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When a state of emergency is in effect, there’s nothing more urgent or essential than keeping citizens safe. But for large counties like San Diego, reaching millions of residents across devices, platforms, and languages can reveal the limitations of legacy technology.

During the 2007 wildfire season, San Diego County residents tried to visit the online emergency portal only to find that the website had crashed. On-premises servers were overloaded by the surge of traffic, leaving visitors without the information they needed during a crisis.

To avoid this problem in the future, the County of San Diego Office of Emergency Services moved its servers to the cloud using Microsoft Azure and created a new emergency website using Microsoft Dynamics 365. Later, the department worked with Microsoft CityNext partner Adoxio to make the site more mobile-friendly and accessible. Here’s how digital transformation impacted the organization:

  • Reduced costs by 78 percent
  • Delivered emergency updates across all platforms and devices
  • Collected over 2 million resident phone numbers for emergency alerts
  • Added functionality for hearing- and vision-impaired residents
  • Added Spanish-language translations

Explore our interactive guide Bringing Citizen Services into the Digital Age to see how other governments are improving citizen services through digital transformation.