CSDC Preps for Move to the Cloud, Hires New Leaders and Embraces the API

The company offers enterprise software, most notably in permitting and licensing functions.

CSDC, an enterprise software company whose core business is permitting, compliance and licensing solutions for government, is dramatically reshaping itself as it prepares to establish a bigger presence in the U.S.

The company, featured on this year’s GovTech 100 list, has launched a subscription-based version of its core platform, will soon bring that platform into the cloud and will also open up APIs so developers can build apps on top of it. The platform, now called Amanda Editions, has broad functionality — on top of permitting, licensing and compliance, it can also handle court needs such as jury management and FOIA compliance.

CSDC is also reorganizing its leadership. It gained a new chief executive officer, Erin Nelson, in October, and brought on a new chief financial officer at the time as well. A new chief technology officer started last week, and new sales and marketing leaders are joining in the coming weeks.

It all follows the company’s $30 million sale to the private equity firm BuildGroup about a year ago. The company, which has been around for nearly three decades, has more than 250 customers. But with a large concentration in Canada, where the company was founded, Nelson said CSDC is ready to expand in the U.S.

Hence the coming move to a cloud-based model. A subscription model should make the price more affordable for more customers and allow for easier scaling to smaller or larger government agencies, she said.

The subscriptions will be sold in a tiered system, which means CSDC will be taking lessons learned from clients of similar sizes and packaging them together to fit the typical needs of those agencies.

"It was typically a pretty long and arduous process for both procurement and implementation because Amanda is a pretty broad and powerful platform," Nelson said.

Meanwhile, the embrace of application programming interfaces (APIs) means that governments, third-party companies and other developers should be able to work more with Amanda. And, Nelson hopes, it will allow governments to help each other more easily.

"If a customer in Montreal figures out how to solve a particularly hairy problem around business taxes, why shouldn't Santa Monica be able to benefit from that?" she said.

The idea is for CSDC to become a more flexible company working within a software ecosystem.

"We're really working on an accelerated [building] and growth plan over the next several years starting now," Nelson said.

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.