Information Technology Advisory Committee - Aug 16th, 2018
Held in the town manager's conference room, in the second floor of the town hall annex.
We had a special guest tonight -- Patti Brennan Sawtelle -- who gave a presentation on what the town has been doing with Munis.
The town has transitioned real estate and property taxes from ICS to Munis, along with excise taxes. These were challenging projects, in part because they involved migrating from a custom-built solution to an off-the-shelf product. The town has implemented Tyler Cashiering for scanning check images, and Invoice cloud for online payment processing.
Tyler content management is like a digital file cabinet for Munis. It allows documents to be stored and attached to individual records. These could be invoices, purchase orders, scanned documents, and such. It's proven to be a really helpful tool for collecting and organizing documents. When you look at a record in Munis, you'll be able to see all of the supporting documents that pertain to it.
The town plans to implement an employee self-service feature. The basics of this are in place, and there are plans to do more.
Our Munis implementation wasn't just about rolling out a new piece of software. It also allowed the town to look at workflows and led us to ask "are there better ways to do things". For example, departments used to take all receivables, tally them up on a paper worksheet, and send them to the comptrollers office for entry. We've decentralized this. Departments input their receivables directly into Munis, and the Comptroller's office has immediate access to this information.
We're in the process of moving parking tickets to Munis. Water billing is still done through ICS.
Parking tickets pose a unique challenge. Ticket data has to flow in to Munis, and then to Invoice Cloud and the RMV. There are lots of moving parts. We hope to have parking fully transitioned to Munis in mid-October.
School requisitions are currently filed on five-part paper forms. This will move to Munis. Doing so will provide the school district with the ability to do real-time financial reporting.
The town has rolled out the basics of employee self-service. Employees can download electronic copies of pay stubs, change W-4 deductions, and update their direct deposit information. The self service module allows employees to do what-if analyses (e.g., how will an employee's pay be affected by a change in withholding or a change in marital status).
Parts of the employee on-boarding process will move to Munis. For example, new employees have to read and sign several documents (sexual harassment policy, acceptable use policies, etc). Munis will allow new employees to view these documents and indicate acceptance on-line.
The town has done a lot of work to clean up vendor records. We've deactivated 23,000 obsolete vendor accounts, and identified over 300 duplicate vendor entries.
The town is planning an upgrade to Munis 2018.1. This will be a fairly major upgrade, particularly in the area of utility billing. It will require a number of forms to be rebuilt, along with several module upgrades. This work should take place in Jan--Feb of 2019.
Future plans for Munis include: time entry, water and sewer billing, improving the chart of accounts, scanning more documents into Tyler Content Management, general billing (e.g., fire department details), and more training.
Water and sewer billing will be a complex project. The town currently uses Itron meters, but may purchase additional meters from another vendor. Therefore, our water meter system will have to cope with input data from two meter vendors.
After Ms. Sawtelle's presentation, we move on to Capital budget requests. This year, we have one IT-related capital request from the Library. The remainder are from the IT department.
The Gibbs School occupancy permit was recently issued. Most IT systems are in place. Some VoIP equipment is pending installation. The town will have a pair of VoIP servers (redundant), and each VoIP server will be connected to two different telco providers. This should provide a high degree of reliability. Security system installation (at the Gibbs) will take place over the next few days.
The town has purchased 580--600 Chromebooks for Gibbs students.
Other school related projects include installation of security cameras at the Ottoson middle school, and new A/V equipment for the Ottoson and Hardy schools.