At next Tuesday’s worksession, the City Council will review City’s network software systems that is used by the Finance, Human Resources, Public Services and Public Works departments.
Our network software is provided by SunGard Public Sector (formerly known as HTE) and was installed and implemented in early 1999, following a 1998 RFP process. Most applications are being used successfully by the respective departments.
Approximately one year ago, our staff contacted SunGard to respond to multiple requests for simplification of processes originating in Public Services. SunGard staff recommended that a Business Process Review (“BPR”) be performed to improve satisfaction and increase the efficiency of currently-installed SunGard software applications. The BPR was performed in November 2014. A SunGard implementer met with Code Enforcement, Finance and IT staff, reviewed current Code Enforcement (“CE”) processes and work flow, reviewed software setup, and developed recommendations for improvement.
Over the past 17 years since original software implementation, internal programming staff has added additional features, such as laser permit and municipal infraction printing, building permit processing, e-mailing of CE notices to cited related parties, allowing CE notice issuance from tablets in the field, etc. In addition, staff turnover and lack of appropriate training of new staff has created workflow changes in the software that do not meet SunGard’s recommended configuration. The implementer’s recommendations are highly technical in nature, but can be summarized into certain specific areas:
1. Re-implement the CE software setup (as if this was a new installation).
2. Simplify the case-type codes from 1 00+ to 8 primary case types.
3. Follow the SunGard-prescribed order for processing occupancy permits.
4. There are incomplete occupancy permit records for multiple years which have created fragmented data and billing files that need to be resolved. In addition, cleanup of data records is required to eliminate duplicate and blank records in land management. As all modules are interconnected and key off the land record, data errors in one module affect the others.
5. Re-implementation should simplify permit processing by elimination of multiple manual steps currently used to speed up release of permits.
6. Further discussion is needed on whether the SunGard document management system (DMS) is preferable to the City’s use of Word to generate letters and notices. SunGard believes that their DMS improves workflow efficiency.
7. Once re-implementation is complete, significant on-site training of Public Services staff is recommended to ensure proper processing/adherence to changes. 8. Consider migrating from the Select (“green screen”) interface to NaviLine (Windowsbased graphical user interface [GUI]) for ease of viewing data on 1 screen rather than multiple screens. We have requested pricing from SunGard for this option.
It has been estimated that at least 40 -hours would be required for re-implementation and 192 hours for training. These hours do not include what is needed to cleanup data in item #4 above. Based on their quoted hourly rate of $160, we are estimating the total cost of re-implementation and training (not including cleanup) to be a maximum of $40,000. The implementer has scheduled a conference call with the SunGard programmers on May 28 to discuss whether an automated process could be written to move approximately 10,000 pieces of data to their correct location and the estimated cost to do so. SunGard has recommended that this data cleanup be performed prior to re-implementation. If the cleanup is problematic or the cost is prohibitive, we could elect to re-implement going forward and leave the current data as is. However, reimplementation cannot be scheduled until a decision is made concerning the cleanup. Another major factor is the lead time required in SunGard scheduling, the re-implementation and subsequent training could take 6 months to one year to complete.
Staff discussed with the implementer the request to consolidate all billing (occupancy permit, refuse fee, etc.) for a single property into one invoice. We have been advised that it can be accomplished if we change the billing cycle for refuse to coordinate with the respective occupancy permit renewal. During the first year, refuse fees would be prorated by month. This consolidated billing cannot occur until the re-implementation is completed and all applications are working properly.
Staff recommends the following:
1. Once SunGard provides a cost estimate for the data cleanup, the City will evaluate the cost effectiveness of their quote.
2. We have requested pricing for conversion to the Naviline GUI product. It is possible that conversion to Naviline would include re-implementation and training. Contracting for reimplementation and training on the existing “green screen” product should be postponed until firm figures for such a conversion, including training, are provided.
3. Evaluate pricing and timetable for items # 1 and 2 to determine whether we should invest an undetermined amount in the BPR recommendations, or explore other options.