Category Archives: Software as a Service

Reporting Q&A

The following questions were included in a formal Permitting and Land Management System Request for Information from a city of about 62,500 residents.  Read our responses below for more information about some of the reporting features included in Citizenserve's e-government software solution.

1.13   Reporting

1.13.1. Describe the capability to provide standard reports for operational, managerial, and executive reporting.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve includes a robust offering of standard reports; in addition, the development of an unlimited number of custom reports is included in the subscription.

1.13.2. Describe the solution’s capability to provide ad hoc tools or templates that provide the ability for users to create their own reports based on available elements.

Citizenserve Response: There is a built-in end-user reporting wizard in Citizenserve that allows non-technical users to design their own reports and share the reports with others. The reporting tool supports the use of custom fields on the application forms. End users can create their own tabular, map, chart, and merge reports.

1.13.3. Describe the solution’s ability to support both ad-hoc and scheduled reporting.

Citizenserve Response: There is a built-in end-user reporting wizard in Citizenserve that allows non-technical users to design their own reports and share the reports with others. The reporting tool supports the use of custom fields on the application forms. End users can create their own tabular, map, chart, and merge reports.

If the City prefers, users can request the creation of a custom report at any time as part of Citizenserve’s unlimited support. Citizenserve has same-day turnaround on most reports. Our staff will create a SQL script in a stored procedure that is rendered by the software and can contain process features and HTML. The SQL scripts create maximum flexibility.

Scheduled reports are available for an additional fee.

1.13.4. Describe the solution’s ability to allow for the creation of actively updating dashboards for both internal users and external customers.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve provides multiple, actively updating dashboards to enable your users to quickly obtain the information they need, and can configure other dashboards as part of our unlimited support. The user dashboards are flexible and configurable, and can be configured to meet the specific needs of individual users filling different roles.

1.13.5. Describe the solution’s analytics capabilities, both native and integration with Business Intelligence tools, such as Power BI.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve uses Microsoft SQL Server as its database engine.  A copy of the database can be provided for data warehousing and business intelligence purposes.  Unlimited custom reports are included in the subscription and an end user report writing tool is built into the software.  Reports can be exported as Excel or CSV files for use with end user analysis tools.

Mobile Workforce Q&A

The following questions were included in a formal Permitting and Land Management System Request for Information from a city of about 62,500 residents.  Read our responses below for more information about some of the Mobile Workforce features included in Citizenserve's e-government software solution.

1.12   Mobile Workforce

1.12.1. Describe how your mobile solution supports all mobile devices, operating systems and browsers.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is device and browser independent and has full functionality from mobile devices.

1.12.2. Describe the capabilities of the mobile tools provided with your solution.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is device independent and has full functionality from mobile devices. Citizenserve can leverage tools on the mobile device such as speech to text functionality for inspectors to enter inspection results.

1.12.3. Describe your mobile solution’s ability to support speech to text functionally, as well as any spell check capabilities.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve leverages the speech-to-text and spell check functionality of the device and browser.

1.12.4. Describe how the mobile solution will allow the linking of photos and other documents to permits using mobile devices. Provide information on where and how these attachments are stored.

Citizenserve Response: A user such as an inspector can take a photo from a mobile device such as a Surface or iPad, and can upload the photo to the open case file. The attachments are immediately stored to the application server and transferred to the database on a nightly process.

1.12.5. Describe the options for mobile connectivity and the related security environment.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is a cloud-based system; mobile users have the same security protections as desktop users.

Citizenserve Software Features – Q&A

The following questions were included in a formal Permitting and Land Management System Request for Information from a city of about 62,500 residents.  Read our responses below for more information about some of the features included in Citizenserve's e-government software solution.

1.1.1. Describe what mapping functionalities exist within the different screens of your proposed solution.

Citizenserve Response: Mapping features are built into the software.  Wherever the map pin is available users can click on the pin icon to see their permitting, licensing, and case files on a map.  Reports can also be rendered as a map rather than a table and the information included in each file can be easily customized.  Citizenserve uses the Google Map API and all features available through the Google API can be incorporated into the software.  Most Citizenserve customers also have ESRI GIS with various layers and property information.  Two-way integration using web services allows ESRI GIS information to be incorporated into Citizenserve.  This short demonstration video provides a general overview of features:

Mapping

 

1.1.2. Describe how the solution can be used on any device, regardless of manufacturer, browser, operating system or other software/hardware dependency.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is device and browser independent. The software is accessed through a browser, and can be used from a desktop, laptop, and mobile devices such as a Surface or iPad.

1.1.3. Describe how your solution provides options for customer notifications, status checks, and access to historical information and customized reports.

Citizenserve Response: The Citizenserve online portal is an integrated part of the software.  Your constituents can work with you completely electronically.  The online portal has a notification matrix that provides for the configuration of notification when the citizens, contractors, or business complete a task or activity on the online portal.  This is also tightly integrated with the permit, license, and case type setup.  So, for a certain permit type, when an application is submitted certain City staff can be notified that a new application is there.  This notification can be an email, an activity on a task list, or both.  Any reports can also be published on the Citizenserve portal, so it is easy to provide additional functionality on the online portal with interactive custom reports.  The following short video demonstration provides an overview of the online application process:

Online Permit Applications

1.1.4. Describe how your solution can provide a fully mobile platform for the City’s mobile workforce. Are there any software or hardware dependencies for this mobile platform to function fully?

Citizenserve Response: There is only one version of Citizenserve and the software and company has grown organically by listening to customers and providing great customer service and support.  Over the past 17 years one overarching design goal we have had is browser and device independence.  The software works with all major browsers and devices.  Additionally, we will support any new mainstream devices or browsers.  As everyone knows…browser software and device software is updated almost weekly by vendors.  As a cloud software provider with only one version of the software it is easy for Citizenserve to respond to changes.

1.1.5. Describe how your solution is an enterprise level permitting system, capable of being used by multiple City departments, for different permitting and land use functions.

Citizenserve Response: Citizenserve is configured at the organization, department and sub-department levels.  User rights are configured at the organization, department and sub-department levels.  All file types, permits, licenses, activities, inspections, reviews, template documents, etc. are configured at the organization, department and sub-department levels.  These can also be inherited from higher level departments.  An activity type can be created at the organization level and shared in departments and sub-departments.  Activities such as inspections or review types can be configured specifically in a department.  Citizenserve is enterprise level because a department can have and manage its own configuration in relation to its permits, licenses, inspections, case types, enforcement types, etc. while at the same time all this can be rolled up into an organization or enterprise.

1.1.6. Describe how your solution provides a user configurable reporting interface for both ad-hoc and scheduled reports, using both current and historical records data. Are there other business intelligence related tools integrated into your solution? If so, please describe them.

Citizenserve Response: Reporting is built into the software and is rendered in the browser.  Links to reports can be incorporated throughout the interface.  For example, a report on zoning for a property or property history can be built right into a permit application.  Any reports can be published on the online portal.  End users can create their own reports using an end user reporting tool.  The creation of unlimited custom reports is included in the unlimited subscription support.  Custom reports are created using SQL and HTML, which allow for maximum flexibility.  The reports specify run parameters so the user can run the report based on query parameters.  Reports can do processing and be shared with other users.  This is a short video demonstration on reporting:

Reporting

1.1.7. Describe the solution’s capabilities to ensure data input accuracy and validation, through business rules.

Citizenserve Response: There are a variety of approaches to implementing business rules in Citizenserve.  The main feature for this is called a Condition, which are SQL scripts that are called for certain events.  Because it is a SQL script, we have maximum flexibility.  For example, if someone submits a permit application for a commercial building greater than 1,000,000 square feet, certain checks can be made, emails sent, activities created, etc.  Conditions can be configured for these events:

 

Citizenserve Online Cashiering Services

Demonstration of Citizenserve Cashiering  Services

This segment was presented during an all day demonstration to a Midwest city, to meet their RFP for e-government software.

These cashiering services, and much more, are offered in the Citizenserve e-government solution.

  • Assigning rights and access to Fee Tracking and Edit Payments
  • Multiple ways to take payments:
    • From within permit
    • From a contact - apply payment to one or more project balances
    • From the citizen portal
  • Audience questions:
    • What if someone wanted to pay for something that isn't a payment or a license? (5:07)
    • How can we batch pay a bundle of checks that are received in the mail?  (Which opened a conversation about their home grown batch payment interface.) (5:39)