or the thousands of government agencies whose teams access their own internal systems via mobile. It is worth noting that within this significant growth in mobile traffic that 7% of US adults – mostly lower income, young adults and minorities – are smart-phone dependent, meaning they rely solely on their smart phone for internet access.
While most government agencies and leaders are keenly aware of the growing demand and need to deploy mobile, finding solutions which meet the unique needs of government has not been easy or affordable.
It is one of the many reasons why a partnership between Accela and APPCityLife is generating interest within the civictech industry.
Accela has been a leader in delivering productivity and engagement software to governments for over thirty years, serving over half of America’s largest cities and over 2000 communities worldwide. The company’s Civic Platform helps bridge citizen and government engagement by connecting the public sector, citizens, partners and developers. The Civic Platform already includes a collection of native mobile apps developed by software engineers for government agency field staff and citizens.
APPCityLife was an early innovator in open data and serves a wide variety of government clients including public transit, cultural services, education and nonprofits. The company’s Mobile Publishing Platform, CityLife, can be used by individuals with no programming skills and supports cross-platform development for iOS, Android, wearables, and beacons. Templates created on the CityLife platform are easily customized to meet the unique branding, workflow or data integration needs of a project, meaning government teams can take ownership of mobile solutions and deploy new sophisticated apps in days instead of weeks or months.
In addition to rapid development and deployment of mobile apps, the CityLife Platform also provides additional benefits to government agencies.
- CityLife’s ODS (Open Data Server) normalizes data on the fly from a wide variety of formats for easy mobile consumption.
- Robust analytics help agency staff to collect meaningful data for data-driven design and reporting.
- Targeted push notifications allow agency staff to send notices to the entire audience of a mobile app or only to a defined subset of users.
- CityLife’s unique approach to streaming cloud-based apps resolves the ever-growing challenge of governments to provide communities with access to a wide variety of mobile apps without requiring additional app downloads.
Through the newly formed partnership, the CityLife Mobile Platform now serves as an extension of Accela’s Civic Platform and enables non-technical government staff to take to market agency-specific mobile apps. Instead of starting from scratch, teams can expedite development by using templates and features designed specifically for Accela’s Civic Platform. And most exciting, new solutions created by one agency using CityLife can easily be templated and shared among jurisdictions to foster innovation.
APPCityLife’s Founder and CEO explains what this might look like to the average citizen.“If I want to have a garage sale, like most cities, mine requires a permit. Right now, securing that permit requires a trip to City Hall where I wait in one line to fill out the form and then wait in a different line to pay a cashier.”
Abeyta explains that the process is more than just inconvenient. “This creates an unnecessary burden for citizens cannot leave their job during the hours the city is open for business. When that process is transformed into a mobile app where anyone can log in day or night, submit their application and even pay the fee in minutes, it is not only far more convenient, it can drive higher compliance rates and revenue for the city. It’s a win for everyone involved.”
While the need for custom app development certainly still exists, the opportunity to quickly share and deploy mobile apps among agencies finally makes it possible for governments to meet the growing demand for mobile. Through access to a platform designed specifically to meet their needs, agencies can deliver easier access to services and information for both the public and internal government teams. The possibilities are endless – and that changes everything.