Agency License Sharing

Sharing access across multiple departments or organizations

We believe public engagement is a process that transcends organizational lines.  Today however, most of the listening and learning that occurs from public engagement activities remains siloed within separate departments and teams.

We’ve built PublicInput.com’s underlying database (CRM) to be seamlessly share-able across organizations, partners, departments, and teams. We also tend to avoid limiting the number of administrators who can receive access to the toolkit, in an effort to get more team members collaborating in the critical function of public engagement.

This open architecture and licensing approach has led to smooth adoption by enterprises and organizations and their partners. It also tends to create questions about  who can obtain access through a given organization’s license.

To clarify things – we follow a simple rule. Product licenses belong solely to the organization who procures the license. Departments within that agency can receive access as part of an enterprise license so long as those departments are solely governed by the parent agency and do not serve other jurisdictions (such as other counties, cities, or states).

To provide clarity, here are several common licensing examples.

Sharing access across municipal departments

As long as a department within your agency is completely governed by the parent agency, and does not serve other jurisdictions (such as other counties, cities, or states).

Here’s a real-world example

The City of Alpine’s communications department purchases an enterprise Communications Cloud license. The city’s Communications Director looks to provide access to the Transportation Department for communicating about upcoming projects. This is considered in-scope.

The Transportation Department is governed solely by the city, and although they receive state and federal funding, it is completely housed within the city’s organization and does not serve other municipal agencies. The Transportation Department can receive access via the city’s account.

Municipal Planning Departments and MPO’s

Regional planning organizations are often housed within municipal planning departments to leveraged share admin resources and improve collaboration. We believe this close relationship should extend into the engagement process. However, from a licensing standpoint, these are two independent organizations and will both need to procure access (jointly or separately).

Here’s a real-world example:

The City of Wichita purchases a departmental license for the city’s Planning Department. The regional Metropolitan Planning Organization is closely affiliated with the city, and the MPO staff work in the same building.  The city’s Planning Director would like MPO planners to have access for their upcoming MTP.

While the MPO is housed within the city, it serves serves 22 cities and 3 counties in the greater Wichita area and is not solely governed by the Wichita Planning Department. MPO access would require a separate license or an extended license from the city.

PS – WAMPO is a highly successful PublicInput.com client!

Municipalities and regional transit agencies

Regional transit organizations are often closely affiliated with cities, and tend to share naming and branding conventions with the largest municipalities they serve.  However, if the transit agency serves multiple jurisdictions or answers to multiple agencies, it is not considered a subsidiary organization to the municipality and will need its own license to use the platform.

Here’s a real-world example:

The City of Cleveland purchases an enterprise Engagement Hub license. After working closely with the local transit authority on a Transit-Oriented-Development plan, the Transportation Director looks to provide access to transit planners at the Greater Cleveland Transit Authority. This is considered out-of-scope. 

The transit authority, although closely affiliated with the city, is not governed by the city, and serves multiple jurisdictions, such as the cities of Westlake, Parma Heights, and Shaker Heights. The RTA would require a separate license to access the system and collaborate with the city.

State DOT’s and Local Governments

State Departments of Transportation don’t operate in a vacuum. Almost every project they fund directly affects another county or municipality, and these agencies play a hands-on role in the process. We encourage sharing data viewer access with local stakeholders, however, the DOT’s license does not extend to cover municipal and county projects that are planned and deployed by the local governing bodies.

Here’s an example:

Florida DOT provides funding for statewide bicycle and pedestrian improvements.  As part of this effort, Nassau County receives funding to support improved bike/ped facilities. The county’s consultant, who has access to Florida DOT’s account, would like to use PublicInput.com for the County’s Greenway Master Plan. This is considered out-of-scope. 

The county, although funded by and working closely with the DOT, is the lead organization working on the Greenway Master Plan. The county would require a separate license to access the system and collaborate with the DOT.

Got questions? Don’t hesitate to ask!

We love to support inter-agency collaboration and will continue working to make the process of engaging across departments and jurisdictions easier. If you’re not sure about a product license, please feel free to reach out to your account manager – or if time is of the essence, drop us a note via the chat widget or [email protected]