CivicPlus® is Using RPA Technology to Help Make Local Governments Work Better

Written by Jessica Marabella

For local government leaders working hard to create positive resident experiences within the constraints of limited time, budget, and resources, every minute of every day must be optimized for maximum efficiency. At CivicPlus, we understand this pressure and are committed to building internal workflows and processes to mirror the speed to market and optimal information-sharing efficiency needed to create positive digital resident self-service interactions. To make it happen, CivicPlus is leveraging Robotic Process Automation (RPA)


What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

RPA applies technology governed by business logic and structured inputs to automate business processes. RPA occurs when basic tasks are automated through software or hardware systems that function across various applications, just as human workers do. The software or robot can be taught a workflow with multiple steps and applications, such as taking received forms, sending a receipt message, checking the form for completeness, filing the form in a folder, and updating a spreadsheet with the name of the form, the date filed, and so on.  

When asked why CivicPlus chose to invest in RPA technology, Akash Bhatia, CivicPlus Director of Quality Engineering and RPA, said, “We’re making efforts to make our internal teams efficient so that we can serve more requests and create better experiences with our technology for our customers, which ultimately helps them better serve their communities.”

Bhatia came to CivicPlus with experience working as part of a center of excellence team focused on automation of business processes.

“Working on those projects gave me the idea that RPA technology could offer positive impacts for us at CivicPlus, and for our customers,” he said.

 

How CivicPlus’ RPA Processes Support Local Governments


RPA is designed to reduce the burden of completing repetitive, simple tasks. Using RPA tools, CivicPlus engineers can configure a robot to capture and interpret applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses, and communicating with other digital systems. RPA scenarios range from something as simple as generating an automatic response to an email to deploying thousands of bots, each programmed to automate jobs and day-to-day tasks that are repetitive in nature. 

“Essentially, we are eliminating the repetitive tasks from our team members’ workflows so they can focus on delivering value-added work for our customers and internal teams,” said Bhatia.


It’s the People who Make the Difference

Implementing RPA at CivicPlus is possible because CivicPlus maintains the highest quality team of experienced and knowledgeable software engineers.

“There isn’t one tool or technology used to build RPAs,” said Bhatia. “Our projects require the use of a wide variety of technology. Choosing the right tools depends on the audience and system user. There are always multiple ways to solve a problem. Once our team started executing projects and seeing the efficiency impact, they got super excited, and now they’re building solutions to process challenges daily.” 

Bhatia’s dedicated agile RPA team routinely ideates ways to improve workflows. Anyone at CivicPlus can submit ideas for automations to help their teams or customers.


Optimizing Parks and Recreation Data Imports from One Week to One Hour

One example of how RPA technology saves local government leaders time involves data imports into the CivicPlus parks and recreation management solution, CivicRec®.

“We automated the user import process,” said Bhatia. “Previously, when customers needed us to import lists into our software, there would be a week of back-and-forth correspondence regarding the file import to QA the data. To mitigate that time, our team wrote a program to format and edit the import list automatically, changing that step in the implementation process from one that typically took a week to one that now takes an hour.” 

If you have an idea for an automation you would like to see from CivicPlus that can support your efforts to create frictionless personalized, one-stop resident interactions, contact your customer success manager.