Some members of the LOGIS public safety staff recently attended the 2010 Motorola Users Conference. Two staff members from the Dakota Communications Center also attended this annual event. We had the opportunity to get firsthand information and attend training on P1 (PremierOne) the next generation of Motorola’s public safety software and exchange views with other Motorola customers. Additionally, we were able to discuss issues and address questions with Motorola staff (support, development and management). Business partners of Motorola that members of LOGIS utilize were also in attendance at the conference and were available to answer questions and demonstrate their products. These included HP, ProQA, Zoll Fire Records and others.
The LOGIS group received significant recognition at the conference as an important customer for several reasons. The LOGIS consortium will be the first customer to implement the full P1 suite of CAD, Mobiles and Records and because the LOGIS configuration of agencies is complex with multiple independent PSAPs and agencies. As consortiums form around the country, Motorola understands that the P1 system must handle the unique needs and take advantage of the benefits agencies have when banding together. The LOGIS consortium will be the model and reference site for Motorola in other consortium implementations. Noticing the increased collaboration of government units, the Motorola Users Conference hosted a seminar entitled How to Succeed as a Cooperative Government Owned IT Consortium which was presented by Rich Sonenblum from LOGIS.
HDHP, HSA, FSA, HRA, LTC, the health care acronyms are flying around – it must be Benefit Enrollment season again!! The human resource and payroll staffs at our member agencies are busy with the annual open enrollment process – so is the LOGIS JDE support team.
As employees check off the options for each benefit selection, behind the scenes the JDEdwards software has been set up to record and calculate the benefits and deductions for each employee with virtually thousands of benefit and deduction combinations and calculations. And after a tweek here and a software patch there, the end result must be one of accuracy and correct benefits for each and every employee.
Once the new benefit elections take effect in January, remember to take a quick look and verify your own benefit and deduction data – work through your pay stub – can you calculate your own net pay? Then give your human resources and payroll staff a pat on the back for a job well done, they have earned it!!!
Recently Dakota County announced they would be changing the format used for property identification, commonly referred to as a PID. Currently the format used by Dakota County is District-Plat-Lot-Block. This will be changing to District-Plat-Block-Lot sometime in early 2011.
At first glance this may appear to be of little concern until you realize how tightly LOGIS applications are tied to this sequence of numbers. LOGIS programs directly affected by the change are: GIS, Permits and Inspections, Property Data, Special Assessments and Utility Billing.
But rest easy, LOGIS staff has been busy making programming changes to convert these numbers so when the day for the change arrives, it will be a smooth transition to the new format.
The LOGIS Utility Billing User Group held its semi-annual meeting on Thursday, November 4th. The group meets twice a year to discuss new enhancements to CIS Infinity, update the group on specific projects and timelines, answer users’ questions, and to provide an excellent forum and the opportunity for the utility billing users to network with each other. Every utility makes an effort to attend these meetings and provides input on the agenda.
Advanced Utilities has provided representation at the last two meetings and plans to attend future meetings. The Advanced staff has demonstrated new modules, reviewed new software enhancements, and shared with the group the direction Advanced plans to take in the future…ready for Version 4 anyone???
One enticing aspect of the user group is the ‘potluck’ lunch after the meeting. The group looks forward to this yummy event.
LOGIS’ Park and Rec Class users may not realize that they do not have to own the Class Point of Sale module to use a credit card scanner. These scanners can be used in the regular Class Payment Window to speed data entry for credit card transactions. You just swipe the card in the scanner, and the name, card number, and expiry date are all filled in for you.
Note that if you do not have Payment Processing, you cannot actually authorize credit card transactions. (You would still need to authorize the card through your desktop credit card terminal.) However, nine out of ten of our Class cites DO have Payment Processing for their Class eConnect internet registration sites, and the same merchant account can be used, if desired. The scanners can be purchased through LOGIS for less than $90 each, and are PCI-DSS compliant. If you are interested in setting up one or more scanners for your Parks and Rec Department, please contact Paul Norton at 763-543-2633, or email him at email@example.com.
Due to the recent Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), we have implemented changes in order to prevent any type of security breach or fraud. This standard is enforced by the major credit card companies that make up the Payment Card Industry Security Council—American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard and Visa. Our members are currently using the Payflow Link product (from PayPal) which interfaces with the LOGIS ePermits website.
When applying for permits online, credit card information is no longer entered via the ePermits website. It is now entered using the non-hosted PayPal interface. The ePermit customer is then redirected back to the ePermits website to complete the permit transaction. In working with each ePermit city and coordinating the transition with PayPal, we were able to convert everyone with very little downtime or difficulty.
LOGIS continues to simplify our members’ mobile experience by allowing their Netmotion mobile connections to authenticate against their own active directory. This enhancement allows the users to utilize their domain logins while also allowing the mobiles to be part of the member domain. This allows greater IT management with GPOs, Antivirus and updates.
LOGIS IP Telephony Service
LOGIS has recently integrated Blackberry support into the Cisco Unity Connection platform for our members. Members are now able to receive and play their messages directly from their Blackberry devices.
LOGIS has also completed testing of the new Call Manager 7 features and has distributed a document outlining the major features to our service members. These features will be implemented on a per request basis and will be discussed in the January IP Telephony User group meeting.
LOGIS has integrated our video conferencing system into the State OET video network! This allows us to utilize video conferencing bridges to broadcast our member meetings. Our members will be able to view and participate in the meetings from their location saving travel time and allowing them to maintain staffing levels. The state phone number assigned to our video system is: 651-296-1054.
LOGIS Media Server
LOGIS recently implemented video streaming of council meetings for two of our members. These members converted to LOGIS since our media server video streaming offered greater resolution, speed, and audio quality then their previous configuration. With this conversion, our members were able to cancel their contracts with their previous vendors saving them thousands of dollars.
Every year all public safety systems operating at LOGIS (CAD, Mobiles and Records and Interfaces) are manually failed-over to the LOGIS Hot Site located in the Brooklyn Center Police Department. This is an important and necessary procedure that tests our ability to continue the operation of the public safety systems in the event of a disaster at the main LOGIS facility in Golden Valley. The Hot Site adds “insurance” and value to the LOGIS public safety systems.
Typically, the test starts with a Saturday morning shut down at the Golden Valley LOGIS facility. There is some downtime as we switch operations to the Hot Site. We then operate out of the Hot Site for 24 hours. On Sunday morning, we switch the operations back to the main LOGIS facility in Golden Valley. The most recent test, October 9th and 10th, was successful and revealed some important information to help with future recovery tests or an actual disaster recovery event.
A significant amount of preparation goes into the test of our Disaster Recovery capabilities. These yearly tests are critical to validate our procedures, validate system configurations, train our staff and have the agency staff experience the recovery procedure. A post procedure evaluation critiques and updates the documentation for all parties involved.
The first ePermit was issued to the City of Lakeville 7 years ago. Lakeville agreed to be our first city to “go live” on ePermits in April 2003. There were several other cities that volunteered to be on our design committee at the onset of the project: (Minnetonka, New Hope, Shakopee, and Eagan).
We currently have 12 cities that are using ePermits as a means of issuing permits to homeowners and contractors. This eliminates the need for a resident or contractor to travel to city hall in order to obtain a permit (which does not require a plan review).
There have been over 58,000 permits issued via the ePermits website since April 2003. Many other PIMS cities have expressed interest in receiving further information regarding ePermits.
In order to keep up with the ever changing technology pace, our next project will involve re-engineering ePermits to meet our clients’ requests. This will take ePermits to the next level by generating a more enhanced and widely used product.