The Symplified Blog

Interacting with Local Government, Made Easier

My son was showing me the other night how every kid at his school has a Google account so that they can write their papers on Google Docs. I started thinking about the other public services in my town. In my case, paying bills, parking tickets, and accessing 311 all require different passwords.  Not a great experience for citizens, and a pain for cities to manage forgotten password scenarios. Local governments can easily justify the budget for a cloud-based identity and access management (IAM) service for its community.

Many people are comfortable with using social providers for logging in across multiple sites. They access sites like Facebook often so they are more likely to remember that password. Social login can be the single credential you use to access your city’s services when facilitated by an IAM service, like so:

Login_Govt post

Selecting the social site of choice gives you choice. Let’s take, for example, if a city used IAM from Symplified. If you were one of its residents and leveraging its online services, all you’d need to do is authenticate through that social Identity Provider (IdP), you’d have a number of services available with a click.  Symplified supports a number of protocols for authentication including OpenID, SAML 2.0 and Facebook OAuth. Your city can also set up self-registration through Symplified’s citizen/consumer identity as a service (IdaaS). Either way gives you an easy way to engage with your government in a way that is private — Symplified doesn’t haphazardly replicate your personal data in the cloud like some vendors we know.

ribbon_Govt post

Symplified’s IAM service benefits you, Joe Citizen, through multiple stages of your life in your hometown. Service providers like Google provide SAML authentication and provisioning hooks where Symplified can authenticate and keep user records in sync as your children move in and out of schools. Nearly every access solution on the market can do this today. However, many of our city’s apps are not SAML. Through Symplified’s application wizard, I was able to discover a number of my town’s services. “Symply” put in the login URL and voila!  I now have one place to check my kids’ report cards, schedule bulky item trash pickup, and pay my water bill. Check it out:

Transactions_Govt post

Sidebar: You’ll notice I masked a name. All someone has to do to report a student’s absence is to call it in and give the student’s name to the administrator. I hope schools would consider utilizing an authentication system like Symplified to enable parents to report their kid’s authorized school absence, rather than risking an abduction where the captor could impersonate a parent and report an absence while the parent wouldn’t know until eight hours later.

But I digress.  Did you know that Symplified can mask sensitive data from an external cloud service provider? We do this in the same manner we white label external services like the UniPay app I showed you above. This will be the topic of my next post.

In the meantime, city and municipalities really should consider Symplified for improving citizen interaction, increasing service efficiency and protecting our children’s safety.



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