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  1. Digital Marketplace
  2. Lot 2: Cloud software
  3. govService Digital Forms & Process Services for Housing Authorities
GRANICUS-FIRMSTEP LIMITED

govService Digital Forms & Process Services for Housing Authorities

govService is a digital services solution that provides intelligent online forms, process and customer portals with integrations for Local and Central Government, Health, Housing, Blue Lights and other Public Sector organisations to easily create online services. The low-code solution combines forms, process, customer portals that integrates citizen request management (CRM).

Features

  • Manage customer interaction using centralized online tools
  • Use digital and mobile optimised portal to enable online services
  • Manage inbound tasks with a dashboard view
  • Manage customer interactions using face-to-face and reception queuing capabilities
  • Manage transactions and back-office tasks using case management and workflow
  • Create intelligent forms and workflow using market-leading designer tools
  • Regular platform updates, including major releases
  • Support flexible integrations, multi-agency working partnerships and DR topologies

Benefits

  • Digitally transform your organisation with scaleable solutions for public sector
  • Automate forms and processes to save time and money
  • Rationalise existing legacy IT systems by converting to one platform
  • Lower IT costs using a cloud/hosted solution with automatic updates
  • Comply with GDPR and other regulations using a secure cloud
  • Collaborate with over 300 public sector organisations using workshare features
  • Rapidly build and deploy forms and processes
  • Utilise low code solutions that does not require onsite maintenance
  • Integrate with other solutions/applications using free, easy, DIY tools

Pricing

£17,500.00 a licence a year

Service documents

Request an accessible format
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need versions of these documents in a more accessible format, email the supplier at uksalesteam@granicus.com. Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.

Framework

G-Cloud 13

Service ID

4 1 7 7 9 8 3 7 6 9 5 3 1 1 6

Contact

GRANICUS-FIRMSTEP LIMITED Asim Ali
Telephone: 0800 048 7518
Email: uksalesteam@granicus.com

Service scope

Software add-on or extension
Yes, but can also be used as a standalone service
What software services is the service an extension to
Granicus govService, Granicus govDelivery, Granicus TMS, Granicus Engagement HQ, Granicus Experience Group (GXG), Granicus Government Experience Cloud (GXC)
Cloud deployment model
Public cloud
Service constraints
None
System requirements
  • Supported Web-browser
  • Connection to the Internet
  • Lightweight VM/Server provision for LIM and optional FAM Module

User support

Email or online ticketing support
Email or online ticketing
Support response times
Please see our licence agreement for further information
User can manage status and priority of support tickets
Yes
Online ticketing support accessibility
None or don’t know
Phone support
Yes
Phone support availability
9 to 5 (UK time), Monday to Friday
Web chat support
Web chat
Web chat support availability
9 to 5 (UK time), Monday to Friday
Web chat support accessibility standard
WCAG 2.1 AA or EN 301 549
Web chat accessibility testing
Web chat solution is tested to meet accessibility standards
Onsite support
Yes, at extra cost
Support levels
Support is standard and included within the license. This includes full access to our online support desk which can be accessed via our online portal, email, phone and live chat.

Our service includes access to a Customer Success manager, whose role is to help customers to get the best use of our service offering ideas and sharing best practice and the experience of the user community.

Access to our govCommunity portal is also included, providing a collaborative environment to discuss, learn and share with other platform customers.

Customers can also purchase optional Technical Service Bundles to help enhance use of the platform. These provide a range of benefits which include annual reviews, regular contact calls, and additional consultancy days.

Please see our Service Description document for further details.
Support available to third parties
Yes

Onboarding and offboarding

Getting started
We provide a dedicated project manager to on-board new clients in addition to a dedicated account manager throughout the life of the contract. For on boarding we typically provide project management, help to adopt our environments, onsite workshop training, floor walking, development and technical consultant services. On-boarding projects are developed for each client based on their project requirement services.
Service documentation
Yes
Documentation formats
HTML
End-of-contract data extraction
Should a customer decide to cancel their agreement, the customer's data will be returned securely in SQL format.
End-of-contract process
Decommissioning is included in the licence cost. Granicus will confirm the date on which customer access will be terminated.

Granicus will then decommission the service in line with its security and decommissioning policies. Applicable data will be returned securely in SQL format.

Using the service

Web browser interface
Yes
Supported browsers
  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari
Application to install
No
Designed for use on mobile devices
Yes
Differences between the mobile and desktop service
The end user interface has been designed/optimised for both desktop and mobile devices. The platform also includes optional mobile specific modules. The back office administrator interface, while not designed or tested specifically for mobile devices, allows access to features.
Service interface
Yes
User support accessibility
WCAG 2.1 AA or EN 301 549
Description of service interface
The platform aims to meet WCAG AA standards utilising standard in-built browser accessibility features.
Accessibility standards
WCAG 2.1 AA or EN 301 549
Accessibility testing
The platform is designed and tested to meet WCAG AA standards utilising standard in-built browser accessibility features.
API
Yes
What users can and can't do using the API
The platform has a comprehensive set of open API's which permit extensive use of the platform. These are provided as standard and provide a range of functions which include creating and updating records.

In addition to these API's, the platforms Integrations Manager enables our clients to create their own in house real time integrations such as HTTP, API, database and file integrations. Using Integrations Manager, our platform has been integrated with over 100 external line of business systems driving efficiencies savings and service automation.

API information is available on request.
API documentation
Yes
API documentation formats
  • Open API (also known as Swagger)
  • HTML
API sandbox or test environment
Yes
Customisation available
Yes
Description of customisation
Customers have full control over the personalisation of the platform including branding, look and feel, features, form design, workflow rules, integrations and much more. The platform can be customised to any future operating model supporting end to end service transformation/delivery.

The look and feel can be branded to become an extension to your existing web presence, providing end users with a highly consistent user experience.

Scaling

Independence of resources
GovService is a multi-tenanted platform, hosted using Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 Elastic Computing environment which allows the platform to scale with demand. Each account is securely separated from each other and all the resources are managed as a large pool. This architecture scales horizontality based on overall workload, enabling the platform to process over 20 million transaction per year and to be scaled for many more as required.

Analytics

Service usage metrics
Yes
Metrics types
The govService platform provides an array of reporting options. These include:

• Dedicated near real time reporting infrastructure which allows you to connect third party reporting tools of choice
• Native product reporting
• Access to Google Analytics

Please see our service definition for further details.
Reporting types
  • API access
  • Real-time dashboards
  • Reports on request

Resellers

Supplier type
Not a reseller

Staff security

Staff security clearance
Other security clearance
Government security clearance
Up to Security Clearance (SC)

Asset protection

Knowledge of data storage and processing locations
Yes
Data storage and processing locations
  • United Kingdom
  • European Economic Area (EEA)
User control over data storage and processing locations
No
Datacentre security standards
Complies with a recognised standard (for example CSA CCM version 3.0)
Penetration testing frequency
At least once a year
Penetration testing approach
‘IT Health Check’ performed by a Tigerscheme qualified provider or a CREST-approved service provider
Protecting data at rest
  • Physical access control, complying with SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
  • Encryption of all physical media
Data sanitisation process
Yes
Data sanitisation type
  • Explicit overwriting of storage before reallocation
  • Deleted data can’t be directly accessed
Equipment disposal approach
Complying with a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v.30, CAS (Sanitisation) or ISO/IEC 27001

Data importing and exporting

Data export approach
Users with appropriate administration permissions (set by the client) can export their data at any time via the portal or the reporting solution. Information can also be transferred via the APIs.
Data export formats
  • CSV
  • Other
Other data export formats
  • SQL
  • JSON
  • XML
  • DATABASE
Data import formats
  • CSV
  • Other
Other data import formats
  • SQL
  • XML
  • JSON

Data-in-transit protection

Data protection between buyer and supplier networks
TLS (version 1.2 or above)
Data protection within supplier network
  • TLS (version 1.2 or above)
  • Other
Other protection within supplier network
Please contact us for further details

Availability and resilience

Guaranteed availability
Availability is 99.95%
Approach to resilience
The govService platform is hosted in Amazon Web Services and leverages Cloud technology to provide resilience and availability. The health of the servers is continuously monitored and new instances are automatically spun up if an instance becomes unhealthy. The number of applications servers automatically scale up to ensure the system operates with sufficient capacity for the current demand. Database servers are replicated across availability zones and are configured to automatically failover if the primary server becomes unhealthy.
Outage reporting
Service status is communicated via our customer portal, email alerts and SMS alerts.

Identity and authentication

User authentication needed
Yes
User authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Identity federation with existing provider (for example Google Apps)
  • Username or password
  • Other
Other user authentication
Authentication is required for clients. Authentication for the public/citizens is optional as defined by the client.
Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels
Access restricted by user permissions, role based access controls and 2FA.
Access restriction testing frequency
At least every 6 months
Management access authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Identity federation with existing provider (for example Google Apps)
  • Username or password

Audit information for users

Access to user activity audit information
Users have access to real-time audit information
How long user audit data is stored for
At least 12 months
Access to supplier activity audit information
Users contact the support team to get audit information
How long supplier audit data is stored for
At least 12 months
How long system logs are stored for
Between 6 months and 12 months

Standards and certifications

ISO/IEC 27001 certification
Yes
Who accredited the ISO/IEC 27001
BSI
ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation date
Reviewed 26/03/2022
What the ISO/IEC 27001 doesn’t cover
N/A
ISO 28000:2007 certification
No
CSA STAR certification
No
PCI certification
No
Cyber essentials
No
Cyber essentials plus
No
Other security certifications
No

Security governance

Named board-level person responsible for service security
Yes
Security governance certified
Yes
Security governance standards
ISO/IEC 27001
Information security policies and processes
Granicus has many security policies and processes that support both ISO 27001:2013, the NCC Cloud Security Principles and FedRAMP (based on NIST 800-53r4), covering everything from physical security to system communications to vendor security. Processes are created for each NIST 800-53 control family and are documented on an internal wiki site.

All employees are required to sign an Acceptable Use Policy that spells out the requirements. Failure to follow the security policies/processes can result in disciplinary action from Human Resources, up to and including termination.

Please contact us for specific details.

Operational security

Configuration and change management standard
Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Configuration and change management approach
All changes to production are logged as Change Requests and are reviewed by a Change Advisory Board (CAB). The CAB team validate that the change has been properly tested on the lower environments, assess the risk of the change, review the contingency plan and rollback strategy, look for potential collisions with other changes, assess whether down time is required and ensure business processes are not disturbed. If the change is deemed appropriate it is approved by a Change Manager running the CAB meeting.
Vulnerability management type
Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Vulnerability management approach
The entire infrastructure (application, database, servers/devices) is scanned on a monthly basis. A ticket is created for each identified vulnerability for tracking throughout the lifecycle, and an internal remediation timeline is set depending on the severity. Teams meet weekly to review the vulnerabilities and identify timelines and ensure that issues aren't missed.

In addition to scanning, Granicus subscribes to the UK National Cyber Security Centre, US-CERT and individual vendor security mailing lists so we are notified when important vulnerabilities are identified. Tickets are created for each of these as well and follow the same process as scans.
Protective monitoring type
Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Protective monitoring approach
Granicus utilises both network and host-based intrusion detection systems that send logs to a centralised location for proper correlation.

If a compromise is suspected, the incident response team is mobilised to investigate and confirm/deny the actual breach. If a breach is confirmed, the customer support team reaches out to all impacted customers immediately and provides updates every 20 minutes until the issue is contained (the same process is used for any incident). A root cause analysis (RCA) is then provided after the remediation, generally within 48 hours.
Incident management type
Conforms to a recognised standard, for example, CSA CCM v3.0 or ISO/IEC 27035:2011 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402
Incident management approach
Incident management is performed in accordance with Granicus’s ISO27001 accredited incident management process which identifies the flow from incident detection to remediation, including many high-level processes.

Customers can report incidents to support. This kicks off the process, which includes automatically generating a ticket and beginning the triage process.

Internally, a detected incident is reported to customer support so that the team can communicate to any impacted customers. Updates are sent every 20 minutes for severity 1 issues.

For impactful incidents, after it is remediated, a root cause analysis (RCA) is provided to impacted customers, generally within 48 hours.

Secure development

Approach to secure software development best practice
Independent review of processes (for example CESG CPA Build Standard, ISO/IEC 27034, ISO/IEC 27001 or CSA CCM v3.0)

Public sector networks

Connection to public sector networks
No

Social Value

Fighting climate change

Fighting climate change

Granicus aim to be an environmentally and green aware company. Our govService platform has received awards for its positive environmental impact and we are incredibly proud to partner with our customers to address climate change challenges through digital government services.

Providing residents with the means to digitally transact with their local authority through govService inherently helps reduce a community’s carbon footprint. Use of govService allows for traditional paper processes to be eliminated, thereby reducing costs, paper wastage, postage and associated delivery impact. govService will also significantly reduce the requirement for face-to-face interactions for many types of service, reducing travel and associated emissions within a locality.

Combining govService with the govDelivery communications platform results in additional ways to help reduce environmental impact. One UK council have increased recycling rates and reduced missed bin collections through a govService plus govDelivery deployment.

When customers visit the council website and enter their addresses in a form, govService automatically looks up the customer’s collection day and calendar, routes the information to govDelivery, which then automatically signs the customer up for council bin reminder emails. In future, the customer receives relevant, timely, and automated information about their individual bin collections. This combination has not only improved sign-up rates and ensured the council reaches more citizens but improved the efficiency and consistency of bin collections.
Covid-19 recovery

Covid-19 recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic caught many government agencies unprepared. Not only were many services handled solely through mediated telephone, in-person, paper and postal transactions, but staff were not able to attend the office or remotely access key back office systems or government data sources.

govService helped these organisations rapidly move critical processes online, from the ability to log service requests, to using online forms and processes to capture feedback, digitally. Services that were usually delivered face-to-face or from contact centres increasingly transitioned to the web, leveraging highly-scalable digital communications technologies (email, SMS, social, web)  to deliver vital, accurate, reliable information to broad audiences in real time. 

A UK city council deployed a service within 48 hours using govService to initially identify their most vulnerable residents who were shielding. The use case was subsequently expanded to manage provision of food and medical supplies and recruit 780 care workers. These care workers then used govService to deliver emergency care support, to securely capture case notes and complete wellbeing checks.

govService’s drag and drop design tools provided a ‘build once, use many times’ functionality to streamline and optimise service element construction. Importantly, our RESTful API technology facilitated integrations between govService and back office/third party systems databases, so that staff and customers could easily make or process applications, pay bills or request services safely and in a timely manner.

As agencies move to the ‘Living with COVID’ plan, there will still be a need to build new services to support revised working environments, business and resident recovery. Our users continue to expand these services, adding grant management workflows and other COVID support application processes. Our Shared Services Portal facilitates creation of a network of carer, volunteer, local support and training services to help residents and businesses recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Tackling economic inequality

Tackling economic inequality

govService is deployed by many UK housing departments to help support their initiatives, including delivering more affordable housing.

One city council use the Granicus govService platform to reduce homelessness and have radically transformed the operations and customer experience in this area. The council screen and give rapid, real-time assessment as to whether a homelessness application will be successful. They also provide signposting to other services and information that is adjusted to the customer's circumstances.

The homelessness application removes ineligible applications, presents information in a consistent manner and adds calculations to considerably reduce the burden on housing officers, leading to more consistent decisions. In addition, the council’s ‘Home-finder Priority Application’ collects customers’ details from their online profile, then determines whether their immigration status makes them eligible for housing services. If suitable, they can continue to choose the reason they are applying. This all helps to ensure the right services and the right information is provided for crucial frontline services at the earliest moment.

govService is also used by a significant Housing Association in the UK South-East to help it work more efficiently, automate many processes and improve the tenant experience. govService has streamlined the tenancy onboarding process, allowing the association to further invest in housing stock and other initiatives. By encouraging online tenancy applications through govService, the association create ‘digital tenants’ who are more likely to use cost-effective self-service channels in future.

A UK authority used govService to extend connected service providers to include local charities and third-party organisations. govService captured requests for food, healthcare and other support from citizens and then connected and assigned their needs to the relevant charities/volunteer groups. 2,500 volunteers provided support.
Equal opportunity

Equal opportunity

Many socially-disadvantaged or at-risk residents have found it difficult to connect and interact with government services and support; conversely, council staff are challenged to identify and reach these individuals so that their views and needs are heard and adequately addressed.

The govService platform helps government staff to create easy-to-use forms and workflows for your online services. Our design tools are accessibility compliant; content will be compatible with all modern Web browsers and popular accessibility booster tools. The platform can be reached from a wide range of mobile devices.

As govService digital services are consistently-displayed for both staff and customers, customer service staff are able use a mixture of online and mediated channels to confidently support those customers who are normally digitally excluded to go online for the first time. Staff can support those customers who need extra help to use the digital service and also help with the basics like setting up an e-mail address, browsing the internet etc., enabling customers to access improved opportunities for housing and employment as well as social benefits like keeping in touch with family and friends.

In one UK city council, this approach has proven to be successful with some of the council’s most vulnerable customers approaching the council in need of housing. All potential customers now use the housing options digital self-assessment process to start their application process. The built-in financial test of resources helps to set realistic expectations of what an individual may have to contribute in order to fund their social care is not free at the point of delivery.

This has enabled the council to focus specialist housing colleagues on those customers, (typically < 10%) who are entitled to receive further support, whilst ensuring the remaining 90% receive tailored guidance and advice through the digital service.
Wellbeing

Wellbeing

Our customers build a wide range of services in support of community health and wellbeing using govService.

govService’s accessibility compliant, drag and drop design tools make building streamlined work flows and clear input forms easy to design, test and implement.

One UK council’s key priorities included improving wellbeing and enabling people in adult care to maintain their independence. They developed an online adult care assessment service which helps eligible customers, their relatives, friends, carers or community and voluntary partners to access the social care support available locally. Resources can include self-help and social care support and advice covering everything from social activities to combat loneliness, to help in the home to supplement council and health services.

Another UK council has developed a housing benefit application process that helps homeless residents apply and be assessed for shelter quickly and efficiently. govService has helped reduce the average time the place approved residents from 30 days to 17 days through streamlined work processes. This is particularly important, as it is difficult to obtain other government benefits without an address.

A relatively new use of govService is a dedicated children’s portal which will focus on provision of a range of services pertaining to the wellbeing, care and education of children.

The govService integration to council payment portals can be coupled with the optional calendar bookings module to help councils to reserve time and collect fees for such leisure activities as swimming and crazy golf, or book entire council venues.

Pricing

Price
£17,500.00 a licence a year
Discount for educational organisations
No
Free trial available
No

Service documents

Request an accessible format
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need versions of these documents in a more accessible format, email the supplier at uksalesteam@granicus.com. Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.