SOURCE: Accela, Inc.

March 27, 2007 12:00 ET

Evanston, Illinois Taps Accela Automation to Support Efficiency Goals in $1.5 Million Contract

City's Upgrade to Web-Based Technology Responds to Need for Improved Internal Processes

SAN RAMON, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 27, 2007 -- Evanston, Illinois has selected Accela Automation® as the city's e-government enterprise land management solution. Evanston is upgrading from a legacy system to the Web-based technology of Accela Automation as part of a larger efficiency effort. The new solution will not only upgrade 39 current users in the Community Development department, but will be extended to more than 125 additional users in other divisions, building out the city's enterprise.

The decision to upgrade was prompted by a report from a consulting firm hired by the city to review and assess the efficiency of its current processes. The firm determined that the city's existing technology was hindering processes, and that the processes themselves would need to be reworked in order to support the goals of the city's strategic plan. The mission of that plan is to promote quality of life by providing citizens fiscally sound, responsive municipal services and delivering those services equitably, professionally, and with the highest degree of integrity.

"Quality of life is very near and dear to the hearts of our residents, as acknowledged in our strategic plan," said James Wolinski, Evanston's Community Development department director. "The new technology of Accela Automation will help us move forward to improve internal efficiencies and step up our processes to meet the expectations of our citizens."

Evanston's Community Development department includes Building, Housing Rehabilitation, Planning, Property Standards, and Zoning divisions that handle a wide variety of permitting and regulatory activities. Accela Automation will expedite tracking and managing these activities through a centralized database that all users can access and update. Additional city departments will be added to the enterprise system over the coming year.

The city also selected additional Accela products that will help realign processes and improve efficiencies:

Accela Licensing & Case Management™ automates licensing, registration, and renewal programs for government agencies, including general business licenses, pet licenses, simple and complex registrations, occupational licensing, and more. The system allows easy creation of new case types and business rules to reflect the regulations of the agency, and helps provide quicker and more accurate customer service.

Accela GIS™ seamlessly integrates with Accela Automation to provide powerful real-time visual analysis to enhance land-use, zoning, and infrastructure data. It allows creation of multiple map layers, automated map analysis, parcel and asset inventory management, direct editing of GIS data or files, and auto-distribution of information to mailing lists.

Accela Wireless™ is a mobile government software application that allows agency staff to perform their jobs from the field for inspections, code enforcement, work orders, and service requests. Optimized for Intel® Centrino® Mobile Technology, Accela Wireless is compatible with PDAs, laptops, and Tablet PCs running on the Microsoft Pocket PC, Windows 2000, or Windows XP operating systems.

Accela Citizen Access™ provides real-time, direct access via the Internet to the agency's permit and land management activities. Online permit applications can be configured to allow citizens and businesses access to apply and pay for permits, schedule inspections, check the status of a permit or inspection, or print an approved permit directly from the Internet, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The city financed the upgrade project, including five years of maintenance, through Accela Financial Services™, which provides low interest rate, municipal lease purchase financing for government agencies.

"We are pleased to add the city of Evanston to our growing list of jurisdictions upgrading to Web-based solutions," said Maury Blackman, Accela's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "I am confident the city will quickly realize the benefits of the new technology and achieve great success in making government services more responsive and accessible to its citizens."

About Evanston

Evanston is located 13 miles north of downtown Chicago, and is home to approximately 75,000 residents. Northwestern University, which opened its doors for the first time in 1855, is the city's major landmark. The city was, in fact, founded after the university and named after one of the university's founders, John Evans. For more information about Evanston, visit

About Accela

Accela provides innovative, Web-based enterprise software solutions that automate land, permit, and asset management processes for local, state, and federal government agencies of all sizes. Backed by more than 25 years of development and implementation in over 500 agencies in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, Accela products and services empower agencies to increase efficiencies, reduce workload, and provide citizens and businesses with more convenient access to government services. Accela is located in San Ramon, Calif. Accela products can be purchased directly from the GSA Schedule Contract #GS-35F-0249R. For more information, please visit

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