City of Burlington

Meeting management technology drives better transparency and saves weeks of time. Learn more about the successes the City of Burlington achieved with eScribe by downloading the full case study.

city of burlington ontario

About City of Burlington​

Established in 1874, the City of Burlington is committed to sustainable growth. In the lobby of City Hall in Burlington, Ontario, an inscription reads “Where people, nature and business thrive.”

Repeatedly voted as one of the best places to live in Canada, the City of Burlington is committed to innovation, sustainable growth, and to building trust with its most valued assets – its constituents.

“Before eScribe, everything was done manually. It is almost impossible to try and quantify the hours we spent preparing. Compiling reports took months, and building a meeting agenda was a two-day process for each committee. Now everything we need is up-to-date and securely available on any device, anywhere.”

– Danielle Manton, Manager of Election & Committee Services, City of Burlington


“We quickly saw the flaws in their system and knew that our complete six-stage meeting package would deliver immediate results.”

“The cloud means a much faster time to implementation as well as reduced operating costs… Microsoft’s Canadian data centres stand up to Canadian privacy and sovereignty requirements. Data is resident on Canadian soil at all times.”

“The benefits are huge. We really love eScribe. They’ve helped take us to a place and level of efficiency that will continue to have huge impact for years to come.”

The Challenge

The trend to smarter, automated, and more transparent government is driving change in the City of Burlington. New technologies are being introduced to lower costs, improve efficiencies, and give citizens fast access to information.

Recently, Burlington decided to deploy eScribe on Microsoft Azure. With eScribe, public servants and elected officials have been able to eliminate paper and automate the hours of manual processes spent copying, collating, and distributing binders of minutes, agenda items, tasks, and reports.

Everything is now online, accessible, and secure in Microsoft’s Canadian cloud data centres. The complexity of managing the information and tasks generated by multiple meetings, agendas, committees, sub-committees, and citizen input is instantly, efficiently, and securely available.

Good Government = Great Citizen Value

Danielle Manton, Manager of Election & Committee Services, remembers what it was like before eScribe, “Everything was done manually. It is almost impossible to try and quantify the hours we spent preparing. Compiling reports took months, and building a meeting agenda was a two-day process for each committee,” she says.

Mired in inefficiencies, the City realized they needed to replace paper­-based manual processes with an automated meeting management system. In addition to keeping city staff and officials organized and on track, the application would need to deliver current information right into the hands of stakeholders and make it accessible from any device, eliminating the need for enormous amounts of paper used for printed reports.

Furthermore, the City knew that automation processes would ensure no missed steps while making critical information available online almost immediately for any stakeholder to access. In 2011, the City hired a company that claimed to have the right technology.

The implementation dragged out over two long years, and in the end, the solution did not meet its promised potential. “We ended up just using it for agendas and report tracking, and we already had a system for that,” added Manton. Despite the disappointing outcome, the City did not give up. In 2016, they met with the meeting management experts at eScribe, and a dynamic partnership developed.

Microsoft Azure - Dependability and Data Sovereignty in the Cloud

eScribe’s meeting and agenda management solution provides dramatic cost savings and efficiencies in one eco-friendly, automated package. And because it is built on Microsoft’s 100% Canadian cloud – Azure – the City of Burlington is assured of 99.9% availability, flexibility, infinite scalability, and a level of security that other cloud providers can’t match. With encryption features and data residency requirements met, information stays right where it’s supposed to be, accessible whenever and wherever it’s needed.

eScribe and Microsoft CityNext

eScribe has been a proud Microsoft partner for some time and was one of the first technology companies to join Microsoft’s CityNext consortium. CityNext is a Microsoft initiative developed to provide a wide variety of solutions focused on creating more efficient local government operations. Cities, municipalities, and townships face the same challenges as big government but have significantly smaller budgets.

The Microsoft CityNext alternatives deliver secure, affordable, and innovative methods to local governing bodies so that they can:

  • Reduce cost
  • Empower civil servants and elected officials
  • Provide 24/7 self-serve information to citizens
  • Communicate constituent value
  • Enable transparency

The Benefits of eScribe

As a cloud-based solution built on Microsoft Azure, eScribe is helping cities and municipalities by delivering:

  • A single platform to sort, manage, and distribute minutes, agendas, and other documents to the right people at the right time
  • Reduced complexity around scheduling meetings and people, with fewer errors
  • Better collaboration between committees and managers
  • Improved transparency – Council members, City staff, constituents, and stakeholders can access information online from any device
  • Online features keep constituents updated and engaged
  • A lowered carbon footprint by reducing paper materials.

The City of Burlington customized the application by adding their own page of quick tips and FAQs and embedding their internal website.

All This, and Green, Too

Since deploying eScribe’s agenda and meeting management solution, the City of Burlington has realized savings in time, resources, and paper costs. More importantly, perhaps, is their ability to be truly transparent and accessible – a commitment they take seriously. Agendas are produced automatically, meetings are run efficiently, and time is spent on more high-value and mission-critical activities.

Now, reports that used to take two weeks to publish are available online within 24 hours. That means that Burlington’s many Citizen Advisory Committees, tasked with everything from assessing bike lanes to millennials’ issues, can observe and track the outcomes of Council and Committee meetings.

And because the information is readily accessible, citizens and businesses can be more easily engaged and even participatory when it comes to City matters. Manton reports they can now “turn on a dime based on community feedback.” And it’s an eco-friendly solution that supports environmental initiatives advocated by Burlington.

Get Started Today

Bring the town square to citizens’ doorsteps–wherever, whenever. Encourage public engagement and drive transparency with a range of modules that eliminate traditional barriers to full participation.