Local council’s are increasingly under pressure to offer more services with decreasing Government funding, which means their journey to digitise operations, has to become more efficient and economical than ever before. Left up to their own devices, each council would go off and construct a technology stack to service growing customer needs, but solve the same problems in very different ways.
This approach is incredibly inefficient, as back of house operations will never be the core business of the Council, it just needs to work with high availability, reliability and for a great price.
Coolamon and Temora Shire Councils have built a cost effective solution to conduct business online using a new service by Anomaly Software, known as Wattle. Designed to accelerate the digital transformation of Australian government services and I think we can all agree, they need help, fast. Built on Amazon’s AWS infrastructure, the service ensures all data is stored onshore and encrypted, fully complying with Government standards for dealing with sensitive customer data.
Wattle’s debut feature is the ordering and delivery of Land Parcel Certificates. The platform integrates your land parcel data, ensuring that every order placed is accurately processed. Payments are accepted and certificates delivered digitally.
These first couple of councils are paving the way for councils across all states and territories, to take advantage of Wattle’s cloud platform. In this case, payment gateways were the biggest pain point and drastically needed a proper solution.
Wattle offers a fully managed back office, completely cloud-based which offers the ability to scale with demand. Council’s regularly service a growing population, so its important to build on a platform that can accommodate future growth. Wattle integrates with modern payment service Stripe, as well as Mapbox, a mapping platform the enables developers to create solutions that meet customer’s needs.
The key with Wattle is that its a platform that makes integration easy and moving data between systems, often one of the largest, most expensive challenges to solve, a streamlined workflow. An example of this is the ability to export financial transactions in formats accounting systems understand.
The solution is priced at an affordable flat annual fee covering all features, unlimited users and transactions, which is sure to be a hit with the CFO. Often cloud offerings are difficult to estimate your annual spend as usage billing fluctuates wildly, often outside your control, so its great to have a reassuring approach to budget certainty. Pricing is dependent on the size of the council and ranges from $800 to A$1,400 per month with the smallest, Remote, being able to negotiate a rate.
If you want to try out Wattle, the platform offers a no obligation 60 day trial inviting every council around country to experience it.
Anomaly Software aren’t keeping the future roadmap a secret, with plans to support the following items:
Matching jobs to team members and workflow them automatically based on business rules. This pairs Applications and Certificates to responsible team members, presenting a workload for each user. The centralised inbox overview will continue to act as the triage interface.
Open payment gateway
This will enable Councils to Accept payments for services, while some may already have solutions, if they were to standardised around a solution, the experience for a resident that moved between councils would be significantly improved. This Payment gateway will accept payments for many other council services, invoice, Export daily, weekly, monthly transactions which directly import into your general ledger system.
Dashboards & Analytics
Providing Insights into business data, like Google Analaytics does to your web traffic, this data can contain secrets about your business that unlock future developments or even savings in the business. Presenting users with active visualisations and real-time service insights is high on the priority list.
Allowing customers to lodge Government Information Public Access (GIPA) application via Wattle is on the way, enabling the submission of identification evidence. Wattle could securely charge the customer retrospectively once the application has been accepted by the council.
Future improvements will also see the integration into corporate systems like Office 365 and G Suite to provide a seamless experience for council staff using the platform.