DCRM Website and Permitting System
The Northern Mariana Islands Department of Coastal Resources Management contacted Outside Communications to provide a website, integrated permitting system, new email, storage, and collaboration system. The staff members at DCRM were awesome to work with. At times we almost felt the amazing sunshine of their Pacific islands coming through our phone connection. We have to admit this was a cool project to work on!
The Department of Coastal Resources Management is responsible for protecting the fragile ecosystems that make up this amazing commonwealth. DCRM’s permitting process is the vehicle by which coastal impacts are managed. The permitting process, as you can imagine, can consume a lot of resources. As such, the staff at DCRM was looking to streamline their administrative process to save time and money while serving their customers better.
In the beginning, we needed to establish an understanding of the permit application process, what information needed to get filled out, what kind of options there would be on the form, how it would behave, and what would happen to the application after it was filled out.
The solution was a custom form with a complex set of conditionals, allowing the permit to be filled out correctly. Along with the required information, the form also allowed images and PDF’s to be uploaded. Part of our solution involved leveraging Google Maps and their API interface to create a clickable map of the island. The applicant would select the location of the project, and a latitude/longitude would be generated for the application.
We also made our application ready to integrate into the DCRM GIS mapping software that staff uses to manage the in-process projects. We ended up with a solid application that provided the staff with an automated permitting solution to replace what previously took up a lot of resources.
DCRM’s email system was built on an old, unreliable server network. Compared to today’s cloud solutions, the server was painfully out of date. We helped them update to a current cloud solution that not only offered great capabilities and security, but also landed well within their budgetary needs. We chose to pull DCRM’s email system into G-Suite.
At Outside Communications, we’re big fans of G-Suite. Formerly Google Apps, G-Suite offers enterprise level email, document management, and collaboration capabilities with security that most could never afford. At $10 per month per user for unlimited data and 24/7 support, G-Suite is probably one of the best deals in the IT world. Our development staff moved 32 users and a their several domains under the G-Suite umbrella. Today, DCRM’s email system is running smoothly, securely, and they have never had more ability to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations.