Boston's new City Worker App, Mobile 311, integrates seamlessly with the existing 311 system for non-emergency information calls and service requests. The app takes all of the service requests made by citizens for potholes, graffiti, streetlight outages, and recycling stickers, and leads them to the Android (News - Alert)-based mobile device of the nearest work crew from the responsible department.
Justin Holmes, director of constituent engagement for the City of Boston, said, "Workers from our public works department, transportation department and parks department are using it to go out and resolve issues. No longer will a parks department employee who is inspecting trees in the city have to go back to his office multiple times to fill out paperwork or use a desktop computer to close out a report.”
Kana's move to the Open 311 standard has helped local governments eliminate the need to write custom code and modifications to move services to mobile apps. Cities that have deployed KANA's Lagan software in their 311 call centers already have the infrastructure in place to move whatever they want to a mobile app in the cloud. Minneapolis' mobile 311 app is hosted in the cloud, but is closely integrated with the city's back-end CRM system, which is also based on Lagan.
On 18th July 2012, Minneapolis launched the mobile app and within a week, they had more than 2,500 downloads. The city had already received more than 950 service requests through the app alone.
According to Steve Carter, director of public sector for KANA Software, "Web 311 just never became popular. But the reality is that when mobile came along, particularly the iPhone (News - Alert), that was the first time you had people who might not have called 311 before realizing that snapping a photo, using the GPS to say where [the problem] is, and downloading this app to report something wrong at the bus stop or while walking to work, wasn't such a heavy lift for them."
David Moody, vice president of product marketing at KANA, said,"The starting point was always channel shift – getting people to use mobile devices rather than make a phone call. The reality is that's not what's happening anymore. You're actually opening up a new demographic. You're not shifting channels, but you're actually getting more people to contact you." Moody added, "On a mobile device you have a number of things available to you that you don't have when you make a phone call. One is GPS and another is photographs."
Recently, KANA Software, a provider of customer service software delivered on premise or in the cloud, launched its new global cloud computing solution called KANA Express.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli