OffBureau – Online Collaboration Platform


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Enabling community participation and collaboration

SUMMARY
OffBureau is an online collaboration platform, which empowers people to engage and collaborate with each other. OffBureau enables public and private stakeholders to form virtual creative clusters - to exchange ideas, experiment and innovate - anytime and any place.

OffBureau (www.offbureau.com) utilizes activity streams as a most fluent and organic method of communication, but captures and retains knowledge in an organized, searchable and accessible way, providing city officials with tools for both internal knowledge management and external collaboration with the community, without adding to their workload.

Cities can use OffBureau:
•    As an entry point for citizens and/or businesses to engage with city administration: collecting needs, gathering answers on open questions about critical decisions, feedback on satisfaction with city services, etc. 
•    To create virtual spaces for public debate.
•    To provide citizens and/or business community access to shared information: information on resources and services, public service user guides, citizen-centered public initiatives, etc.
•    To enable the exchange if ideas between diverse participants - public, private and citizens - sharing knowledge, identifying challenges and debating solutions.
•    To manage all their projects and files securely in a single place: Collaboration with external stakeholders, partners and suppliers and/or internal collaboration.

PROBLEM
One of the important trends in public sector service design is the concept of »user driven public services«. 

Cities are looking for a way to successfully engage the »users« (diverse actors of the society: citizens, businesses, etc.) in developing new, innovative service models or improving the existing ones, while simultaneously avoiding the information overload. In short, they are looking for solutions that can provide both the internal knowledge management and collaboration tools.

SOLUTION
Offbureau can offer the solution to external (public) collaboration challenge with the added benefit of providing secure workspaces for internal collaboration and knowledge management.

OffBureau is an online collaboration platform, which empowers people to engage and collaborate with each other. OffBureau enables public and private stakeholders to form virtual creative clusters - to increase their capacity to exchange ideas, experiment and innovate - anytime and any place.

OffBureau utilizes activity streams as a most fluent and organic method of communication, but captures and retains knowledge in an organized, searchable and accessible way, providing city officials with tools for both internal knowledge management and external collaboration with the community, without adding to their workload.

Cities can use OffBureau:
•    As an entry point for citizens and to engage with city administration: collecting needs, gathering answers on open questions, feedback on satisfaction with services.
•    To create virtual spaces for public debate.
•    To provide citizens and/or business community access to shared information: on resources and services, public service user guides, citizen-centered public initiatives
•    To enable the exchange of ideas between diverse participants sharing knowledge, identifying challenges and debating solutions
•    To manage all their projects and files securely in a single place: Collaboration with external stakeholders, partners and suppliers and/or internal col

IMPACT ON ECONOMY
Reduced costs:
•    Reduced overhead Using OffBureau reduces or eliminates the need to print or mail the documents or travel to meetings).
•    No upfront investment OffBureau is in the cloud. No hardware or software purchase is needed.
•    No hidden costs. There are no installation, no upgrades and no maintenance fees. Setup and deployment requires no IT support.

Increased productivity:
•    Reduced time spent on meetings and phone calls or searching for stored documents
•    Migrating communication outside email creates greater efficiency. Both documents and discussions about them are no longer “lost” in e-mail boxes of participants, but easily accessible and clearly organized. Using OffBureau saves time used to spend searching inbox for the latest version of a document.
•    Improved knowledge management. OffBureau provides easier access to expertise and organizational capabilities, making it easier to uncover and connect with relevant expertise, either in people or embedded in documents and processes.
•    Improved digital asset management reduces the need to duplicate purchases.

IMPACT ON CULTURE
The community impact of OffBureau is very positive. Stakeholders’ participation and collaboration through the use of OffBureau can have positive internal and external impact.
Internal impact (through use of OffBureau for internal collaboration):
•    Improved employee involvement
•    Increased motivation
•    Collecting internal initiatives
•    Improved knowledge management
•    Improved document management
•    Improved internal processes
•    Increased control 

External impact (through of use of OffBureau for citizen participation):
•    More involved, informed, and interconnected community, which encourages diversity, inclusion, experimentation and collaboration.
•    Meaningful improvement of public services due to the introduction of innovative solutions by external stakeholders (citizens, businesses, etc.).
•    Greater citizen satisfaction due to improved citizen engagement and increased efficiency of city officials.
•    Provides citizens and businesses with a platform to create their own collaborative workspaces to stimulate/encourage them to start their own projects and collaborations - forming a participatory collaborative ecosystem.

IMPACT ON ECOLOGY
As an online platform, OffBureau requires little infrastructure and has a positive impact on climate:
•    It allows users to reduce the paper use (by reducing the need to print/mail the documents and the need to produce various flyers/pamphlets, etc.)
•    Citizens can engage city officials and collaborate online, eliminating the need to travel.