San Antonio Launches $14M Civic Tech Initiative

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The city of San Antonio, Texas is embracing civic tech with a $14 million initiative, that will come alongside a wide portfolio of technological improvements and modernizations already in play. San Antonio has chosen the Accela platform for improvements to its licensing and permitting business lines, and plans to leverage the company’s growing civic technology platform to improve other areas of service delivery.

“We released a robust solicitation several months ago looking for an off-the-shelf application that would help us modernize the system and went to counsel a few months ago with the Accela product,” explains Hugh Miller, Director of IT Services in San Antonio in an interview with CivSource.

San Antonio will implement Accela Land Management, Licensing and Case Management, Legislative Management, GIS, Mobile Office and Citizen Access, over a three year deployment process. Utilizing an open architecture and a centralized database, Accela Civic Platform allows event, transaction and contact activity to be shared across departments.

“Our residents are getting more comfortable with submitting requests online,” Miller says. “We’ve been doing a lot with 311, and at first not that many people would give their information to be notified when a request has been filled, but we have seen a shift and now they are coming to expect that kind of process. This is true for other services as well. Right now, you have to come downtown and interact with the office to move permits, and we’re hoping to put that process totally online.”

According to Miller, San Antonio is working through a slate of modernization efforts that include a new radio system and an expansion of broadband capabilities. The city was recently chosen by Google Fiber for its gigabit network.

The deal represents the most comprehensive land use and building infrastructure development and management system win for Accela to date. Accela and San Antonio will partner with technology providers including CityGovApp, DPCI, TruePoint and e-PlanSoft in order to ensure a smooth and efficient implementation.

With the addition of San Antonio, Accela now works with more than 60 Texas-based civic agencies.

Accela is privately held and backed by private equity firm Bregal Sagemount. The company has been on a buying spree with the help of Bregal’s investment;¬†acquisitions have included PublicStuff, Springbrook Software, SoftRight, GeoTMS, Envista, and others.