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Santa Rosa, California

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Selection and implementation of billing system improves efficiency

Santa Rosa LogoBackground

The City of Santa Rosa’s Utility Billing system serves over 50,000 water and wastewater customers along more than 600 miles of water mains.

Issue

Santa Rosa’s existing Utility Billing legacy system has been in place for approximately 30 years. It is a text-based system which uses a proprietary closed database structure. Such outdated systems have the potential of creating a domino effect of errors, compatibility issues and maintenance problems. In addition, the programming language is outdated; finding programmers proficient in its use has become increasingly difficult. In addition, end users were demanding more access to system data and the current system does not provide adequate end user tools for data analysis and extraction.

Solution

The City of Santa Rosa engaged Westin to implement a multi-phase project to provide guidance and assistance with the selection and installation of a Customer Information System (CIS) to replace its current ADMINS-based Utility Billing System. The chosen solution offered the City state-of-the-art, off-the-shelf technology, which will meet all of the business functions of the department.

Westin achieved the City’s objectives for this project by applying Westin’s proven methodology for system selection and acquisition. Westin’s approach, the System Implementation Life Cycle (SILC) has been tailored to the City of Santa Rosa CIS selection and implementation project.  Westin’s project plan was designed to be a collaborative effort between Westin and the City. Significant, direct involvement throughout all phases of CIS procurement and implementation helped the project team understand objectives, success criteria and risks.

Outcome

The selection phase was completed in August 2008 after successfully negotiating a contract with Harris’s Advanced Utility division. Westin provided project management and consulting services in support of the implementation activities working closely with the City project team and the vendor’s consultants. The system went live in October 2009. The City is now enjoying improved processes and greater efficiencies with the new system.

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