Technology Modernization Initiatives
Never before has the City had so many key IT projects being planned for implementation. This includes a replacement of legacy telecommunications infrastructure, implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning system, a new City website, new Intranet, legacy systems upgrades for improved business automation and efficiencies, and more. These efforts represent diverse business interests and are all important investments that address a variety of needs, from government transparency to enhanced levels of departmental performance to regulatory compliance to cost savings from the use of "smart meters." The following are a representation of some of the many significant enterprise projects TI will be involved in over the next few years.
ADVANCED METER INFRASTRUCTURE
With a new Customer Information System and Utility Billing in place the next logical initiative is to implement “smart meters.” AMI is an integrated network of smart meters, communication collectors, and data management systems that enable seamless communication between utilities and their customers. A smart gas meter deployment offers cost savings through the reduction or elimination of manual meter reads which are currently estimated to generate 160,000 annual vehicle trips. AMI produces more accurate reads leading to revenue increases and the City is anticipating a 3% to 6% revenue growth. Additionally safety will improve due to sensors and sophisticated monitoring to reduce the risk of failure and being able to detect leaks more effectively.
City Website Upgrade
In the first half of 2015 TI will release a totally new City website with a modern design that will be supported by a new Content Management System (CMS) based on the Ektron platform. The new CMS will provide enhanced search capabilities, offer more flexibility in site design and enable better integration with social media.
The “cloud” simply refers to accessing a service or resource over an Internet connection via a Web browser or app. The idea is not new – cloud-based applications like Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail have been around for over a decade. Due to recent technological advances in such things as connectivity speeds, mobile computing, storage capacity (and the rapidly declining cost of storage), the cloud is becoming a more attractive model for application delivery.
Computer Aided Dispatch/Records Management System Upgrade
CAD/RMS is a critical City system supporting public safety operations. The upgrade enables the use of lower cost server and mobile computer technology and allows increased operational flexibility and efficiency. It would also facilitate the consolidation of Police and Fire call-taking and dispatch operations. The upgraded system went live in January 2014.
Customer Information and Mobile Workforce Management
The City has recently completed a major project to implement Oracle's Customer Care & Billing and Mobile Workforce Management software to replace its legacy utility billing system. The new system offers many benefits including enhancing call center capabilities and customer service to the public, providing electronic billing and bill payment for customer convenience, facilitating automated meter reading to reduce future costs, and allowing flexible rate structures to support conservation efforts.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System - LB COAST
The City of Long Beach is currently in the process of replacing its outdated Financial and Human Resource systems with a modern, integrated management system that will provide vastly improved Citywide efficiencies and controls.
Expansion of Enterprise Permitting and Licensing System
Multiple departments currently use the City's enterprise permitting and licensing system. It supports building, fire, public works, and health permitting as well as code enforcement operations. We are now in the process of expanding the use of the system by adding business licensing.
The City of Long Beach owns approximately 60 miles of fiber optic cable in the City. Expanding the capacity and adding more City facilities to the Fiber Infrastructure is operationally and strategically critical to the City’s business processes due to three major trends:
- the meteoric increase network traffic
- the significant increase in connected devices
- moving applications to the cloud
Language Access Policy (LAP)
In City of Long Beach Resolution 13-0071, it is understood that removing language barriers is critical to achieving equitable access to available City services. This policy promotes greater access to services, programs and activities with the goal of attaining meaningful and understandable access for limited English language proficiency (LEP) individuals.
Last year after the implementation of Office 365 we also obtained the licensing for the use of SharePoint. Our plan is to overhaul the City’s current intranet and build out a new intranet solution, LBNet, based on SharePoint to offer “game-changing” transformation opportunities in the way that the City works internally. SharePoint will provide City departments with a set of standard collaboration and content management tools as well as a document library and an enterprise search function. In addition to backending LBNet, SharePoint will also provide many valuable features that will be extensively used throughout all departments.
The Public Library is impacted by the explosion of internet content and how the content is delivered. The expansion of internet access at the Library is necessitated by following three major trends:
increasing consumption of richer and more varied content
- increasing use of video
- moving paper and local disks to the internet sources
Public Wi-Fi Expansion
For a number of years, the City has provided free public wireless internet access at select City facilities. More recently this service has expanded to libraries and about 20 of the City's parks. There are plans for further expansion in 2015 and 2016.
An enterprise-wide upgrade to Windows 7 took place in 2014 (taking advantage of our Microsoft Enterprise Agreement) in order to support our move to Office 365. Now we are planning the next upgrade to Windows 10.
Video Surveillance Systems
With over 400 cameras installed across the City, video surveillance has become another critical and valuable resource for public safety. With budget challenges and the inability to put more officers on the street, cameras become the “eyes” of the City and are a cost effective way to improve public safety in the City.
VOIP TELEPHONE UPGRADES
VoIP is the convergence of voice and data networks into a single network. This convergence will present the City of Long Beach with an opportunity for reduced costs, streamlined system management, and the introduction of innovative features. TI is approximately 80% complete with this conversion project.