Monday, July 6, 2015

Idaho Falls contracts with Canadian company for financial management, billing

The city of Idaho Falls has contracted with the Canadian company Cayenta to upgrade its antiquated financial management and utility billing software.

The cost of the project, to be implemented over two years, has been estimated at $3 million. Over the past two years, city leaders have set aside money and studied potential vendors, looking for a system that will give citizens more billing and payment options and a more efficient system for administering payroll and work orders.

Based in Barnaby, British Columbia, Cayenta is a division of N. Harris Computer Corp. that has contracts with utilities and communities throughout North America.

Idaho Falls first started using computers in its billing in 1965, and has been relying on a system that was put in place when Jimmy Carter was still president. An update was long overdue.

The project with Cayenne involves software licensing, implementation services, travel expenses for company representatives, servers, network equipment and other material.

“We are excited about implementing this new, robust system that will replace our 35-year-old-plus, outdated system with an integrated solution,” said Idaho Falls City Controller Thane Sparks, who is managing the project from the city’s end.

“When the software conversion is completed, it will allow city personnel to do their jobs more efficiently and provide better, more expedited service to the citizens of Idaho Falls,” he said. “For example, service personnel will be equipped with mobile devices so they will no longer find it necessary to come into the office to pick up work orders. Real-time work orders will be sent directly to their devices, allowing them more time to be out in the field working.”

The project will be completed in two 15-month phases. The first phase will update utility billing and customer information system and integrate existing GIS data. The second will update the financial management system, payroll, work, asset and mobile management.

Idaho Falls services an area of 22 square miles with an estimated population of more than 58,000 and more than 26,000 Idaho Falls Power accounts. On the payroll end, the city employs between 625 to 1,100 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees, depending on the time of year.