Last year was quite a year for us here at Counterpart. We celebrated our 25th Anniversary, moved into our new office in Fishers, added four new members to our team, and celebrated two of our projects winning Indiana Innovation Awards. As if that just wasn’t enough, we were notified late last year that a project we partnered with Hamilton County government to develop won a Best of Indiana Award in the Best Application Serving an Organization’s Business Needs – Local category. Indiana’s Office of Technology announced Hamilton County won the award at the Indiana Digital Government Summit.
The platform, referred to as the Online Submissions of Deduction Forms, is a custom web application that lets the public submit four different property deduction forms. This application provides a mobile-friendly, accessible, ‘walk-through’ interface. Since the application leverages an existing property database, users are able to have the platform pre-fill many of the form values, eliminating a lot of errors and inaccurate values. This also reduces maintenance costs and ensures consistency across other applications that utilize the same property database.
Not only does this provide less overhead for Hamilton County IT Department in maintaining one property database, but the real impact has been realized in the Hamilton County Auditor’s office. Auditor’s staff had been experiencing 10- to 20-minute phone calls multiple times a day assisting users with the forms. The system has eliminated a majority of those calls. Even when a call is necessary to address a user issue, the calls are now typically between 2 and 5 minutes, which is half the time it takes for someone to file their deductions in person. The system has also eliminated a majority of the errors that cause delays and require additional correspondence.
This partnership involved both Hamilton County IT Department and Hamilton County Auditor’s Office, as well as the Counterpart team. The County sought a development partner to offer fresh expertise, as well as faster, dedicated developers to help achieve an aggressive deadline.
“This project involved significant design and development collaboration. Counterpart developed the application and provided extensive knowledge sharing with our County IT staff,” said Diana Cleland, Hamilton County Web Administrator. She continued “Counterpart is a great technology partner; they really tailor their services to our needs.”
This project employs modern technologies and a shared development environment to ensure continuity of services and platform flexibility. Application source code is stored in a shared repository, allowing either Hamilton County staff or Counterpart to debug or enhance the application. Use of agnostic technologies provides flexibility for potential changes in the hosting environment.
We really enjoyed working with the Hamilton County teams and love the impact this application is having on their operations. While we take pride in all our projects, it is always exciting to be recognized for the work we do. Congratulations again to Hamilton County, and thank you for the opportunity to partner together on such an important and relevant project.