City governments play a big role in helping businesses set up shop and expand. They are also instrumental in helping citizens find housing, whether through funding affordable units, offering mortgage assistance, or providing shelter for the homeless. Managing complex services and tracking relationships with hundreds of thousands of businesses and residents is no small task. The City of Boston uses Salesforce, so it can help entrepreneurs, citizens, and prospective homeowners faster than ever. Boston initially chose Salesforce when it created the Boston Business Hub. Built on Salesforce Platform, the Hub gives small businesses easy access to the information they need — and helps their questions get answered by the right people, right away. “Salesforce is helping us be more responsive to local businesses,” says Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “At any time in the process, an entrepreneur can ask for expert advice and get a response from the City within a day.” Previously, upstart businesses had to contact multiple agencies to get a complete picture of how to start a business in Boston. Today, the Boston Business Hub creates a single point of entry for entrepreneurs, creating more transparency, streamlining processes, and saving valuable time.
The Boston Business Hub was so successful that the City decided to roll Salesforce out to all divisions at the Department of Neighborhood Development. Now, Salesforce helps Boston more effectively manage its real estate portfolio, ensure that housing development projects are on-time and on-budget, and connect with homebuyers and homeowners across the city with education and financial assistance programs. With the Salesforce1 Mobile App, city staff can access information, collaborate to help residents, and take care of business from anywhere. The housing development team uses it to find nearby projects, share notes and photos via Chatter, and create tasks to ensure that projects stay on schedule. Construction teams can file paperwork in real time from the field, instead of waiting until the end of the day. And, the business assistance team can help entrepreneurs start the loan application process in seconds. Sheila Dillon, Boston’s Chief of Neighborhood Development explains, “With Salesforce Platform we transformed the management of our business. We’re spending less time on paperwork, and more time on delivering value to Boston’s neighborhoods.”