Independent research agency votes AMANDA as the best Municipal Case Management Software

2 March 2016,

In a marketplace rife with “we are the best system for you” vendors, an independent evaluation of Case Management Software by a reputed market agency provides an objective analysis for buyers. CSDC’s AMANDA received the highest ratings in the report by one of the largest consulting services firms in Canada and North America. AMANDA was the leader in 7 of the 11 criteria used for the evaluation. It came close in 2 other factors.

Independent research agency votes AMANDA as the best Municipal Case Management Software

CSDC Systems received a public copy of the research report from the City of Hamilton, Ontario. This report was tabled at the sub-committee meeting of the City, on 30 November 2015. The details of the report are very revealing.

The City of Hamilton, Ontario, commissioned an independent survey in December 2014, to identify a case management software (CMS) that would manage all its workflows and processes in an easy, efficient, and intuitive way.

The Planning & Economic Development Department at the City of Hamilton, which initiated this survey, deals with the workflow and processes in ten departments and divisions, that include:

  • Permitting
  • Municipal by-law enforcement
  • Licensing approval and enforcement
  • Development planning and approvals
  • Construction and inspections; zone verifications and by-law reviews
  • Site servicing
  • Economic development
  • Tourism
  • Arts
  • Events


The Survey Methodology

& Yoush conducted the survey. They first identified and confirmed the City's functional and business requirements, followed it with a market scan of comparable software solutions, and finally evaluated the software solution alternatives for the City.

The research agency conducted a thorough review and assessment of Case Management Software, to identify the best available software for facilitating the internal operations and management of the Planning and Economic Development Department in the City of Hamilton. The project entailed five sequential phases:

  1. Collect the City’s needs and functional requirements
  2. Develop a functional specifications matrix
  3. Conduct the market scan
  4. Evaluate software vendors, and
  5. Prepare/ recommend the preferred software.


The requirements of the City

According to the report by CIMA Consulting/Yoush, the overall requirements of the Case Management System for the City of Hamilton were:

  1. Intuitive, easy navigation/ display, and visual navigation/ representation;
  2. Easy, efficient reporting, and production of custom report templates
  3. Automatic notification and warning messages for users based on custom rules
  4. Seamless integration with other software tools including GIS applications, BizTalk, and VailTech
  5. Support online access to a wide range of users, including staff, citizens, business owners, and others
  6. Automatic tracking and notifications of expiry date, and important deadlines and checkpoints
  7. Automatic creation of templates, insertion, and merging of documents including integration with Microsoft products
  8. Support for online emailing functionalities and synchronization with the back office mailing system
  9. Support for annotation and markups of documents and plans
  10. Support for mobile applications and seamless integration with the back office system
  11. Capability to provide statistical reporting on staff productivity, workload, and resources.


The Market Scan of the 5 top CMS contenders in Government Technology

The market scan by CIMA Consulting/Yoush evaluated the five leading Case Management System software vendors on the eleven parameters that it had identified for the City. The contenders were:

  1. CSDC Systems (AMANDA)
  2. Tyler Technologies (EnerGov)
  3. Infor (HANSEN)
  4. Computronix (POSSE)
  5. Accela (Accela Civic Platform)

 

The Results

How each of the 5 companies fared, on the eleven criteria established, is given below.


Vendor/Product Info

Figure 1: Vendor / Product Info

 

Extract from the Report
AMANDA scored very high in this category for multiple reasons. It has an extensive set of APIs and other mechanisms for easy integration regardless of the implementation platform. It is currently used in over 80 US and Canadian municipalities for permitting, licensing and compliance.

Note by CSDC Systems
Since 1989, CSDC Systems has been fuelling process performance through purpose-built, automation technology. For 26 years, governments and regulatory agencies, all over the world, have relied on us to fire up their processes. 47 governments around the world trust CSDC's technology to deliver better services to citizens and fast-track their systems. 350+ institutions run more efficiently with our solutions. 15,000+ users enjoy the freedom to focus on what's important each day as the software simplifies complexity for them. .

 

Reporting

Figure 2: Reporting

 

Extract from the Report
Figure 2 illustrates the results from the category with regard to reporting. Hansen, AMANDA, and Accela received very good scores, primarily as a result of providing strong querying and reporting functionalities. All the software surveyed have similar querying capabilities with a host of tools for customizable queries, as well as similar capabilities for exporting reports to other file formats. Hansen scored the highest for their flexibility for producing customized reports as well as tools dedicated to batch reporting.

Note by CSDC Systems
3 powerful reporting and analytical tools in AMANDA 7, now make it the leader in Reporting

  1. AMANDA Analytics introduced in AMANDA 7 is powered by , a Gartner Magic Quadrant recognized Industry Leader in Business Intelligence software.
  2. AMANDA 7 also features , a powerful Extract/ Transform/ Load tool, developed by CSDC Systems. Datamart analyzes and prepares your data for easy reporting, business intelligence analysis, and OpenData initiatives.

  3. automates batch jobs including batch generation and distribution of reports.

 

Software Integration

Figure 3: Software Integration

 

Extract from the Report
AMANDA received the highest score for software integration. It fully integrates its online Public Portal with GIS. It integrates with Microsoft Office Suite. It has comprehensive technical support options and training mediums/programs.

Both AMANDA and Posse also received very good scores due to their integration with a variety of software, including Microsoft BizTalk, their strong online web portal, and online functionalities.

Most of the software provide strong integration with online browsers and access to their respective online web portal. For GIS functionalities and applications, AMANDA, EnerGov, and Hansen scored very well.

 

Licensing Management

Figure 4: Licensing Management

 

Extract from the Report
Figure 4 illustrates the results from the category concerning licensing management. AMANDA scored very high primarily as a result of its comprehensive Business and Professional License modules providing a host of flexible license management functionalities, including automatic license expiration and renewal notifications.

AMANDA, Accela, and Hansen received good scores for their flexible functionalities for public portal licensing activities.

Note by CSDC Systems
CSDC's Licensing Management Solutions are off-the-shelf, modular, integrated systems, built on top of the AMANDA Case Management Platform. The common processes covered by the solutions include application reviews, exams, renewals, audits, fees, complaints, investigations, legal actions, and compliance activities. These licensing solutions help improve efficiency, enhance transparency, increase citizen engagement, provide public safety, and more, with reduced budgets and fewer resources.

Citizen Request and Response

Figure 5: Citizen Request and Response


Extract from the Report
Figure 5 illustrates the results from the category concerning citizen request and response. AMANDA received the highest score as a result of its flexibility and efficiency in generating citizen response documents via Microsoft Word.

Both AMANDA and EnerGov received very good scores due to their active use of IVR (interactive voice response) technology for "call center" functionalities, whereas the other vendors have not demonstrated their ability to support this technology.
 

Plan and Document Review

Figure 6: Plan and Document Review


Extract from the Report
Figure 6 illustrates the results from the category concerning plan and document review. AMANDA received the highest score as a result of its use of the Attachment Table and Scan Station, as well as its EMMA module supporting ePlan Review, and its management of large packets of plans/documents.

Accela received a good score due to its efficient storage/retrieval capabilities through its Enterprise Document Management System, and its flexible functionalities for permitting the submission of plans/documents via its citizen portal. Markup and annotation functionalities are most supported by AMANDA and EnerGov.

Hansen does not currently support the majority of plan and document review functionalities.

Note by CSDC Systems
Beyond the EMMA module, CSDC also has a strategic partnership with for ProjectDox, the leading enterprise ePlans solution.


Fee and Cashier Management

Figure 7: Fee and Cashier Management

 

Extract from the Report
Figure 7 illustrates the results from the category concerning fee and cashier management. Hansen scored the highest primarily due to its billing and invoice management capabilities provided through its CDR Billing module.

Hansen, Accela, and AMANDA received very good scores overall as a result of strong payment processing capabilities, as well as flexibility in applying fees to various application types, and related query functionalities.

Note by CSDC Systems
In AMANDA 7, the User Experience for managing Fees, Billing, and Payment has been simplified. It now features a single uncluttered screen with natural flows that make financial processing easier. This includes easy payment, partial payments, and transfers. The Cashier Module User Interface has also been modernized, in line with other AMANDA 7 User Experience improvements, to offer a responsive, device agnostic experience.

 

Mobile Operations

Figure 8: Mobile Operations

 

Extract from the Report
Figure 8 illustrates the results from the category concerning mobile operations. AMANDA received the highest score mainly as a result of its seamless integration with mobile devices allowing AMANDA Mobile to provide vehicle route mapping and optimized routing functionalities.

Both Accela and AMANDA received good scores due to the availability of many back office functionalities during mobile operations, as well as their incorporation of pick lists, check boxes and radio buttons in improving the efficiency of data entry during mobile operations. However, AMANDA only supports the Windows operating system, while Accela supports all types of tablet mobile technologies.

Note by CSDC Systems
In AMANDA, we have 4 different mobile apps that allow access to AMANDA, to improve productivity. Through these apps, governments can set up services that encourage a two-way interaction with citizens; allow inspectors to report from the fields; enable executives, contractors, and applicants to view folders and to-do lists. This feature allows governments to have a high level of control, flexibility, and independence when implementing AMANDA in their organizations. .


Task and Personnel Management

Figure 9: Task & Personnel Management

 

Extract from the Report
Figure 9 illustrates the results from the category concerning task and personnel management.

AMANDA scored high essentially due to its flexible capabilities in task notifications, tracking of inspection requests, and certification module for tracking/verification of training requirements. With regards to statistical reporting on staff workload and generating task notifications, EnerGov and AMANDA received the highest scores.

Note by CSDC Systems
Over AMANDA 6 and 7, we have made 100s of UI and performance enhancements to the platform. The task lists have been improved to make it even more efficient. SOAP-based web services have been included to support integration with portals and mobile technology. Team concepts, Calendar based UI and bi-directional interface with Microsoft Outlook have also been added. .


Marketing, Real Estate and Business Development

Figure 10: Marketing, Real Estate, and Business Development


Extract from the Report
Figure 11 illustrates the results from the category with regard to marketing, real estate, and business development. Hansen received the highest score as a result of its comprehensive Real Estate module, as well as its e-blast functionalities (massive emails) through its Batch Manager.

Note by CSDC Systems
In AMANDA 7, Datamart ETL can be used to publish Business Development, Real Estate, and Marketing related data, including blasting emails. CSDC also has a strategic tie-up with to offer enterprise grade Real Estate management software for municipalities.


Overall Results

Figure 11: Overall Results

 

Extract from the Report
While multiple categories of functions were evaluated for each vendor, AMANDA and Hansen demonstrated strong capabilities in certain categories.

As illustrated in Figure 11, AMANDA (developed by CSDC Systems) received the highest overall score at 82%.

Posse (developed by Computronix) received the second highest score at 71% with the remaining software scoring between 70% and 67%. In general, all vendors scored reasonably well with the lowest overall score (Accela) at 67%, and a maximum difference between AMANDA and Accela being 15%. However, AMANDA did distinguish itself from the rest of the vendors, surpassing the second highest vendor (Posse) by 11%.

AMANDA demonstrated its strengths in 7 out of 11 categories where it received the highest scores:

  • Vendor/Product Info - 95%
  • Software Integration - 85%
  • Licensing Management - 95%
  • Citizen Request and Response - 93%
  • Plan and Document Review - 87%
  • Mobile Operations - 75%
  • Task and Personnel Management - 90%

Despite having the third highest overall score, Hansen received the highest score for all remaining categories, which were:

  • Reporting
  • Fee and Cashier Management
  • Marketing, Real Estate and Business Development
  • Events and Tourism

 

Recommendations to the City of Hamilton

Extract from the Report
The results of this comprehensive review revealed that AMANDA (developed by CSDC) is the best available software in meeting the current and future functional needs of the City’s users.

In addition to the facts established, AMANDA has the longest history and the widest footprint in Canada amongst the five vendors presented. A greater effort was made by AMANDA to respond to the evaluation matrix. It was the first to respond to our questions and it provided the most detailed answers in most cases. Some noteworthy observations on CSDC and AMANDA are:

  • Mature product with rich functionality

  • Mature company with solid understanding of the Canadian municipalities business

  • Mature and solid technology platform based on the mature Enterprise Java

  • Fairly open API

  • Notable Canadian presence

AMANDA has been in this industry for the longest time. Not surprisingly, AMANDA is the richest product in overall functionality and its depth of service. This means that AMANDA has the most business functions and is best able to address the current needs of the City of Hamilton. CSDC, as a company, has been very responsive throughout the evaluation process and the level of details they provided, confirm that they understand the industry.

AMANDA’s presence within the Canadian municipalities is substantially higher than all the others. We must emphasize that the functionality relevant to the City is the most important factor, and AMANDA clearly stood out in the following functions: Vendor/Product Info, Software Integration, Licensing Management, Citizen Request and Response, Plan and Document Review, Mobile Operations, and Task and Personnel Management.

Note by CSDC Systems
This research report by CIMA Consulting/ Yoush will please thousands of AMANDA users in the US and Canada. It will reinforce their investment decision and faith in this powerful Case Management platform from CSDC Systems. Hopefully, it will also enhance the decisions of prospective governments seeking Integrated Permitting, Licensing, and Compliance Software that's best suited to their County, City and State needs.

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