Gemeente Hoorn Builds Social Services Portal in Just Three Weeks with No-Code
Automatic, online contract and billing workflows for social services providers
iJW and iWmo compliant backend security
Replaced legacy system which could not meet mandated deadlines
New directions for Dutch governments
The Dutch municipal government of Hoorn in North Holland is home to around 75,000 people. Like most countries, the organization is responsible for the wellbeing of these residents by providing and organizing multiple services. However, when social services were decentralized on January 1st in 2015, Hoorn needed to prepare their management system to protect confidential data which would need to be shared with external parties.
An existing system used by all municipal and national governments in the Netherlands (named the GGK-VECOZO portal) was expected to handle the new process. However, it quickly became clear that it would not be ready in time due to the complex network of legacy systems behind it. Gemeente Hoorn was among the first governmental organizations to take control of developing a new, modern solution to ensure their municipality would be fully prepared for the changeover.
With the deadline looming, Arnoud Huijgen Senior Information Advisor for the City of Hoorn turned to Betty Blocks to help build a new custom social services portal.
“During our first meeting in December, a working proof of concept was delivered. The desired results were ready after only two days, and the total application was ready before the end of the year.”
Seeing is believing
Arnoud Huijgen got in touch with Chiel Wester, Senior Sales Engineer at Betty Blocks, to discuss exactly what the municipality would need in a short timeframe. Essentially, they would need a totally secure backend with multiple ticketing, reporting, and data management systems for the new tool to be successful. Ewout and his team assured Arnoud that development could be completed in less than a month and even delivered a working demonstration in less than two hours during the initial meeting.
“The proposition looked too good to be true. We would be able to develop our application 8 times faster, and without programming,” said Arnoud Huijgen. “We decided to give it a chance during a demonstration--we’ll believe it when we see it!”
There was an instant connection with Betty Blocks because entrepreneurship is one of the core values of Hoorn. Following the demonstration and finalizing the user story which would guide development, the teams were ready to begin.
Thanks to the collaboration between both companies, the first working version of their application was available in eight days with a 100% polished version released after just three weeks.
Building blocks used
Combined development forces
The City of Hoorn and Betty Blocks worked together to build, test, and implemented the new portal, called BB-Web. Hoorn’s own developers took advantage of the modular, no-code development platform to customize UI’s and actions themselves with only two hours of training. Betty Blocks, on the other hand, helped develop a totally secure backend that was integral to the privacy of residents using the social services tool.
In just three weeks, the BB-Web portal was ready to go live. Care providers could immediately exchange confidential messages with the municipality, assured of the security of their data. Assignments could be delivered to the care providers, who could then send back declarations--all according to iJW and iWmo standards.
Thanks to the short development time, Arnoud and the Hoorn municipality we’re able to keep testing on the live system long before the mandated deadline for all Dutch governments to switch over.
Key features of the application
Secure backend system
iJW and iWmo compliant backend for storing private personal and company data
Ticketing system to create assignments for social services care providers
Care provider portal for secure declaration uploads
Since the new decentralized social services process would affect multiple other municipalities, it was decided early on in development that more organizations should be able to access the BB-Web if needed. Other cities and municipalities (Koggenland and Opmeer) have since connected with the portal, and Hoorn was able to successfully navigate the delay of the Municipal Information Hub without risking any sensitive data or violating iJW and iWmo standards.
“We are very happy with this collaboration. We have made a mapping of other projects we want to automate as well!” says Arnaud.
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