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City of Johns Creek wins Amazon’s ‘City on a Cloud’ Innovation Challenge

December 04, 2019

Call centerFor the second consecutive year, the City of Johns Creek won Amazon’s “City on a Cloud” Innovation Challenge.

The city won the 2019 Constituent Services award for its development of the city’s after-hours call center, which utilizes open data. If a resident calls City Hall (678-512-3200) after regular business hours, the open data-powered call center helps answer residents’ questions and provides details on city services – all powered by the same information behind the city’s Amazon Alexa skill.

“Winning the ‘City on a Cloud’ Innovation Challenge again from AWS reaffirms we are headed in the right direction with the tools we are developing for the public,” said Nick O’Day, City of Johns Creek Chief Data Officer. “This recognition proves that focused use of open data can do so much more than increase transparency – it can transform. This award will allow us to continue leveraging innovative technologies and tools help streamline city services to our residents.”

Johns Creek was the first city in the world to use open data with Amazon Alexa, which pulls information from the Johns Creek website and DataHub to answer users’ questions. By simply asking the "City of Johns Creek" skill on an Alexa device, users can find out information such as where police and fire activity has occurred, what the current traffic conditions are, and even learn more about the zoning conditions of any property in Johns Creek. The city won the 2018 City on a Cloud award for its work with the Alexa skill.

The after-hours call center expands upon the technology used to develop the Alexa skill and also takes advantage of new technologies offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). 

With this new capability, residents calling 678-512-3200 after regular business hours get more than just a voicemail box.  Callers can report emergency issues while also getting answers to over 200 commonly-asked questions that range from simple things like “when is city hall open” to “what is the zoning of 11360 Lakefield Drive.”

View the list of AWS City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge winners.