Western Australia Shire of Manjimup is the first council to adopt Datacom's own smart council and community cloud solution, Datascape.
The solution is the result of three years of work from Datacom, resulting in a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system offered as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution.
Datascape was developed to help enhance cities core operations, offer a simpler service delivery and improve community engagement.
The Shire of Manjimup has gone live with the first stage of the solution, which will support the council to improve customer service through its "Services Requests".
For this first phase, Datacom migrated data across from Manjimup’s legacy system into the new Datascape system, which included ratepayer and citizen contact details, land parcels within the district, property data, rates accounts, change of ownership processes and subdivision processes.
"The implementation was seamless and we’ve had a really positive response from our people using the new system," said Andrew Campbell, CEO of Shire of Manjimup.
"We chose Datascape because we were looking for something flexible, scalable and responsive that would support our growing community. We think it is the best solution to help us deepen community engagement, as well streamlining operations and service delivery."
The following stages of the roll out will include finance and rates, new online capabilities such as rates payment, building and planning regulations, licenses, permits and animal control. This will take place throughout 2019.
This was the first roll out of the solution and, according to Datacom's director of local government Mark Matijevic, it was a big day for the team who "had been working towards the first implementation of Datascape for nearly three years".
"Working with the Shire of Manjimup has been great because they are both innovative and up for change, but also pragmatic – they know they can’t have it all on day one," Matijevic said.
"Andrew understood our vision for Datascape at a very early stage – with local government being first and foremost based on community needs – and so the Manjimup team has come on the journey with us as we’ve built."
The council's testing and validation of Datacom's design has been "invaluable" for the company according to Matijevic.
“The other thing we like is that Datascape is designed for a wide range of local government sizes, including small to medium sized councils,” Campbell said. “It’s scalable and allows local governments like us to choose what we need, then add more functionality as we go. It’s also cost effective as it’s priced per number of ratings assessments.”
This is not the first time the council works with Datacom, it had previously deployed Antenno, a mobile app which supports direct two-way communication between councils and communities and allows people to receive alerts and notifications.
Manjimup council has also been using Datascape Websites, a content management system with ready-to-use website templates and features.
The council has more than 120 employees and serves a population of more than 9,000 residents.
Focus on local government
Datacom has been developing its own products for years now, including payroll and solutions for local government.
According to Matijevic, building Datascape as a native cloud solution that support council operations and enable better community engagement represents a "significant expansion of our commitment to, and focus on, local government".
Based on our sector knowledge, and on feedback from many councils, we saw a need for a next generation technology solution that is specifically designed for councils," Matijevic told ARN.
"That is, one designed from the ground up for the cloud that delivers high performance, is affordable and a good fit for a wide range of council sizes, and which enables councils to achieve their goals for new ways to work and to better engage with their communities.
"This is why we made the decision several years ago to invest in the creation of Datascape as a next generation solution for councils."
An ERP system sits at the heart of Datascape supporting a complete local government solution. This enables a 360 degree view of the customer, which allows connectivity with multiple other systems.
"And it is a SaaS solution priced per number of rating assessment, making it very cost effective as councils only pay for what they need," Matijevic added.