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The Journey to a Unified Civic Engagement Platform

I’m excited today to reveal to our customers our highly strategic journey toward integrating our products in an even more seamless and efficient way towards a unified Civic Engagement Platform.

Of course, our products were already designed to play nice with one another and with other solutions in your toolkit, but over the past six months, Granicus has begun a series of major investments to provide deeper unity among the product set.

To do this, Granicus Product Managers, Engineers and Designers have been spending time with our government customers where you work. We’ve also drawn on our own experiences as constituents and residents of government at all levels. And, we’ve incorporated some of the most modern and flexible technologies being used today to power the future.

Today, we realize the first step in this journey – the ability for clerks to, with one click, Send Agenda from govMeetings Media Manager using the sending power of govDelivery. We are so proud, but it’s only the beginning. I wanted to share with you what our unity journey is going to mean for citizens, govies and techies.

Unified for Citizens

Any one of us need go no further than our own city’s website to spot many opportunities for a truly unified citizen experience.

My personal favorite example is that, in the city where I live, you have to call to get the trash and recycling bins you need.

The water department. –> You call the water department. To get your recycling bin.

Simple and intuitive, right?

It’s common to see multiple places and ways to sign up for updates, a litany of links rather than intuitive content design and a patchwork of digital, paper and the dreaded call-in, walk-in, business-hours-only services.

We can do better than that. Simply put, as Granicus unifies its platform, we’ll reduce clicks, searches and calls for citizens. Send Agenda is our first simplified workflow

Unified for Govies

When we talk to our government customers, we hear two consistent themes – regardless of whether we’re talking to a city clerk, a communications person at a federal agency, the webmaster of a county sheriff. First, you too want to deliver on the unified citizen experience. But second, despite big goals, you’re always trying to do more with less. So, it was important to us that unification of Granicus products reduced effort and the number of steps.

Integrations like Send Agenda help deliver on a better citizen experience while keeping you in your primary solution (no changing software programs just to send an email). Better experience for less effort? Sounds good to us.

Over the next few years, you’ll also see us make more progress in combining data and reporting across products so you get a unified view of how citizens are interacting with your agency across channels and products. This will help increase the power of everything from your content strategy on your govAccess website to the audience-building strength of the Granicus Network.

Unified for Techies

Ok, listen, I know what you may be thinking – Send Agenda is cool and all. It saves time for the citizen, it saves time for the clerk. But why is Granicus’ head of product so excited about it? The answer is that the technology is cool. Like really cool.

Many software products that you use interoperate. You may have single sign on with Active Directory or max.gov, have some APIs integrated in your website or sync contacts with a CRM system. Most of the time, those interactions are achieved using what we nerds in the back call a point-to-point integration. That means that System A talks directly with System B. And every time we want to make a new connection, we have to go create a brand new connection from A-to-B.

Granicus’ ambitions for unity are bigger than that. So, Send Agenda and the other integrations that are coming over the next few years, use an integration pattern called publish and subscribe. This enables us to integrate functions of each product one time and then have them reusable with different partner applications. For example, Send Agenda publishes an Agenda from govMeetings Media Manager and then sends an alert via govDelivery. When, over the next few months, we extend this feature to govMeetings Peak, we can reuse the govDelivery side of the integration! This will allow us to pick up the pace of integrations significantly in the coming years, as well as include data from products we aren’t even thinking about yet.

(And the technology that underlies this all – Kafka and Kubernetes – is the most modern available, ensuring we are built for speed and massive scale)

Unification Roadmap

Over the next 12-18 months, you’ll see more of this, touching govMeetings Peak and Legistar and govAccess.  And of course with our recent addition of govService to the product portfolio, unity will be even more powerful.

If you have feedback or ideas for what Granicus could do to better power your work with its products please feel free to reach out to me at laurel.anderson@granicus.com.