Recognizing agents of change in government

January 2017

Paul Allena

Technology Coordinator

Paul has worked in technology for the Borough of Somerville for 20 years. He built the original municipal network, has overseen 3 full website migrations, and championed many technology implementations during his tenure. As an IT leader at a County Seat, many public servants in Somerset County look to his municipality for advice and best practices in technology.

The way he performs his duties as Technology Coordinator is one of the reasons Government is Beautiful!

Seth speaks to the SeamlessDocs team in the February installment of the Seamless Speaker Series

Service is Beautiful

Q&A with this municipal champion

How did you get involved with local government?

I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration, with a lifelong interest in government work. Somerville afforded me an internship that eventually became a part time assignment which eventually became a long-term, consultant position.

How did you first hear about SeamlessDocs?

Technology has been a 20 year journey for me that started right out of college. In terms of technology, I was immediately thrust into an environment where I’m surrounded by typewriters and antiquated processes. There was really no infrastructure. There was no vision.

A year or so back we found you while looking for form software. One of the things that attracted me to SeamlessDocs is that you leverage your experience in the government work. You guys live and breathe government.

Why did you decide to go paperless?

We just launched our third revision of our website. At Somerville, we LOOK to make sure, at the end of the day, it’s gonna save someone’s time. It’s gonna streamline paperwork. 

We knew we had to make it EASY to go online and fill out a permit. We don't want our staff or citizens thinking:

"Do I have a printer? Does my printer work? Do I have a pen? Where’s my fax machine? Oops my scanner is broken. Do I really have to drive to town hall to submit this?"

In the end, you really try to make [filling out a form] as user friendly for the citizen as possible.

Paul accepts his Service is Beautiful Award from CEO & Founder Jonathon Ende

Seth accepts his Service is Beautiful Award from CEO & Founder Jonathon Ende

"A citizen's time is valuable. If he’s on the train an hour and can get stuff done in that time (by filling out a SeamlessDoc) then that achievement - that technology enables - is SO important to me as a government professional."

Paul Allena

Technology Coordinator

Learn About SeamlessDocs

Town of Gilbert Stats

Real results from this municipality

  • 27 Forms

  • 12,677 Submissions

  • 15 Minutes Saved per Form

  • 3,169 Total Hours Saved

    (Submissions * Time Saved per Form = Total Time Saved)

Culver City Stats

Real results from this municipality

  • 115 Forms

  • 2,352 Submissions

  • 20.5 Submissions per Form on Average

  • 15 Minutes Saved per Form

  • 588 Total Hours Saved

    (Submissions * Time Saved per Form = Total Time Saved)

Leesburg Stats

Real results from this municipality

  • 5/5 User Credits

    143 SeamlessDocs

    15 Web Forms

    158 Total Forms

  • 2,790 Submissions

  • 17.7 Submissions per Form on Average

  • 15 Minutes Saved per Form

  • 697 Total Hours Saved

    (Submissions * Time Saved per Form = Total Time Saved)

Cedar Hills Stats

Real results from this municipality

  • 47 Forms

  • 2,201 Submissions

  • 46.8 Submissions per Form on Average

  • 15 Minutes Saved per Form

  • 550 Total Hours Saved

    (Submissions * Time Saved per Form = Total Time Saved)

What was implementation like?

Early on, you guys were incredibly responsive with online support and phone support. When I’m not physically there 8 hours a day - when I rely on remote support - it’s critical.

[Obviously with technology] it's a different learning curve for everyone. But learning how buttons work, where things are laid out, and how to get forms set up, was pretty straightforward and we were up and running quickly. Our Success Manager Gina - a Rutgers grad - has been very helpful and always responds.

One form or process that's been changed by SeamlessDocs?

Our Application for Smoke Detector Inspection form. At the Borough of Somerville, we're always thinking about the end user. Like our Mayor says, we need to operate on the citizen's time, not our time. So when you're talking about new residents, looking to buy a house in Somerville, it's huge being able to schedule your inspection prior to closing the house so you can be good to go.

It could be their first house, it could be their dream house - it comes down to making it as easy as possible for them. And with SeamlessDocs, that's possible.

Favorite SeamlessGov Feature?

At a high level, the ability to customize. The ability to save time. Saving time by converting a form, saving time by building a form from scratch, is huge. For us, using SeamlessDocs for our OPRA forms has made a big difference.

OPRA forms are interesting because once they’re submitted, the clerk only has a certain amount of days to respond to it. So having it on the SeamlessDocs platform, you don’t lose it, and you can respond that much quicker.

When you fax it in, when you mail it in, you run the risk of that piece of paper getting mixed in with the other 9 and then it gets thrown in the garbage. Having online versions [with SeamlessDocs] increases accountability.

Advice for another municipality just starting out with SeamlessDocs?

Start out slow. As a department or a champion, you first need to get buy-in. Typically buy-in from the top. I would recommend picking one or two departments to be your co-champion.

I’m a firm believer that if I can be successful on a project, that sharing that success and working together will only increase the work that ultimately gets done. With SeamlessDocs we've proven the concept and are looking to expand it even further.

Gina Cho

Success Manager

Gina is a Client Success Manager at SeamlessDocs. She has experience working in the public sector and owning client relationships at another Tech Startup, Poppin. Gina attended Rutgers University where she studied Psychology and Public Health. Born and raised in New Jersey, she likes to travel and discover new places.

More Service is Beautiful Winners

Meet other government innovators.

#SIB Home

Popular Forms

View this municipality's best forms.

No items found.
No items found.

Start bringing your government forms online today!

Learn how a form automation solution that can help your municipality meet its initiative goals.

Thanks! We will get in touch ASAP!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form