Several Utility Billing members are in the midst of meter change-out projects. The projects range in complexity from AMR (Automatic Meter Reading) to AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure). AMR meter readings are stored on a handheld device or a thumb drive via walk-by, drive-by or fixed network. In contrast, AMI meters enable two-way communication over a fixed network between the utility system and metering endpoints. Reading retrieval can occur as frequent as every 15 minutes.
Meter technology has vastly improved in recent years. One benefit of the newer technology is the ability to identify leaks quicker. The city benefits from the loss of unbilled treated water. Residents benefit by receiving a notification of a potential leak allowing them to make repairs quickly.
LOGIS will be hosting a RecTrac User Group meeting on Wednesday September 25th, from 10:30 – 12:00 at the LOGIS offices in Golden Valley. We will be going over a number of important items such as the upcoming RecTrac and WebTrac User Interface change and RecTrac ePACT integration. Most significantly, this is the last user group meeting before VSI’s annual Minnesota Regional User Group meeting (hosted by VSI), which is usually held in October. This will be a great opportunity to discuss what you’d like to bring up at that regional meeting. We hope to see you there!
The LOGIS Utility Billing staff held their annual User Group Meeting on Tuesday, August 20. The LOGIS Utility Billing group consists of 19 member cities, who come together and network on numerous different topics.
This year’s discussions were on the remaining 2019 work plan items, such as meter change-out projects. Details on the vendors for meter change-out projects, and new customer portals for customer’s to review their own water usage and much more were also reviewed. An update on CIS Infinity Builds and new Build release dates. Along with changes to the State Testing Fee that will affect the 2020 utility rates.
LOGIS plans to implement automation of scheduler jobs, and hold mini WebEx sessions where LOGIS can provide additional training on features within CIS Infinity. A demo of a process available within the software was completed on Arrangement Processing with the help from one of the members currently using this feature.
The meeting was concluded with member questions, where the membership has an opportunity to get ideas from other cities on how they handle different circumstances.
The Property Data (PDS) and Special Assessments (SA) development and support team are excited to welcome Tom Blaeser as our new Director of Application Development and Support. Tom comes to us with more than 20 years of management experience in application development and payment technology.
As reported in their last quarterly newsletter, VSI is planning on implementing a new UI (User Interface) in the near future. The user interface is the “look and feel” of the application. It defines how you interact with RecTrac. Giles Willey, President and CEO of VSI describes it as “a more modern looking style that will become the foundation for RecTrac going forward.” A re-design of the WebTrac interface is also in the works.
We do not yet know what the new UI will look like—neither for RecTrac nor WebTrac. There are no samples available yet on VSI’s Customer Support portal. However, we do think it’s likely that a demonstration will be part of VSI’s Minnesota Regional User Group Meeting in October.
The new RecTrac interface is scheduled for completion by the end of the third quarter, which means our users will likely be seeing it by the end of this year. The new WebTrac interface is scheduled for completion sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. The “VSI Roadmap” (see the graphic accompanying this article) is available from the “Customer Success Center” of VSI’s customer support portal.
LOGIS is proud to announce that the City of Crystal went Live with the LOGIS eLicenses web site on August 1st 2019. Crystal became the first city to utilize eLicenses for rental licenses.
The eLicenses web site allows applicants to apply for or renew their rental licenses online. The eLicense interface is highly configurable to collect online applicant and license data that is stored within the business and animal license modules within the Permit and Inspections Management System (PIMS). It is also flexible to configure for different types of licenses including animal licenses, rental licenses and all types of business licenses.
There are other cities in the planning process of implementing rental eLicenses, and it is anticipated that eLicenses will greatly increase the efficiency of the licensing process for applicants and city staff.
One of the challenges that our users have had in CentralSqaure’s Enterprise CAD/Mobile system has been the ease of garnering historical person/vehicle data within the Supplemental Information module. Historically, it would associate more data than desired, potentially associating individuals/vehicles to CAD incidents without discretion. A modification to the functionality was made by LOGIS staff to prevent inaccurate information to be provided to its users, but the results was not up to the standards that our users expect.
After working with CentralSquare to resolve these frustrations, the Enterprise CAD/Mobile software has integrated an enhancement that we are excited to roll out in the coming months.
This enhancement will allow officers to determine at the time of query, whether or not the information they are querying is related to the CAD event they are assigned. Regardless of the user selection, the queries will be logged appropriately, but the refinement in data will allow a more timely review of historical CAD information.
Paired with the data sharing mind-set that occurs within the LOGIS agencies, this functionality will allow users to see, in near real-time, the high-level involvement history of a person or vehicle within the consortium.
On June 26, 2019, LOGIS staff rolled out new versions of the eProperty software. Several enhancements were included with this release. A new future assessment section was added with an estimated invoice date, interest rates for pending assessments, improvements to the fuzzy search engine and changes for the display of daily interest were included in this release.
The next release of the Property Data / Special Assessments software is scheduled to be released on July 23, 2019.
Online business, rental, and animal licenses are available for LOGIS PIMS business license customers with our eLicense product. With eLicenses, customers may apply for and provide supporting documentation for various city-issued licenses.
City staff can choose to allow all or a few license types online. Licenses still go through staff review before final issuance. Payments can be taken via credit card at the time of application or delayed until license review is complete. eLicense set up is engineered to be very customizable so that relevant data can be gathered for each specific license type.
If you are interested in learning more, contact the LOGIS PIMS team for a demo or to begin implementation discussions.
You may not be aware of it, but VSI, the developers of RecTrac, provides free graphical email templates that may be used for various purposes. These templates provide an HTML-based “shell,” which allows you to deliver professional-grade marketing and other emails to households within the RecTrac database. The templates provide a solution for you that spotlights your upcoming events and registrations through customizable text, graphics, and links to URLS such as your registration pages in WebTrac, your department’s home page, or any other valid Internet location. Currently VSI has four (4) templates available, all developed with responsive design, so your patrons can receive and read the emails you generate from RecTrac on any smart phone, tablet, or computer.
The templates must be downloaded from the VSI customer support portal and uploaded into RecTrac. The process is too involved to get into in this short article, but if you want additional information, refer to Topic Doc – Graphical Email Templates for more information and setup instructions. You can also contact LOGIS RecTrac support at Rectrac@logis.org.