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Granicus Officially Launches Digital Services Platform

The company has been expanding in recent years. Its most recent move, which is based on the technology of a U.K. acquisition, puts it in a particularly competitive segment of the gov tech market.

Granicus is officially launching a product to help state and local government put services online, using technology it acquired when it bought a U.K. company in April.

The company, Firmstep, was all about “channel shift” — that is, taking services that the government offers from a physical location, and making them digital so residents can access them from anywhere with an Internet connection.

Using that company’s experience and platform, Granicus is launching a new product for the U.S. called govService. In a press release, the company described the product as a suite of ready-to-go services designed to launch quickly at governments. That involves automating back-office processes while offering online portals for people to enter their information, pay any fees and track the status of their request.

The press release specifically cited pet licenses, tax payment, planning and zoning applications and development permits as items it will handle.

“Citizens expect a modern digital experience when interacting with their government,” said Michele Williams, the CIO of Culver City, Calif., in the statement. “City leaders must find effective ways to engage, and digitally touch the community by implementing solutions that provide real value.”

Granicus has been expanding outward into new lines of business ever since 2016, when Vista Equity Partners bought it up and merged it with GovDelivery, bringing together a communications platform with a meeting and agenda management platform. Several more acquisitions followed, most notably that of government website builder Vision Internet.

The digital services space offers plenty of options for state and local governments in the U.S.; companies like NIC, Tyler Technologies, Accela and PayIt work in many of the areas Granicus is now jumping into.

But Granicus comes into the market with the advantage of having a large customer base — more than 4,200 federal, state and local agencies, according to the statement.

”We’ve seen so many of our government customers across the U.S. struggle to meet the expectations of today’s digital citizens for a modern, consistent online experience when interacting and transacting with their governments across common civic services such as permitting, applications, licenses, and citizen requests,” Granicus CEO Mark Hynes said in the press release. “Unfortunately, the efforts of government leaders — city managers, CIOs, and CTOs — have been severely constrained by legacy, siloed technologies that were never designed to interoperate, be accessible by citizen users, or be flexible enough to easily create and deliver a large collection of services online.”

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.