I was fortunate to be able to attend a national Enterprise IT conference this past month. The conference was primarily dedicated to the cutting edge of enterprise-wide communications. The main areas of focus included Unified Communications, video conferencing, Mobility (Mobile device communications), support of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and other key issues. I was particularity struck by some of the statistics a few of the national speakers presented. Among those stats were the fact that only 35% of American industries have converted from their analog PBX/PSTN communications facilities. Also mentioned was that almost 60% of companies were just now considering or planning a move to some form of Unified Communications.
Over the past couple of years, LOGIS and many of its members have converted to our shared IP Telephony systems from their PBX hardware. As part of the LOGIS IPT offerings, we had installed a unified communications structure which is part of CISCO’s Telepresence environment. Other key capabilities have also been added such as the WebEx clients for conferences (both audio and video). It was really good to attend a national conference if for no other reason than to validate what LOGIS is doing and discover that we remain ahead of the IT curve.
LOGIS completed upgrading our members’ Presence servers and clients to version 8.x. This upgrade allows our members to utilize Presence with multiple lines and features enhancements to Chat, conferencing, and the integration of WebEx into our environment.
With the completion of the upgrade of our existing Presence users, LOGIS has now begun rolling out the Presence and Jabber software to our remaining service members. This rollout includes configuration of the profiles, installation of the client software to the PCs, documentation and training.
Android and Cisco AnyConnect
Android 4.x OS is now available and rolling out to multiple vendor tablets and phones. This release of the Android OS supports the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software without requiring root access. AnyConnect allows the user a state full connection that greatly enhances the support of applications such as virtual desktops, Citrix, Jabber, etc.
Summer is the busiest period of the year for most Parks and Rec departments. You have already been working hard on your summer programs, which is half of the battle. Congratulations! According to the Active Network, the other half of the battle consists of creating awareness around your programs and handling the long line-ups. The good news is that the Active Network has already come up with a marketing plan for you!
The City of Crystal was in need of an all in one package to simplify and organize their Special Assessments for properties within the city. The Special Assessments module in the LOGIS Property Data System (PDS) met their requirements. Their current data was converted and loaded into the LOGIS PDS system. The data was then updated with current owners, current addition numbers and addition names to match Hennepin County system data. Once the system was in balance with Hennepin County records, an annual Special Assessment rollover was processed to create the rollover payments to bring the system to current year. The City of Crystal has been live on LOGIS Special Assessments since April, 2012.
We successfully rolled out the latest PIMS upgrade to all PIMS cities and Citrix users (late April 2012). This upgrade was in programming and test mode shortly after our previous release (early February 2012). There were substantial changes and enhancements covered in this latest release.
Some of the modules included in this upgrade were: Code Enforcement, Contractors, Contractor Payments, Database Utilities, Permits, Scheduling, and Septic.
The City of South St. Paul joined the LOGIS consortium in spring of 2011 looking for a solution to meet their utility billing, financial, and payroll software needs. South St. Paul undertook implementing all three applications simultaneously, which was challenging for their limited staff. But they rose to the challenge and are nearing completion of implementing all three applications.
To accommodate the JDE projects, the utility billing implementation dates changed and their projected go-live was moved from March to May. South St. Paul is currently completing hard parallel (running both the legacy and CIS Infinity systems parallel). Mary Sperl, Budget & Management Specialist at South St. Paul, filled the lead role in the implementation. Her experience and knowledge of their legacy system and dedication to this project were exemplary. South St. Paul is meeting their go-live date of May 29th due to Mary’s exceptional knowledge, hard work, and commitment to this project.
In addition, a thank you to Kevin Black, Advanced Utility Systems’ conversion specialist for all his efforts in working through the issues with the legacy system data and converting the data as cleanly as possible.