City of Healdsburg, California gets new report management and archival system

A city providing power, water and wastewater services to its residents has upgraded to a new report management and archival system, in the process eliminating much of the paperwork associated with keeping records.

May 29, 2001— Tucked between three lush valleys and surrounded by over 60 wineries, The City of Healdsburg offers small town charm with the ambiance of a European countryside.

The City of Healdsburg is a full service city, providing electrical, water and sewer services to residents. Its enterprise applications are on an AS/400 that runs Avenir Classic Customer Information Service (CIS) software and a financial application.

The state mandates that many reports from these two applications must be printed and stored, or electronically archived for future accessibility.

Without a computerized report management and archival solution, the City of Healdsburg prints and stores over two boxes of reports per month. Actual storage space was becoming an issue.

In addition, the current CIS archival process didn't provide disaster recovery or flexible search capabilities. The current CIS archive process involved sending reports to a spool file on the AS/400.

This process does not offer a flexible searching method, as only one spool can be searched at a time. Another limitation is that the reports were not moved to an external storage, therefore in the event of an OS upgrade or system failure, the spool file archive would be unrecoverable.

The City of Healdsburg began an analysis process to evaluate a robust, but flexible report management and archival solution. Their main requirements were the following:

* A reliable archival solution to store reports on removable media eliminating costs associated with paper and storage of reports.

* A backup and disaster recovery solution for all archived reports to external media providing security in the event of a system failure.

* Computerized archiving to enhance search capabilities allowing fast access to all archive reports based on key values. This benefit not only increases customer satisfaction by ensuring quicker responses, but also enhances search capabilities for the city's auditors.

* A solution that offers overall flexibility allowing city of Healdsburg to implement quickly, with minimal changes to existing procedures, and to begin paying for itself immediately.

The Solution

The City of Healdsburg chose Avenir Systems' Report Management solution for several key reasons.

Avenir Systems' solution included an optional interface from Avenir Classic CIS to their Report Management solution. The interface automates the manual process of selecting specific reports to be archived. During the setup process, Avenir's installation team worked with City of Healdsburg to setup the reports that required archiving. The archiving process is completed every night, automatically without user intervention. This automation is saving City of Healdsburg approximately 20 hours a month in labor costs.

City of Healdsburg requested Avenir's assistance in moving approximately 700 reports that currently resided on their AS/400 to the new archival solution. A custom conversion program was designed to identify and archive reports based on each reports creation date. Avenir's programming team successful implemented the conversion solution migrating all of City of Healdsburg's reports to one central Report Management solution.

The City of Healdsburg is archiving Classic CIS and another financial application that also resides on the AS/400. If they identify additional reports or files to be archived that reside on their NT Server, the solution will support that feature, as well as all hosts within City of Healdsburg's enterprise.

The solution offered several other features that were additional benefits to City of Healdsburg.

* Ability to email individual report pages or statements as html documents

* Capability to reprint individual report pages or statements from Windows

* Extract report information to a variety of formats: Access, Excel, dbase 3, 4, 5, Lotus, FoxPro, Text and html

* Ability to extract data across multiple report dates and multiple reports

The Report Management solution included factory installed application server hardware and software, AS/400 installation, configuration and customized setup to reduce the amount of time needed for implementation and minimize compatibility issues.

Avenir Systems' solution not only met all of the City of Healdsburg main requirements, there were additional features that provided immediate cost savings as well as additional enhancements. The Report Management system is now an integral part of City of Healdsburg IT infrastructure.

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