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FAQ

What is SMARTGov?

SMARTGov is a browser based software program that manages all of your permitting, plan review, inspection, parcel, fee, contractor, and code enforcement needs. The program molds itself to your business practices allowing you to operate according to your rules. It comes with a built in GIS mapping module, a suite of reports and graphs, and the ability to attach any file to a record. SMARTGov also contains many optional functions to measure and drive your efficiency, and a public web portal that allows applicants to check status, request inspections, download documents, etc. SMARTGov is a comprehensive, expert system with affordable alternatives designed to help you do more with less.

How is SMARTGov sold?

SMARTGov uses state-of-the-art .Net and SQL Server technologies. It can be implemented in a traditional on-premises installation that allows you to manage the hardware and software, or it can be provided as an affordable cloud subscription that frees you from equipment maintenance. An abundance of optional companion modules are also available to connect to other data sources, provide in-field inspection entry, integrate cashiering, etc. Of course our world-class technical support and documentation comes with every installation of SMARTGov but we also stand ready to assist you with training or any other special needs you might have.

What are the benefits of a cloud subscription?

When you ask a web search engine to find something, the program that sifts through the data and produces results is not running on your PC. It and the data are stored and running on computers managed by the search engine. This is Cloud Computing. It means all you need to run the software is a web browser. No servers, no cables snaking through the office, no hardware/software conflicts, and no dread every time a lightning storm forms over the building. As you can imagine, cloud computing saves everyone time and money, and allows us to offer features formerly available only to larger jurisdictions. A cloud implementation of SMARTGov provides these features at an affordable price regardless of your size. And many copies of your data are maintained in different locations so it’s safe and reliable. But SMARTGov goes farther by providing a method for you to download a data backup to your local hard drives. No matter what you think of it, the cloud is where we are headed. Get those savings now by subscribing to SMARTGov.

What are the benefits of an on-premises installation?

With an on-premises implementation of SMARTGov you control the network and servers. You have control over security and database integrity. And we supply a turn-key solution configured to meet your specific needs. An on-premises installation of SMARTGov provides dedicated staff and personalized service. And it allows you to call the shots regarding resources and modifications. If you need a deeper and more exclusive relationship with Paladin Data Systems then an on-premises version of SMARTGov is what you are looking for.

How much control do I have over SMARTGov?

SMARTGov is about giving you control and choice. You control the menu, the tabs, the dependencies, the structure of the permit types including the ability to add custom fields, as well as notes, attachments, pull-down lists, selected field formatting, fee schedules and calculations, reports, workflow, inspection types, submittal lists, management dashboards, and an instant audit system that allows you to see the history of field values including all edits, when they were made, and by whom. With SMARTGov the jurisdiction receives an unprecedented level of control that allows your methods to be recreated in the software. You don’t have to change to use SMARTGov, it changes to match your procedures.

How much control do my users have over SMARTGov?

In SMARTGov each user has their own customizable home page that can show data and graphs specific to their job. They can subscribe to receive an email notification whenever a certain event occurs, or track their workload through a prioritized to-do list that shows only tasks assigned to them. They have a list of records they have visited recently and can jump between them, and a Favorites menu item that allows them to keep a custom-made list of associated files and web links. Users can also define search criteria that drills to the records of their choice and save as many of those filters as they like for future use. Any list screen can be converted to an instant report with a single click, and an optimized ad hoc report writer comes with every SMARTGov installation. With SMARTGov users match what they see to what they do.

What if I don’t want to configure SMARTGov myself?

No problem. You don’t need to configure SMARTGov yourself. We offer a variety of templates that conform to best practices. You can simply select the templates that best match your methods and use them as-is or modify them. If what you need is more personalized service we can analyze your operation and perform the configuration for you. Whatever your needs Paladin Data Systems has the answer.

What’s the catch?

There’s no catch. We don’t sound like the other guys because we’re not like the other guys. They design their systems to require expensive on-going relationships. Now there’s nothing wrong with that except for the word, “require”. We think the realities of local government require control and choice. You need to be able to make changes freely without being bound to us, and you need to be able to decide how deep your relationship with Paladin Data Systems will be. If you’re a do-it-yourself type then go ahead and do it. If you’re in need of advice and participation then Paladin Data Systems is ready… control and choice.

Can we import or connect to other data sources?

Our SMARTGov Connectors attach you to other data sources for extraction, transmission, or sharing. Perhaps you want to import your parcel and owner information from the tax assessor, or would like to send your daily fees and receipts to the financial program. Maybe you would like to add layers to SMARTGov’s built-in GIS mapping system so you can create permits and code enforcement records directly from the aerials. We can do all of this and more. Whether it’s a live link, a batch process, or an import/export function, Paladin Data Systems can make the connection.

Can SMARTGov store and calculate our fees?

All of your fixed, scaled, and hourly fees are supported including valuation and fixture data. Your sliding scale and other calculations are done for you by SMARTGov and filled in automatically. And fee definitions are attached to permit types so you never forget what fees go with what permits. Full multi-fee receipting is supported and our Fee Estimates function allows potential applicants to know the total of fees before creating a permit record. Plus our field auditing makes your records secure by recording and date-stamping every user transaction. SMARTGov also has an optional Cashiering module and keeps track of your Fee Codes and GL accounts. This comprehensive approach to fees and receipts ensures that SMARTGov meets your needs.

Does SMARTGov allow us to attach other files to records?

SMARTGov has a built in Notes function that allows you to define many types of free-form annotations to use with your records. It also permits you to attach any file or web address you like. Digital photos, drawings, scanned multi-page documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, Word documents, or whatever you want can be part of a SMARTGov record.

Does SMARTGov have a public web portal?

SMARTGov has an optional web portal that allows your citizens and applicants to transact business on-line. They can search for records, create applications, request inspections, check the status of their permit, download documents, etc. You choose which records are published to the portal and ensure consistent communications around the clock. A SMARTGov self-service web portal cuts your live inquiries, makes you more responsive, and increases your transparency.

Tell me more about this built-in GIS mapping module?

It’s a fully featured Geographic Information System (GIS) that comes with layers for aerial and street map view. In addition we can import any other shape file layers you might have, like parcel dimensions so you can create records directly from the map. In SMARTGov any list screen can be instantly mapped. You can load a filter, query the records you want, and then with one click show them on a color-coded map that you can draw on, annotate, save, or print. This integrated GIS makes SMARTGov more than a simple permitting system, it makes it a visual tool that aids in decision making.

How do we learn to use SMARTGov?

SMARTGov comes with a comprehensive help system that contains topics on all of the software’s functions and areas including a series of tutorials, demonstration videos, how-to’s, configuration advice, and other learning resources. And of course our help desk is available to answer your questions. Paladin Data Systems also offers an assortment of optional training alternatives that can be delivered live through the web or in person at your location or ours.

Can we make our own reports in SMARTGov?

SMARTGov comes with a suite of existing reports, charts, and graphs for you to use but it doesn’t stop there. You need a way to ask questions of your data on the fly, format the results for consumption, and then print or email them to the involved parties. Enter SMARTGov’s Ad Hoc reporter. A built in report writer that allows users to quickly create formatted output and save the definition for future use. The Ad Hoc Reporter is easy to use, knows about the data structures built into SMARTGov, and lets you layout the report practically any way you like. It is a powerful alternative when the instant reports built into every SMARTGov list screen, or the suite of canned reports that come with the software don’t meet your needs.

What tools does SMARTGov have to make us more efficient?

SMARTGov contains many functions that increase efficiency and cast your department in its best light. A system of checks and balances under your control alerts you to problems and tracks segmented processing time. You can pre-define workflow steps, fees, submissions, and many other variables with the permit type so each process conforms to a standard and nothing falls through the cracks. Our Cycling feature manages plan reviews and our User To-do and SMARTQueue lists prioritized tasks and present them to users in the order they should be done. SMARTGov is an expert system that doesn’t simply store your records; it examines them, points out problems, and gives you alternatives.

Is SMARTGov secure?

With SMARTGov you define passworded users, departments, and security groups. You can sculpt access to areas of the system based on a range of factors, and see a history of all user actions. Our cloud based subscribers will have 4 copies of their data at all times including the one on the hard drive of their local computer. And our on-premises installations have complete control over backups. SMARTGov uses Microsoft technology to maintain security and integrity so you know it’s secure.

Are there other SMARTGov software products?

Yes, SMARTGov Panoramic manages all of your initiatives and projects whether they are capital facilities projects, comprehensive plans, or any set of ranged goals. SMARTGov Panoramic allows you to define nested project levels that show goals, objectives, budgets, contacts, and activities that are aggregated and rolled up to higher levels so the data can be viewed in any programmatic context. Whether you’re on the ground or at a higher altitude SMARTGov Panoramic displays what you need. The software service also comes with a built-in GIS mapping system and an optional public web portal that allows citizens to learn more and track progress. Contact us today to learn more about SMARTGov Panoramic.

Can you tell me about Paladin Data Systems?

Paladin Data Systems is an award-winning software development company, established in 1994. We service and support such industries as military and government organizations, the natural resource community and city and county agencies. Paladin’s corporate office is located in the heart of Puget Sound in beautiful Poulsbo, Washington. Our team has taken experiences gathered from hundreds of jurisdictions and created SMARTGov to serve your needs as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. Our goal is to give our clients as many choices and as much control as they need. SMARTGov is only one of the ways we do this.

How do we move forward with SMARTGov?

Easy, call Paladin Data Systems today to learn more about SMARTGov – 877-367-4572 (toll free)