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The results of the 14th Annual Digital Counties Survey are in, and we’re thrilled to report that more than 15 SunGard Public Sector customers are represented out of the 55 counties recognized by the Center for Digital Government in this year’s survey! These counties were selected for their ability to “understand technology’s value, empower their tech leaders, and implement new ideas to make life better for those who live and work there.” According to the survey, “[The] counties that are most effective at delivering technology-based solutions are also ones that are ready to cooperate with others, both internally and with the public, and are also flexible and thoughtful enough to recognize the value in taking measured risk in search of better outcomes.”
Image courtesy of Government Technology
A list of project areas where organizations expect to spend the most time and energy in 2016 include: cybersecurity, open government, citizen engagement, business intelligence and analytics, and business process automation, among others. Much of these project areas are addressed by SunGard Public Sector solutions, such as NaviLine, PLUS, ONESolution and TRAKiT, used by the more than 15 customers who made the list of the top 55 counties.
For a recent example of open government and citizen engagement, check out our case study about John’s Creek’s new police open data tool, powered by SunGard Public Sector’s new Public Connect solution.
Congratulations to all the winners, and our customers! For more information on the 14th Annual Digital Counties Survey, click here.
It is a popular saying that most crimes are solved within the first 48 hours or they are not solved at all. It can be significantly more difficult for sworn officers of the law to bring together all the necessary pieces of information to solve a crime. Newport Beach Deputy Police Chief Dennis Birch believed he could put that paradigm to the test when armed with SunGard Public Sector’s Crime Analysis Plus (CA+), a tool that extends the shelf life of information collected by police to glean new insights about what is going on in a given community.
“Recently, we received a call about a prowler from one of our residents. After dispatching officers to investigate, he found no suspect but did collect information from the caller about the suspicious individual who had a flashlight and seemed interested in a Jaguar that was parked in the driveway,” Deputy Chief Birch recalled.
“Fast forward a few hours, an officer on patrol stopped an individual who was riding a bike that matched the description of a missing bike from a burglary in the same area as the prowling call. We booked and searched him, and discovered a set of Jaguar keys. Well, thanks to the keyword search in SunGard CA+, we were able to tie those keys to the Jaguar in the driveway from the prowling incident. We prevented car theft and found this suspect, thanks to CA+, and its integration with our records management system.”
This is just one story of how CA+’s search and mapping functions can be used to identify trends in crime, and help law enforcement officers solve crimes sometime after they occur.
Since March 2014, Newport Beach has been a user of CA+, which aggregates information collected about recorded crimes with an advanced mapping function that visually displays what types of crimes are occurring, where crimes are happening, when, and by whom. The system is fully integrated with CAD, RMS, and other elements of the SunGard Public Sector ONESolution suite, adding a critical function to an agency’s one-stop public safety and justice dashboard. The system pulls in information from ONESolution modules to let officers literally see on a map where arrests took places, in the context of where officers are patrolling. The platform leverages advanced GPS, meaning that users can configure maps to display accurate information about the topics they most need to learn about.
Chief Birch’s crime suppression team uses the keyword search function, which allows them to type in a single word (or words), to identify results of relevant crimes that have occurred in the community. “We often get complaints about surfers’ cars being broken into near the beach, so ‘surf’ has become one of the most popular search terms,” Chief Birch said. “With CA+, we have learned a lot more about where property theft is occurring, and where it is most likely to occur, and we’ve been able to modify our patrol patterns accordingly.”
The insights gleaned from CA+ are predictive, because an analysis of recent crime trends can help the department identify where incidents might happen next. For example, Chief Birch’s crime suppression unit was able to see that a higher volume of calls about house burglaries were happening around dinner time, meaning they might continue to happen at that same time and the agency should respond accordingly by deploying officers at that time. “The team uses the tool every day and pushes new information to patrol officers, who change patrol patterns to match recent crime trends,” Chief Birch adds.
Because CA+ records crimes and also police activity, it has helped the Newport Beach Police Department remain accountable to the community. “We have had some trouble with complaints from patrons at some of the bars near the beach,” Chief Birch said. “With CA+, we are able to report exactly what those complaints were, and what we did in response.” The heat maps created within CA+ help us visualize this data, which assists Newport Beach Police Department in internal resource management, and reporting to city council and the general public at large.
“Ultimately, we really like the CA+ tool, but it is more than that, it is the entire SunGard Public Sector system,” said Chief Birch. Chief Birch finds CA+ as the natural extension of his ONESolution suite. He is now able to take the information from CAD (where his officers are being deployed), and RMS (who is being arrested), and visualize it in a way that he can easily digest and use the information to make actionable decisions. “The folks at SunGard Public Sector have been very helpful as we’ve continued to customize and refine the platform to really make it work for us.”
Click to download the complete case study.
More than 700 attendees gathered last week in sunny Las Vegas for SUGA 2016! CEO Mike Borman kicked off SunGard Public Sector Users’ Group Association’s (SUGA) annual education event, sharing a bit about the company’s continued investments in resources, products, and overall growth strategies. Borman stated, “Our customers are part of a thriving enterprise that is delivering new technologies and innovation to the industry.”
Highlights from the networking and training opportunities that dominated the event-filled week included:
As always, SUGA delivered opportunities for productive and meaningful interaction between customers and SunGard Public Sector staff, resulting in great conversations about the future of our products.
Interested in attending next year? The SUGA 2017 International Training Event takes place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, June 19-23, 2017.
By Tom Amburgey
Some government departments have it easier than others when it comes to using social media. Take the city or county Parks and Recreation department for example. Latest event photos are frequently shared and enjoyed on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, and they typically don’t have trouble gaining followers. But how can other departments with mission critical responsibilities – such as the Finance Department – embrace the power of social networks?
Let’s talk about how the finance director can help set the direction for earning engagement on social media, even though they appear to have fewer programs and activities that directly impact the public. The truth is, however, that a Finance Department’s mission isn’t less applicable to the public than a department that is more in the public eye, it’s just not as obvious.
There are several uses for social media that the director can consider. The social environment perfectly complements those agencies that are working on being as transparent as possible with taxpayers in their community. One example would be using social media to report and explain expenditures or big budget items. With this, directors are helping citizens gain a clear understanding of their government operations as well as promoting citizen engagement in positive events.
Another example would be using social platforms to simplify complex processes or requirements. For instance, using hashtags such as #tips and #howto are perfect ways for designating quick bits of information designed to help educate citizens and businesses regarding important government processes. Platforms with a length requirement, such as Twitter, force departments to think about the best and simplest way to explain difficult processes. Using short YouTube ‘explainer videos’ hosted by personable department heads can help facilitate public understanding of answers to common questions the entity receives. A well placed series of #howto communications can engage citizens at a new level and ensure they see the benefit of their local government.
Lastly, visuals and illustrations traditionally perform extremely well on social media. Although it is not obvious to citizens at first glance, finance operations can be very visual. Budgetary reporting is a major part of finance department services, and graphics such as pie charts and even statistics can be highly shareable on platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. An added bonus is that these graphics are already being designed in order to share them with elected officials and other stakeholders, so there is minimal work on the part of staff to create this type of highly shareable content.
While finance departments typically work most closely with department heads, agency leadership and elected officials, there is still a great deal that the public can learn and understand about why certain financial decisions are made. Gaining public buy-in for fiscal decisions can be made easier when directors show internal support for the use of social media in daily business operations.
By Kristy Dalton
The rise of mobile devices is transforming how government agencies function. Citizens now text, web chat and submit service requests via smartphone apps. Most cities and counties leverage social media – which is inherently mobile friendly – to interact and engage with residents. Instant sharing of icy sidewalks, overflowing trash cans or illegally parked vehicles empower residents to become the “eyes and ears” for 311 service centers.
Increasingly, government workers are using tablets to conduct building inspections, issue parking tickets and collect fees from residents. The related BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) movement has ushered in a new era of “govies” who can respond to their constituents in real-time. Their response capacity is no longer tied to a specific desk in a government office – inquiries may be answered from any location and increasingly may come during evening hours or weekends. Lookout Inc. surveyed federal agencies and found that 50% of government workers now use their personal device for work email and 49% use those devices to download work related documents.
This new era also presents security and chain of custody challenges for CIOs and IT managers. Twenty-four percent of government workers send work documents to their personal email address and 17% store work related documents on personal file sharing apps such as Dropbox or Google Docs, according to the survey cited above. Many government agencies now have a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) to tackle the common issues posed by BYOD, mobility and other web based threats. Proper archiving and storage of these messages and files creates additional hurdles for IT leadership.
Many police officers now transmit reports via wireless connections and no longer need to come back to the station. This advancement can save valuable time and allow them to continue to serve the public in the field. Keeping officers on the street and visible to the public is arguably more important than ever. Hi-tech tools can enable better low tech engagement like community policing and talking in-person with residents and local business owners.
An underrated aspect of the rise of mobility in government is sustainability. Government is historically known as being a paperwork intensive enterprise. Many agencies have utilized Software as a Service (SaaS) and other digital tools to reduce or eliminate paperwork while providing better service. Real-time entry in the field also reduces or eliminates the need for later data entry which often slows down the process and increases the likelihood of errors.
Mobile-first inclined Millennials are not just becoming homeowners and taxpayers, but also starting to fill leadership roles in government as well. Both government and its stakeholders are better served in this new mobile-first era.
Local governments, public safety and justice agencies, non-profit organizations, and the citizens they serve can envision the future happening today with SunGard Public Sector.