Forbes: Systems Support Of Global Wine Online: Exploring The Case Study Of Wine Australia And Accela
Check out Accela in the article below!
By Cathy Huyghe
Forbes- November 22, 2020
By this point, that statement comes as no surprise.
What’s worth teasing out further, however, is an understanding of the processes that make today’s online wine ecosystem a reality in the global sense. For a deeper dive into one of those processes, I interviewed Khaled Jaouni, Dubai-based International Managing Director at Accela, a technology services company that is best known for its digital services delivery to government entities around the world.
Accela teamed up with DWS to create a new digital management tool for Wine Australia, the federal agency that regulates the Australian wine industry. The new tool manages all permitting, labeling and shipments in order to allow exporters to apply online for licenses and certificates including real-time application review and online payments with access 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It’s a big lift for a big business. Australia is the fifth largest wine exporter in the world, with approximately 60 percent of its production going into export sales. The new system is expected to regulate more than 200,000 transactions from three thousand exporters across the country per year.
Here are four takeaways from my conversation with Jaouni that highlight best practices during the partnership and development of the system, which is poised to smooth the transition of Australian wineries into an increasingly demanding online world.
A Mindset of Continuous Improvement
The mindset of his colleagues at Wine Australia was one of the earliest impressions Jaouni noticed, especially given that a contractual engagement in the wine industry was fairly new territory for him and his team. “We understand regulatory systems very well and we know how to leverage technology to make them easier,” he said. Although wine is new for him, he sensed that Wine Australia is “an organization that’s in a mode of continuous improvement” both at the time the system is implemented and deployed as well as being able to change it up as necessary in the future.
Test. Test. Test.
Particularly notable for Jaouni, that is unlike other regulatory agencies he’s worked with, was the amount of testing of the system that CEO Andreas Clark and GM for Market Access Rachel Triggs undertook. “I’ve never seen anything like the scale of testing that Wine Australia did,” Jaouni said. “They did not want those wineries to have a single glitch from day one onward.”
Keeping Technology Humane
As the project developed, Jaouni recognized the bridge that Wine Australia was building to a sophisticated technology from a very traditional network of grape growers and winemakers. “Wine Australia wanted to look at it from the winemakers’ perspective and revisit the entire journey,” he said. They wanted to see “how we can really improve that, and make it a more positive experience for [winemakers] on the whole.”
Jaouni also commented on the feedback from wineries, and how different that is from other government entities he’s worked with. Some winemakers even wrote personal notes. “We don’t see that with building permits,” he said.
Evolving the Relationship Between Business and Government
Given their history of working with regulatory agencies, Jaouni and his team possess a unique perspective on the evolving nature of the relationship between business and government. A general trend that they’re starting to see, for example, is more collaboration when it’s of service to citizens. As an example, Jaouni points to restaurant review websites like Yelp. In some cities, he’s seen agencies responsible for public health inspections post restaurants’ latest scores on the review sites. “Obviously that starts to raise the level of hygiene in said restaurant,” Jaouni said.
The systems of alcohol sales and distribution vary widely between Australia and the US, and what’s possible there is not necessarily easily feasible here. It’s tempting nonetheless to imagine the possibilities particularly when there are proofs of concept to reference.
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Check out Accela in the article below!
By Andrew Westrope
GovTech- June 15, 2020
When local governments reflect on 2020, one of their takeaway lessons might be the importance of adaptability. Although gov tech giant Accela had this in mind before agencies from coast to coast had shuttered their offices, the company today announced a new civic application to help fire departments make prevention work more flexible.
Accela’s new SaaS tool for fire prevention is its eighth in a series of civic applications, starting March 2018, all of which aim to replace paper-based processes with digital workflows and automated steps. The company’s news release said the new fire prevention application streamlines aspects of fire plan reviews, inspections and fire permitting, and it includes mobile tools for team inspections and training.
Aaron Williams, Accela’s senior director of solution architecture, said the application is essentially for anything a fire department needs to document, permit or inspect, which in many places includes thousands of occupancies a year. He said normally this would involve reams of printed paper, hand-delivered inspection notices, clipboards, file cabinets and potentially a lot of staff time.
“That used to be a three-week process for them to do a sweep of annuals, and now that three weeks is almost entirely gone, because all you have to do is store it in your system,” Williams said. “This will automatically schedule the inspections on the annual date, and the inspections are routed out to the stations over the Internet through our software and performed on mobile devices. You’re essentially eliminating paper entirely from the process.”
He said the product comes in three iterations: an entry-level “fire essentials” package, which can transition a department off of a paper process in a matter of weeks; a more robust “fire extended” version with more features and dashboards; and a “fire enterprise” version for inventory management and team inspections of higher-occupancy structures like high-rises and stadiums.
Accela has been selling software to expedite fire prevention processes for years, but under the original series of “civic solutions,” now being phased out in favor of new civic applications. Williams said Accela’s original civic platform of solutions was a development tool that gave governments the ability to configure their business processes, but some of those configurations became hard to maintain.
“What happened is, the solutions evolved with agencies internally over time, and they were as good as the last IT department. … The machine got so big and so complicated, you needed more people to maintain it,” he said. “With civic applications, you don’t need that product manager anymore, because Accela has that product manager, focused on building that product, fixing bugs, enhancing features.”
Besides being the next application in the series, Williams said the new fire prevention software was partially inspired by other work with government agencies through COVID-19, asking them what they needed. He said a lot of them had to close their offices that handled permits, so they were looking for mobile, digital alternatives.
“They needed to get online, like, tomorrow, or in the next few days. So we created generic solutions where you could just set the thing up, not very invasive for your staff,” he said. “A bunch of people used it, and we saw the opportunity to do the same thing with fire.”
Accela’s news release corroborated the idea that governments are going mobile: More than 80 percent of the company’s new customers since the pandemic purchased solutions in the cloud, and 66 percent of its entire customer base is in the cloud.