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  • Success Story
  • Austin, Texas

How Austin Connected 13,000 Employees Across Over 45 Departments for Collaboration

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Like many cities, the City of Austin, Texas, had an outdated intranet and various departments running their own systems with different software – creating disjointed user experiences and a governance nightmare. Thanks to OpenCities, now by Granicus, they were able to leverage an intranet solution that fully integrated with existing AzureAD authentication to ensure all 13,000 staff members enjoyed a personalized, single sign-in intranet experience.

Just as we've learned that our residents depend on the website for service, our employees depend on the intranet for service. We saw this as not just a modernization of technology, but as a bridge toward supporting a more agile, mobile and digitally connected workforce.”
Doug Matthews, Chief Communications Director


  • 13,000 Employees
  • Over 45 departments communicating between each other
  • Increased Accessibility through improved intranet
  • Personalized Single Sign-In experience using AzureAD authentication
Must have Granicus Solutions

Outdated and Scattered

Employees at the City of Austin, Texas, had long struggled with the outdated user experience, dated content, and difficulty finding – much less interacting with – the information and services offered through the City’s intranet.

To address these ongoing challenges, City leaders set a lofty goal to procure, design, configure, populate, and launch a new intranet in only three weeks. The city’s resident-facing website was also being updated and it was crucial that employees aligned with a strategic plan before the updates took place. With a digital team that was already being stretched thin, a working intranet was vital to communication.

The City invested in research to identify common pain points for City staff, and knew that to be successful, the new intranet must:

  • Deliver rich functionality such as interactive staff directories, message boards, forms, and policy directories; wrapped in a clean, simple, and ADA-compliant user interface.
  • Empower more staff to easily contribute content without learning how to use a CMS system, to ensure the intranet could stay fresh and up to date.
  • Deliver a powerful search experience, making it easy to find content, documents, and more through a single search box.
  • Serve as a stable and extensible launching point for employees to access third-party systems and resources critical to their job functions.

A Unified Approach

Key decisionmakers evaluated an intranet solution powered by OpenCities (now by Granicus) alongside several other systems, including custom built, Microsoft SharePoint-based, and out-of-the-box platforms. OpenCities’ solution was the best option for meeting the City’s needs.

In just three weeks, the City of Austin was able to not only design, configure, and populate its new intranet, but also achieve full integration with its AzureAD authentication to ensure all 13,000 staff members enjoyed a personalized, single sign-in intranet experience.


Flexibility Today and in the Future

Today, City staff members can use their AzureAD login and access the intranet from anywhere on any device, with a secure view of content based on their role within the organization. Employees can also customize their staff listing/profile, and soon will be able to engage in forums and discussions to gather input, feedback, and ideas from one another on key citywide initiatives. Combined with OpenCities’ quarterly new feature releases and upgrades, the City of Austin will extend its intranet functionality and deliver more value to staff. City leaders are confident that its new intranet will empower the city to continually innovate based on user experience and employee feedback.