The City of Philadelphia is in the midst of a $120 million project to upgrade its technology and change the way it does business.
We spoke to the city’s Chief Innovation Officer Adel Ebeid about what contracts have been awarded, which are next and what principles are guiding the project.
The city has awarded these contracts:
- Licenses and inspections system, awarded to Colorado-based Computronix
- 311 system, awarded to San Francisco-based Salesforce (for the product) and Blue Bell-based Unisys (for integration)
- Cashiering system that deals with how the city collects money, awarded to Tampa, Fla.-based Fairfax Imaging
- Lobbying directory that lets lobbyists report their spending online, awarded to Trevose-based Acclaim Systems
- System that lets Fleet Management keep track of and order parts and inventory, awarded to Wayne-based AssetWorks
These contracts are next:
- Tax delinquency data warehouse, part of the city’s $40 million plan to target tax deadbeats announced in February 2013
- Budget system, which is currently “paper-driven,” Ebeid has said
- Electronic plan review, which will allow people to submit blue prints for development online
- Human resources and payroll system
- Accident reporting, a system for when the public asks for accident reports
These are the main themes guiding the project:
- A move toward the cloud. “We want to push as much as our portfolio to the cloud as possible,” Ebeid said. Why? It improves performance, lowers the unit cost and makes for less customization. “That’s what kills government,” Ebeid said. “Government tends to customize to the point that apps become legacy the moment you roll them out.”
- Mobile. “We want to get our workforce out in the field,” Ebeid said. The L&I contract, for one, gives inspectors mobile devices so they can issue violations on-the-go.
- More online transactions.