GovHost.com joins e-government craze
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- Apr 13, 2000
With the April launch of GovHost.com, cities and counties have yet another
option for moving their government services online. Launched by VC3 Inc.,
a systems integrator based in Columbia, S.C., GovHost.com offers a suite
of 13 virtual government modules via an application service provider (ASP)
business model. The services include: payment of utility bills, property
taxes and traffic citations online; the ability to apply for various permits;
and the option of receiving e-mail notification for current or overdue bills.
The ASP model, which is used largely by small and midsize businesses, outsources
the government entity's online services to be handled by VC3 at a data center.
The governments are not required to buy the software, but simply subscribe
to it, said David Dunn, president and chief executive officer of VC3.
"By doing that, they lessen their need for onsite integration services,
while providing an e-commerce presence," Dunn said, adding that the ASP
model does not charge citizens transaction fees. "Cities don't want that
extra fee charged to citizens to use the service. They want to push citizens
online for cost savings down the road."
GovHost.com costs $500 to $1,000 per module per month,
with most cities picking two or three. That's compared with the about $80,000
for municipalities to purchase the necessary hardware and software, plus
the annual $10,000 in maintenance it would cost to host the services on
their own, Dunn said.
VC3 has signed an agreement with Berryman & Henigar, a municipal professional
services firm based in San Diego, making it the first value-added reseller
of the GovHost.com products. B&H acts as city managers on a contract
basis on behalf of its cities and about a year ago began hearing requests
from its customers for continual access to government services, said Michelle
Kvandal, senior vice president of the c
"The governments want to provide their constituents with online, 24-by-7
access to services, and we needed an IT partner to do it," Kvandal said.
"We've already tested the idea with clients and city councils and they're
using it in their platforms to try and get re-elected."
GovHost.com is targeting municipalities with populations between 2,000 and