Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Governing from the Cloud: The City of Columbia Elects Box

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A few weeks ago, we paid our first visit to the winners of the Box Mobile Giveaway, the City of Columbia, MO. Over the past year, we’ve seen more and more government organizations move to the cloud, and were excited to see firsthand how the cloud and mobile devices are making business better than ever. We spent our time in the Midwest getting to know the awesome City of Columbia staff and setting them up with Box and Samsung Galaxy Tabs. The City plans to use Box in a wide range of departments, like Neighborhood Services, Animal Control and Law Enforcement, just to name a few.

Our first stop was a city council meeting to formally present the grand prize to Robert Simms, the City’s IT Director.

The next day, we went to the City of Columbia offices to meet the rest of the staff, where we showed the City of Columbia how to share work plans, photos and other documents from the office to their teams out in the field; now they can pull up documents in seconds without carrying binders worth of information or clunky laptops. And since employees in the office can instantly see updates from people who are out in the field, the city’s mobile workers wont have to make time-consuming trips back to the home base.

Even though they just started using Box, the City of Columbia is already seeing major changes in how they do business. As IT Director Robert Simms put it, “In just a couple of weeks, we’ve seen a big change in our employees and it’s been impressive. Before this project, some of them had never even used a smartphone. Now they are in the field with some of the latest technology and picking it up very easily. The simplicity of Box makes that possible and that’s very exciting to us.”

We can’t wait to see how it all turns out. We’ll be updating their progress along the way and are heading back to check in on them in June, so stay tuned!