LOGIS Blog

From the Director’s Desk: LOGIS Expensive? Nope, Service Rich!

Date Posted:

DESKOver the years I’ve heard (and perhaps you have too) someone occasionally comment from a non-LOGIS entity something like: “LOGIS?  – Yeah, I’ve heard they’re good but expensive!” Sound familiar? I’ve even heard similar comments from a department that doesn’t use LOGIS applications, yet they are a LOGIS member none the less.

When we compete for business, especially responding to an RFP, we usually don’t appear to be the cheapest solution. Why is this the case? With the number of members participating in the shared LOGIS applications this certainly reduces the costs each pay. So, shouldn’t this allow us to quote even lower costs to potential new members vs. what vendors quote?

Well, many of you know that LOGIS is a total cost of ownership model. But put another way, LOGIS was structured by its Board of Directors many years ago to be an overall service organization, responsible for ALL aspects of providing application technology to our members.  This means that we don’t just provide the software and hardware. We are structured to handle additional responsibilities such as the network infrastructure, data communications, security, local support, PCI compliance, disaster recovery, a CIP program to replace all hardware and many other services. To do all of this, our costs reflect the provision of these total services. Far beyond what is provided by private sector vendors.

One example mentioned above:  LOGIS must provide a disaster recovery site. This means that most applications have duplicate servers at that facility which are running and ready to be a fail-over environment allowing for business continuity of our applications in the event of a disaster. It also means that all of the data used by most of the LOGIS applications are mirrored simultaneously at both sites. And of course, the data is backed up on a daily basis.

Now if we wanted to undercut the competition, it would be easy!  We’d simply reduce the number of services we provide. Dropping that disaster recovery service; eliminating hardware replacement cycles, assistance with networking issues, unlimited training, etc. would significantly reduce our costs and therefore what we charge. Our members however have made it pretty clear. The reduced service approach is not why they joined LOGIS. They realize that any of those services no longer provided by LOGIS would need to be replaced by each member, sooner or later, along with paying more for that assistance or service.

LOGIS isn’t more expensive when comparing equitable service levels. Because our members share in those services, LOGIS is by far more cost effective than any other entity or vendor, local or national.

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Category: Director's Report,LOGIS News

Robbinsdale and Eden Prairie join LOGIS GIS Services Group

Date Posted:

Earth and MoonBeginning in early March, Robbinsdale and Eden Prairie became the first two LOGIS members to benefit from our new GIS Managed Services offerings.

Robbinsdale, with a very small existing GIS staff and tight budget for GIS technology saw an opportunity to leverage our suite of GIS Managed Services in a way that will introduce GIS technology to virtually all city staff.    By early April they will have access to LOGISmap, our secure, scalable, user managed, on-line mapping tool.  They’ve also elected to have LOGIS GIS staff assist with general spatial data management, a few special projects, and will work with LOGIS to construct and implement two additional, purpose-focused GIS applications in 2014.

Eden Prairie was a LOGIS GIS member city from 2002-2009.  Since 2010 they have experienced some position turnover that has slowed their GIS evolution.  Through LOGIS’ GIS Managed Services options, EP was able to select a very cost effective staff augmentation option for 2014 that will give a boost to their GIS and assist their staff with gaining a stronger understanding of the current state of their GIS technology for a more successful future.

To learn more about LOGIS GIS Managed Services please contact Ben Verbick, GIS Coordinator.

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Category: Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

CIS Infinity Midwest Regional User Group Meeting

Date Posted:

MeetingThe CIS Infinity Midwest Regional User Group consists of ten CIS Infinity clients from businesses in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois that use or support the CIS Infinity application to manage utility billing processes. LOGIS is an active member of this group, participating in scheduled conference calls and the group’s annual meeting at a physical location.

The annual meeting provides a forum for these clients to network and discuss software functionality, software and support issues, processes, new releases, interfaces and any other commonalities. Staff from the software provider, Advanced Utility Systems, also attends this annual meeting to review software enhancements, promote new interfaces, and respond to client questions or concerns.

The next user group meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 8th in Madison, WI.

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Category: Utility Billing

Why Don’t My Changes in Class Show Up in eConnect?

Date Posted:

eConnectThat’s a question we hear from time-to-time at LOGIS Class support. The scenario is that you have made some important changes to the description or availability of a course in the Class database, but when you look in your eConnect site, the changes you have made in Class are not reflected in the site.

Some of our users may not know that when you make changes in the Class database, your eConnect site will not reflect those changes until the site is “refreshed.” Refreshing happens automatically every night at about midnight, but for some situations, this might not be soon enough for your needs. In this case, the eConnect site needs to be refreshed manually. You can do this yourself if your eConnect login has been properly configured, or you can contact LOGIS Class support to do the manual refresh. If you are interested in doing eConnect site refreshes yourself, please contact LOGIS Class support to get your eConnect login configured as it should be.

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Category: Parks and Recreation Systems

Technology Upgrades Progressing

Date Posted:

Microsoft_logoLOGIS support staff is in the process of many Microsoft Technology upgrades. These upgrades will enable LOGIS to utilize many enhancements to improve the PDS system.

First up is the upgrade of the Developer Tools to version 2013. With this being completed, we are currently testing programs produced by the updated tools. Later this spring, SQL 2005 will be upgraded to SQL 2012, then be moved to a Cluster Server environment.

All computers accessing the PDS system will need to be running at a minimum  .Net framework version 4.0. Those computers have been identified and the membership IT staff have been helpful getting these computers updated.

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Category: Property Data,Special Assessments

eScheduling Currently In Test Mode

Date Posted:

calendarThe City of Eden Prairie is presently re-testing the eScheduling piece of the ePermits site. They have graciously devoted their time and effort constructing and designing the online function while working out any malfunctions.

During our ePermits upgrade last year, LOGIS surveyed all 14 ePermit cities about their interest in an online scheduling feature to accompany ePermits.  The results were extremely favorable. Since this would be strictly optional per city, each municipality can decide whether or not to incorporate eScheduling as part of the ePermits platform.

We hope to have this enhancement released into production within the next few months.

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Category: Permits & Inspections Management

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