District of Squamish Technology Transformation Program gains momentum

New Emergency Mass Notification System, Open Data portal, Fleet and Fire Software upgrades are ‘quick wins’ in four year project

District of Squamish technology systems are getting a major upgrade as part of the Technology Transformation Program (TTP), a multi-year operational overhaul to replace outdated and obsolete software systems. The updated technology will enable the District to increase productivity and service levels while improving access to reliable data. An open data portal, fleet and fire software upgrades and an emergency mass notification system are among the completed projects, along with the acquisition of a new core financial management system, the program’s biggest and most important building block.

“The positive impact of this new technology on the core operations and service delivery of the municipality cannot be overstated, and sets the platform for us to react proactively to future technologies as we strive for more open, transparent government,” says District of Squamish Mayor Patricia Heintzman. “As we continue to meet the requirements and expectations of a growing municipality, we must have the technology that allows us to do that effectively; this project will get us there.”

In September 2016, the District launched the SquamishAlert emergency notification system to allow the District and the Squamish Nation to communicate important emergency information, such as a shelter-in-place or evacuation order, to subscribed residents by phone, e-mail or text. Close to 2,000 residents have signed up to receive the alerts. The District also implemented two new software systems, a Fleet Management Solution to easily track purchase dates, repair history, parts inventory and replacement schedules for the entire District fleet, and a Fire Software upgrade to improve incident processing and reporting capabilities.

The TTP’s biggest milestone to date is the selection of a core financial management and payroll system to serve as the organizational backbone of the District and support improved functionality in all areas including taxes and utilities, online payments, permits, ticketing, licensing and payroll. Unit4 Business World and Tempest Development Group were chosen to provide a hybrid, scalable solution to ensure that the tool can grow as the District grows. The two companies are widely utilized in municipalities throughout the province including City of Surrey, Port Coquitlam, Sunshine Coast Regional District, Squamish Lillooet Regional District and the Resort Municipality of Whistler, and are recognized as top-tier financial management and “best in breed” systems. The District has also chosen Tempest, a top-tier  Development Management solution, for its potential for cost savings, integrations and scalable solutions.

Implementation of this backbone system is at the core of the TTP and is expected to take up to two years for all aspects to roll out.

About the Technology Transformation Program

Approved in early 2016, the multi-year, $3-million Technology Transformation Program is a massive operational upgrade across the District of Squamish to increase productivity, provide better service, improve access to data and create open data through replacement of obsolete or outdated technology systems. The program came about through an in-depth technology review that identified that many major District systems were nearing end of life and needed replacement or significant upgrades.  For more information visit squamish.ca/technology-transformation-program.

 

 

 

 

March 10, 2017

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