Porirua City Council has become the first NZ council to go live with Datacom’s cloud-based smart council and community package Datascape.
Datacom has been quietly working away on its new offering, which promises to ease the path to digital transformation, over the past few years.
The company announced its first Datascape customer, Western Australia's Shire of Manjimup, last year.
That puts the company into direct competition with Australia's TechnologyOne, which has long been a local government powerhouse in the region.
Porirua was looking for a digital and mobile solution that would put customers and the community right at the heart of its organisation and selected Datascape as the best match.
Roy Baker, general manager corporate services and CFO at Porirua City Council, said that the decision to go with Datascape was a major step in the council’s journey to become more customer-centric and connected with the community.
“Our customer focus journey started two years ago and since then we’ve been working to make it easier for people do business with us, and put the customer at the heart of everything we do," he said.
"We started this journey with the launch of the council’s various websites. We will be using Datascape and Antenno to move our systems and interactions with customers to a new level."
The first stage of the go live for Porirua City will be enabling the online services module of Datascape, to provide increased service levels.
Online services will change the way council and community work on building consent submissions by giving visibility of a building consent from submission to issuing of the consent.
The council has already deployed and released Datacom’s community engagement app Antenno, providing alerts on places and topics people care about and allowing people to report issues directly to council.
This will be followed by Datascape’s finance module, property and rating, and customer request management services, which will provide the community with continued self-service.
Over time, Porirua will roll out the full Datascape suite, making them the first council in New Zealand to do so.
Mark Matijevic, director of Datacom’s local government solutions, said Porirua wanted the high performance that comes from Datascape’s native cloud design.
"We know that our extremely open design approach, using thousands of application programming interfaces, will provide them with both easy and incredibly powerful integration with other solutions and devices," he said.
That will also include new online and intuitive payments using the new New Zealand open banking standards, as well as debit and credit card payments.
Baker said online services, particularly for building and resource consents, will address key issues for the council.
"Datascape’s functionality in these and other areas has meant we will be able to provide these services in a time-frame that was not possible with other approaches we considered," Baker said.
Matijevic said Porirua City Council was very focused on getting as much digital services capability up and running as quickly as possible.
Designed for cloud computing, Datascape can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, and can be scaled up as required, so councils will no longer need expensive onsite equipment and maintenance or upgrades.
Datascape is delivered via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, making it very cost effective.
An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system sits at the heart of Datascape, and will provide a more complete view of the customer, enabling better service.