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Building Smarter Cities with Process Automation

Discover why Apendo partnered with Camunda to automate citizen services for several municipalities and counting all over Sweden. 
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*Camunda Platform 8, our cloud-native solution for process orchestration, launched in April 2022. Images and supporting documentation in this post may reflect an earlier version of our cloud and software solutions.

Apendo, Camunda Partner to Hyperautomate Citizen Services for Swedish Municipalities

The pandemic forced nearly everyone around the globe to do more with less – municipalities in Sweden were no exception. With tightening budget resources and increased demand from citizens, many municipalities needed to rethink the way they delivered government services. Even as the world emerges from the pandemic, the budget pressures still exist. That’s why Apendo, a leading IT consultancy in Sweden, partnered with Camunda to automate citizen services: from reporting potholes, to paying taxes, to registering for a driver’s license and beyond. 

Building a Foundation for Digital Municipalities

The more than 290 municipalities in Sweden operate under tremendous pressure to deliver citizen services faster, with fewer tax revenues and an aging population rapidly entering the welfare system. Unfortunately, hiring more people to administer these services isn’t an option for most small- to mid-sized municipalities. Many of these cities and towns also are contending with slow, error-prone legacy applications that cause frustration among citizens and government employees alike. 

“Creating a better digital future meant assembling a new IT infrastructure based on open source,” said Johan Ekberg, CEO at Apendo. “We built a hyperautomation platform that serves as sort of a middle layer between end users and each municipality’s applications. Ideally, with open source technology, these municipalities can share applications for common citizen services, saving both time and money.” 

Bringing Hyperautomation Together with AI

Central to the platform was an end-to-end process automation and orchestration solution powered by Camunda. Based on the open source standard Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN), Camunda helps municipalities automate processes using the applications of their choice, depending on the unique needs of their citizens. 

The platform works with both legacy and modern applications, enabling cities and towns to automate any process and orchestrate related processes together. For example, if a citizen registers for a driver’s license and also registers to vote at the same time, Camunda will orchestrate the flow of data between the registry of motor vehicles and the local voting authority. The platform also includes an AI-powered digital assistant powered by IBM Watson, which allows citizens to ask questions and get answers, without having to contact the local call center or government office.

The Karlskrona Municipality Vision

One of the first users of the Apendo Camunda municipality model is Karlskrona, a municipality in Blekinge County in southern Sweden with around 66,000 residents. The municipality had ambitious digital transformation goals, and wanted to bridge the gap between residents and the variety of applications and services they needed to access. Using BPMN as a common process modeling language, the municipality designed a series of processes that delivered services directly to its citizens with less need for municipal employees’ intervention.

Using Camunda as the orchestration technology between different applications, the municipality was able to use their existing tools, while adopting new open source solutions. The opportunity to use open source helped save Karlskrona money, by leveraging existing tools that other municipalities in Sweden had already developed. Using Camunda, the development team for Karlskrona designed a series of workflows for both internal and external processes.

“The ability to model, simulate, build, and run tasks in Camunda is every business developer’s dream,” said Per-Olav Gramstad, Business Developer, Karlskrona. “We now have new opportunities to shape the tools that shape us, tapping into the power of open source code through secure APIs. Camunda also helps us achieve our vision to become a more data-driven municipality, allowing us to securely share data between applications or services when it’s necessary to do so.”

AI and Process Automation Improves Services with Fewer Resources

Overall, the Apendo platform is helping its pilot municipalities work with their existing employees to deliver faster, more efficient digital services to citizens. The easy-to-use, open automation platform powered by Camunda allows cities and towns to work with the technology they have, leverage open source components wherever possible, and securely share data between services to create effective process workflows.

With a clear pricing model based on the number of citizens or employees using the platform, cities can more easily predict costs, helping with budgetary constraints. The future vision is to create a set of shared national open source applications that accelerate the delivery of digital citizen services across the country. 

“By bringing together AI and end-to-end process orchestration through Camunda, we allow municipal employees to focus on higher value tasks,” Ekberg said. “End users access the platform either through vertical applications or the municipality’s website. With Camunda’s end-to-end process orchestration capabilities, municipalities can gain quick control over their processes, and the solution runs efficiently and intuitively with the IBM Watson-powered chat interface.”

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