Case Study

City of Cambridge Upends a Vendor-Centric Solution for a Tech-Centric Option

Why OpenGov Citizen Services?

After five years of working with another permitting, licensing, and inspection vendor, the City became frustrated with frequent software bugs and compatibility issues that required tedious workarounds.

“They had grown tired and frustrated from working with a solution they had limited control over, and were reliant on the vendor to make many of the changes they needed to use the software effectively.”
Carl Anderson, OpenGov’s Senior Municipal Relationship Manager

In search of an experienced, dynamic vendor, Cambridge City Officials turned to OpenGov Citizen Services, already well established in Massachusetts with 45 other communities relying on the cloud-based permitting technology to improve internal efficiencies and provide more user-friendly citizen services. Eager to learn more about how the platform could address departmental needs, City IT staff began piloting the software after a brief training session with OpenGov staff.

City of Cambridge Upends a Vendor-Centric Solution for a Tech-Centric Option

Population
110,651

Agency Type
City

Annual Budget
$715M

Role
IT

Region
Northeast

Solution
Citizen Services

Customer Results

A vendor-government exploratory pilot program

Simple integrations for back-end processes

Easy customizations and in-house configurations

Reputation of forward-thinking government in a tech-based city

City of Cambridge Upends a Vendor-Centric Solution for a Tech-Centric Option

User-friendly features empower IT departments to configure their own external software integrations easily in order to automate workflows across different teams.

An Agile Approach to Implementation

In contrast to an exasperating experience with their previous vendor’s solution and implementation process, Cambridge Department Officials and IT staff found OpenGov Citizen Services to be agile and flexible to customize—even for ‘non-tech’ people. They also found the platform’s robust capabilities fully integrated with the software’s simple, modern design, complementing the City’s other web-based service efforts.

“They took it and ran with it, setting up forms, workflows, documents, and fees on their own” says Anderson. “City IT staff reported being very encouraged by the intuitive platform design and began to show departments what they had been able to build in just a few short weeks.”

A few months after these successful pilot efforts, Cambridge became the 44th Massachusetts community to power permitting operations with OpenGov Citizen Services.

City of Cambridge Upends a Vendor-Centric Solution for a Tech-Centric Option

The City of Cambridge now has one of the most robust Citizen Service portals of any OpenGov community with a full range of available options to help residents remotely.

“We are thrilled to partner with the City of Cambridge. It’s been refreshing to work with the forward-thinking IT personnel leading this effort, as they are striving to bring modern technology and services to the City and its residents”
Nasser Hajo, OpenGov’s Vice President of Permitting, Licensing, and Code Enforcement

About the City of Cambridge, MA

Well known as a hub for academia, technology, and scientific research, the City of Cambridge is proud of its reputation for innovation. Long before its two most famous universities, Harvard and MIT were built mere miles apart, other famous inventions like the Stilson wrench were created in the former industrial manufacturing city. Today, the city is home to a community of entrepreneurial startups, with an equally tech-focused local government team supporting its inventive growth.

Challenge

Barriers to implementation with previous vendor

Solution

Citizen Services

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