This is when OpenCities, Inc—a company that empowers local governments to deliver exceptional digital services through a feature-rich Citizen Engagement platform—entered the picture. OpenCities helped Grand Rapids reduce the number of walk-ins on key services by nearly 79 percent within the first 11 weeks of launching their website.
Governments can be hesitant to use new technologies as they take a long time to implement and the effort required to maintain and train staff is arduous. “The OpenCities solution and tools are all user tested and intuitive, helping governments during the adoption as well as after launch,” says Cynthia Francis, COO at OpenCities.
OpenCities’ SaaS-based Citizen Engagement Solution consists of three elements that can be procured individually or as an integrated solution.
OpenCities delivers transactional websites that help people achieve the outcomes they want and need from their local government
First, OpenCities CMS is a solution that powers websites for local governments and state-level departments. The platform draws on over 10 years of experience building local government websites, and provides a best-practices approach to creating and maintaining municipal websites. This includes data driven features such as predictive search and prioritized top tasks, and structured content pages for common government assets such as parks, news and events, elected officials and meetings.
OpenForms is the company’s digital forms builder, with a feature-rich UI complete with drag-and-drop building blocks to add sections or features and build responsive forms with complex logic, calculations, digital signatures, and payments. “Our websites are focused on creating digital service pages that are descriptive and help people understand how to get the outcomes they want in a step-by-step manner,” says Francis. "By coupling these pages with clear yet powerful digital forms, a government can guide users through complex processes and help them complete the entire transaction online in a fraction of the time.”
The company also provides an Intranet solution for government staff. Digital Workplace is a secure intranet solution, and like all OpenCities products it is hosted on Microsoft AzureGov.
The company was founded in Australia in 2008, and opened the US offices in San Francisco in 2016 and Kansas City in 2018. For OpenCities, the future looks promising as they continue growing in the U.S. by helping government clients deliver exceptional engagement and digital services to their residents.