City of Surrey, a municipality in Metro Vancouver, is the second largest city in British Columbia and is also one of the fastest growing cities in Canada. It is a diverse community that speaks more than 100 different languages and continuously welcomes approximately 1,500 new residents per month. With a current population of over 500,000, Surrey is a youthful city with a third of its population under the age of 19. As the city’s population continues to grow, Surrey is estimated to surpass Vancouver in population as the largest city in BC by 2041.
To accommodate for the rapid population growth, the City of Surrey needed to get creative to figure out how they could provide services to all citizens without compromising the quality of service. With approximately 1,500 new residents per month, the need for easily accessible municipal services is higher than ever. However, having just moved to a new city hall in recent years, expansion of the physical space and staff was out of the question. Therefore, the most effective way to provide easily accessible municipal services to an ever expanding population was to move all services online.
This would allow the City to serve the growing population without the need to spend additional resources for office and staff expansion. More importantly, this will allow Surrey residents to access city services at a time that best suits them as they will no longer be restricted to the city hall’s office hours. As well, by moving services such as building permits and business licensing online, the City of Surrey will be able to provide citizens with transparency into the progress of their applications at all times.
One platform, one identity
The City of Surrey provides a multitude of services for their citizens, including property taxes, recreational services, business licensing, and permit applications, to name a few. While many of these are already digitized, it can be difficult for citizens to access these services because each one requires a separate online registration process and account, and where to gain access to these websites is not always clear.
To combat this hurdle, City of Surrey envisioned a single platform where all of the services are centralized. With this single platform, citizens only need to create one account and log into one platform where they will be able to gain access to all of the city’s services. With this vision, citizens will be able to easily interact with the city and make use of all the services that the City of Surrey has to offer with a click of a button.
The first phase of the overall project saw the launch of the MySurrey Portal. This portal is the foundational piece to bringing all of the city’s services online into a central digital platform. This is the single point of access where citizens only have to log in once to see all of the services that City of Surrey has to offer. They will be able to view and access all of the city’s services directly from their computers or mobile devices whenever, wherever.
The first phase of the MySurrey portal comes with the ability for citizens to customize their user profiles with their preferred method of contact. As well, they can choose, based on their interests, the news and updates they would like to receive from the city. While some of the services still require a separate set of credentials when citizens click on them to access, all of the city’s services can be viewed and accessed directly from the portal.
With the portal live, City of Surrey can start using it to tackle some of the most complex workflows, such as the permit application or licensing process. One of the key values of digitizing services is to provide citizens with transparency and access to the most complicated city processes. Gone are the days of submitting paper applications via snail mail and not having a clear view of the application process. City of Surrey citizens will be able to log into a single platform, select the permit(s) they would like to apply for, submit their materials online, and have the ability to track and view their application status every step of the way.
The big picture
The MySurrey Portal is the foundational piece of an overarching digital transformation that the City of Surrey is working towards. This is a major step for City of Surrey in becoming a smart city and improving accessibility for its citizens. With the portal complete, the city can now move on with connecting all of the different applications to provide single sign-on throughout the MySurrey Portal. More importantly, the city can focus on refining the digital experience for the entire City of Surrey digital ecosystem, Surrey.ca.
How are we doing it?
Identity Experience Framework
With the LoginRadius Identity Experience Framework, which is a hosted solution, City of Surrey was able to leverage the out-of-the-box user account flows without having to build their own from scratch. This solution contains all of the major customer flows, including registration, login, forgotten password, account verification, and profile management. Rather than spending time and resources in building these functionalities, they can spend more time in planning out how they can make this the best digital experience for their citizens.
With the Identity Experience Framework, even though all of the configurations are hosted in a single location, it can be customized to service a wide variety of web properties. As such City of Surrey was able to build both custom iframe pop-up login windows and login website pages to fit all of their workflow requirements, along with customized profile and newsletter management pages.
The hosted solution is also a fully whitelabled solution, meaning that the city could customize the URL of the portal, even though it is hosted on LoginRadius.
To help City of Surrey in achieving the desired timeline, the LoginRadius team stepped in to provide custom implementation and consultation services throughout the implementation period for the MySurrey portal. As this was a completely new project for City of Surrey, LoginRadius provided the expertise to help the city bring their vision to life.
In order to incorporate newsletter preferences into the MySurrey Portal, LoginRadius integrated with Upaknee, the email marketing platform that the City of Surrey is currently using for its newsletters. With this integration, a citizen can easily update their email preferences from their MySurrey profile at any time. This information is then communicated with Upaknee in real time, upon which Upaknee is able to update the citizen’s preferences in their system to ensure that the citizen is receiving the correct emails.
Another key integration for City of Surrey is PerfectMind, which is a membership management software that the city is using to manage its recreational services. Upon completion, citizens will be able to access recreational services to search and register for programs with a single MySurrey account.
From the beginning, City of Surrey has had access to a dedicated account manager, support team, and support channel to ensure the success of the project every step of the way. As the MySurrey Portal is an integral aspect to a larger, ongoing project, the LoginRadius team continues to work closely with the City of Surrey team to ensure project success.