Information Your Way
Long considered a leader in spearheading initiatives to better service the citizens and businesses who live and work in Vaughan, the city was seeking to raise the bar again with a personalized and interactive web experience for constituents – rich with content and strong with search. The catch? Be the first to deliver this state-of-the-art solution on the latest Microsoft SharePoint platform while not falling prey to budget or “first to implement” technology black holes.
About The City of Vaughan
The City of Vaughan is a forward-thinking, fast-growing municipality located in Southern Ontario. Long considered a leader in driving new methods to better serve a wide range of stakeholders, the city promotes diversity, innovation and opportunity for all citizens. Led by the mandate “citizens first through service excellence”, the City of Vaughn fosters a vibrant community life which is inclusive, progressive, environmentally responsible and sustainable.
The City of Vaughan’s Challenges
The City of Vaughan was running a website built on outdated and in some cases, unsupported technology. The site had grown organically with much of the information difficult to locate and limited search functionality. Departments could not update their own content and instead, required the services of a technology specialist or developer to implement any changes. This was time-consuming, prone to error and meant that valuable resources were duplicating efforts and spending time on the wrong activities.
The City was one of the first public sector sites to integrate SharePoint 2010 with FastSearch. Being first-to-market with technology innovation always introduces risk and Navantis understood how to eliminate that risk. Discipline, commitment and experienced resources who understood how to deal with surprises, limit scope creep without sacrificing expectations and remain on budget were critical factors.
The new platform meant that ownership for developing and publishing content would shift from technology back to the individual departments within the city. This represented a significant culture change and required a unique training approach to instill confidence in the various stakeholders who would now be writing for the web.
Over 200 individuals representing different backgrounds, skillsets, city departments and levels of comfort participated. Navantis worked with the entire team to ease these content authors into a new way of working.
Citizens and businesses can create their own unique profile and receive alerts and notifications tied directly to the areas of interest to them. The site remembers who they are and their custom home page is displayed every time they log on, making the experience more intuitive and user friendly.
- Improved search and content organization, making it easy and intuitive for all types of users;
- Empowered authors who can manage their own content;
- More interaction – encouraging an online conversation between the city and the citizens;
- Use of visual prompts such as maps for a quick view of various services around Vaughan;
- The ability to leverage social media and share information.
“By enabling our departments to have a conversation with our citizens using our new website, social media and other state-of-the-art tools, we are fostering the very community ideals that we are proud of. It was easy to select Navantis as our partner in this venture. We work well with Navantis and have been partners with them for a long time.”
Dimitri Yampolsky, CIO, City of Vaughan