Avenu Today and Tomorrow: A conversation with CEO Paul Colangelo

Although Avenu is a new name to many jurisdictions, it has a heritage that goes back decades. Companies that Avenu has acquired were prominent among the cities and counties they served, and Avenu embodies their great characteristics in its vision going forward. Here Avenu CEO Paul Colangelo gives perspective on how Avenu supports its government customers.

Q: What are the trends affecting state and local governments and how does Avenu address them?

In today’s world there are increased demands on government for services and limited resources available to meet those demands. Because of this, a critical service we’ll always offer governments is revenue enhancement through compliance audits, our discovery and recovery process, and management of unclaimed property. Government finance professionals need to find revenue to balance their budgets, and they can’t depend on new taxes or fees.

On the other side of the business we help jurisdictions administer services to citizens. That is an enormous undertaking and government and the private sector have to join forces to fulfill it. For example, governments in particular feel the effects of the aging workforce: in Virginia alone, 12% of state workers were eligible for retirement in 2015, and 25% will be eligible in the next five years, which is indicative of the national average of 28%. Governments need partners that can fill the skills gaps.

Nowhere is this more evident than in IT. Much of the equipment operated by governments is several years old, and the applications and operating systems can be much older. Avenu helps agencies keep their systems performing so citizens can enjoy the benefits of automation and mobile web services, and they can know their personally identifiable information is secure.

Q: What can clients expect from Avenu?

Avenu’s mission statement describes how we partner with governments to boost revenue, optimize operations and deepen community trust. This represents the system-level thinking that we apply to our clients. We support all aspects of government and understand how the agencies connect with their citizens, what the citizens look for and how to optimize those interactions. This distinguishes us from other companies out there.

We also take pride in being a customer-first company, which means Avenu can meet governments’ needs more efficiently than our competitors. Not only do we help with both revenue and efficiency, we have the flexibility to scale up and take on large projects, and we can microfocus on smaller ones. That’s important in the local government market.

And we’re getting recognized: earlier this year we landed on the GovTech 100 list of companies noted for their impact on governments.

Q: What innovations can clients look forward to?

A:  Avenu will continue to be the partner that governments need us to be. That means providing them with revenue opportunities, finding ways to help them deliver the experience that citizens expect, and engendering the trust that is so central for governments to function. We will continue to invest in the solutions that enable this vision, whether it’s new software, analytics, a digital community, mobile enablement of an existing solution, or new solutions such as Clearview Analytics that jurisdictions can use to better understand revenue sources and make projections.

Q: What are the most significant challenges ahead?

We need to keep up with a dynamic and continuously evolving market. Our clients expect us to anticipate and understand their needs, so our job is to identify opportunities that leverage our national experience with other governments. Delivering that takes both creativity and structure, and it’s what makes this space so interesting.