TechnologyOne launches iCouncil app

TechnologyOne today officially launched iCouncil - an iPhone and iPad app that integrates with its Property & Rating software and is free for existing local government customers and the general public to download.

Council workers can use the app to access records covering animals, land parcels, names, applications, properties and associations, managers can find out which workers are out in the field and update schedules efficiently and inspectors can locate properties, answer enquiries and make decisions immediately.

The iCouncil app integrates with maps, phone, internet and email, stores data locally, works whether on or offline and updates Council systems automatically as soon as workers are back in a 3G area.

It also has a number of features such as a ‘near me' function, which allows field workers to lock onto a geographic position, drop a pin and find out, for example, who owns the property and what animals are registered there.

iCouncil's free public request capability allows people to inform their local government of issues such as potholes or loose animals by submitting a photo and message.

Two early adopter local government customers - Tablelands Regional Council in Queensland and Sutherland Shire Council in NSW - are already using iCouncil with great results.

Tablelands Regional Council is using iCouncil for property and animal inspectors and has tested its effectiveness by splitting inspectors into two teams, with only one team using the app.

After three months, data analysis showed the app had halved both the frequency and duration of calls to the Council, with inspectors using iCouncil to search for information rather than picking up the phone.

Sutherland Shire Council is using iCouncil to streamline its mobile tree assessments and is preparing to go live with food inspections as well.

The Council has found the app makes inspections easier by granting staff the ability to start and end work in the field rather than the office and by using fast and simple application features such as event checklists, application conditions and events workflow.

Significant time savings have been made since the Council dispensed with its old, heavy tough books. Previously, tree inspectors were getting through an average of 75 applications a week, but with iCouncil they are now able to complete around 90 applications a week.

TechnologyOne is already working in partnership with customers to build on its existing software with other useful apps. For local government, these sort of intuitive apps are an excellent way of reducing training budgets, making employees' lives easier and improving customer service.