Selwyn District Council has partnered with Spark IoT (Internet of Things) for a digital community engagement service offering, aiming to deliver a more personalised user experience for the local community outside of existing channels.
Spark IoT will deploy GreenBe, an Australia-based cloud-based customer engagement solution built for smart water utilities, energy networks and local governments. Their Australian partners include Microsoft, Telstra, Nokia and local councils in Australia.
The solution includes the capability to derive insights and analyse information from IoT devices via an admin portal, a branded mobile app for members of the public, customer support and rewards and incentives fulfilment to help promote local businesses.
Members of the public will be able to engage directly with the council and personalise the information they would like to receive via the app, on council services including waste management, civic works and road closures, local community programmes and events.
The council had been searching for a platform to help multiple council teams with their fast growing, digital native community, said Selwyn District Council head of digital and information services and chief information officer, Trish Baird.
“This enables us to enhance our community engagement strategy using the power of technology,” Baird said.
“For example, we are looking to explore how we can boost community participation for our waste and recycling programmes by incentivising residents to live more sustainably using gamification features that are similar to what you’d find in social media apps.
“Features like quizzes, polls, surveys, rewards and discounts offers will help to boost engagement further, and to better understand the ‘pulse’ of the community around particular council services or any local topics or issues of concern in near real-time.”
The Council aims to have its app available for the public later in 2023.
“The new technology will play an important role in how the Council can encourage the public to engage further with its services and community initiatives around sustainability, community volunteering, waste management, or the latest rewards and promotions from local businesses,” said Spark IoT lead Michele Wong.
“The benefits of IoT in helping to drive sustainable outcomes are more evident when combined with the ability to enhance community engagement.”
Spark’s high-tech portfolio, including IoT, was identified as a focus for growth in its three-year strategy to 2026, released in April.
Spark IoT had grown from under a quarter of a million connections to 1.2 million, with 2.5-year compound annual revenue growth of around 21 per cent.