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Farflung County Seeks New Solution

The local government wants to streamline a portion of its process.

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The state’s largest county by area is calling for assistance from IT vendors capable of providing it with a new solution it needs.

San Bernardino Countywhich has in the past partnered with a neighbor on a significant technology initiative – is doing a procurement around land use services, in an effort to alleviate future issues. (At more than 20,000 square miles in area, San Bernardino County is about twice the size of the No. 2-ranked local government Inyo County. By contrast, Los Angeles County, the state’s most populous, ranks 11th in area at more than 4,000 square miles.)

The county’s Land Use Services Department released a request for proposal on July 26, seeking responses from “software vendors, systems integrators, implementation partners and/or value-added resellers” capable of providing it, generally, with a customer relationship management (CRM) solution. Among the takeaways:

  • The county wants to hear from respondents with the “organizational, functional and technical capabilities” to provide a solution meeting the county’s requirements to “streamline business process and improve community engagement for several divisions – Building and Safety, Land Development, Planning, Mining, Code Enforcement, Fire Hazard Abatements, and the Customer Service Call Center.” It needs a CRM to help develop a “high-level picture of the common issues and pain points facing our citizenry regarding county land use services, of which the county will use to anticipate and mitigate future problems.” The overall goal is making communications with residents “simple and varied,” enabling connection via “phone, email, online forms, live chat, chatbot and social media.” The CRM chosen must securely integrate with these communications channels and enable public-facing inquiries around permitting and inspections. Internally, it must let staff manage customer interactions, track what was said and response times, and have a dashboard for staff to look in on requests by division and response time.
  • The solution provided must be easy to use internally and by the public and must be able to provide accounts on both sides, secured by two-factor authentication. The CRM must enable the creation of service requests/cases on both sides; and have both a web portal and a “back office administration module” to manage and create service requests or cases. Internally, it must enable requests around permit research, mailings and service requests, and must integrate seamlessly with third-party solutions including “email, event and survey management solutions, and social media platforms” to enable data sharing between: Accela, Microsoft Outlook, Cisco and Esri products among others. The county infrastructure these solutions underpin include the Department Land Management Permitting System, the county’s Code Enforcement System and its GIS products. The CRM can be on-site or in the cloud, but data and the cloud application must be “stored, transmitted and processed” in the continental U.S. and be “Government Cloud compliant.”
  • Among the requirements for respondents are three references from other entities, “preferably public agencies, of same or similar size as the county,” with whom the respondent has had a contract for a “project of this nature.” Respondent must also provide proof of Service Organization Control 2 (SOC2) certification and of International Organization for Standardization 2700 (1ISO 27001) certification “specific to environment(s) and IT infrastructure where county data will be stored, processed and transmitted.”
  • The contract’s precise value is not stated; contract term will be a maximum of five years. A mandatory virtual proposer conference is set for 9 a.m. Aug. 9. Questions are due by 5 p.m. Aug. 16 and answers will come Aug. 23. Proposals are due by 3 p.m. Aug. 30 with proposals/demonstrations set for the week of Sept. 19. A tentative contract award is set for November.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.