New techology for Alberni has $630,000 price tag

The city of Alberni is shelling anteing up more than half a million dollars for new hardware and software.

Expensive support, no software updates and centralizing data storage are behind council’s move to buy new financial software and a new storage server.

According to a report by city information services manager Jeff Pelech, the software plus implementation will cost $522,000 and the server will cost $104,000.

The initiative is being underwritten with funds from the city’s Equipment replacement reserve fund.

The city will also be required to pay $30,000 in support fees, which is down from the $40,000 that it pays the existing vendor now.

The city’s financial systems software is in dire need of replacement, Pelech said.

The old system doesn’t interface well with vital municipal applications.

The current vendor’s client list has shrunk from 200 to two. And software update costs, such as one made to accommodate the HST, are onerous.

The new system is a ‘one vendor one phone call’ solution, is Microsoft based, and will get 10 years of supports and updates. “I can guarantee it as long as Microsoft can guarantee it,” Pelech said.

“They (Microsoft) might own the world in 10 years.”

The price is steep, Coun. Jack McLeman said.

It is, Pelech replied, but it’s the going rate for this type of software and licensing, technical services and support fees.

The project can also be underwritten without compromising future city technological replacements.

Coun. Cindy Solda asked what the new software actually does, and what other communities use it.

Pelech replied that the new system does everything the old system did – financials, payroll, payables, receivables – but does so more efficiently.

The new system is also the standard of other municipalities such as Parksville, Nanaimo, Courtenay and Comox, Pelech said.

The city’s computer servers are old, overtaxed and need to be replaced, he added, and now would be the best time—before the software is purchased.

The single server council has agreed to buy replaces four existing ones that are spread across the city and are backed up with tape.

The newest of them is three years old and the oldest is 10 years old, Pelech said. The existing servers are scheduled for upgrades every five years.

The new server is specifically designed to hold large amounts of data, centralizes its storage with enhanced security and allows for future expansion, he added.

Solda and Robert Cole asked if the project could wait until the budget process next year.

Pelech replied that everything has a lifetime to it and the old servers are reaching theirs.

Also, that “…servers run 24 hours a day, generate heat and parts fail,” he added.

And as well, that the city agreed to buy the new software, and that it doesn’t make sense to install it on the old server then again on the new one after the budget process.

Cole asked if buying the new server now would save the city time and money. Pelech replied that buying it now then installing the new software is the most efficient use of city time.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Drag races could return to Stamp Ave in Port Alberni in 2019

Thunder in the Valley might not return to the Alberni Valley Regional Airport this year

Climbers scale Canada’s tallest waterfall in the Alberni Valley

Ice climbers Chris Jensen, Will Gadd and Peter Hoang made history

Port Alberni poet shortlisted for B.C. award

Port Alberni’s Derek Hanebury is a former instructor at North Island College

Indigenous youth connect with their culture at Gathering Our Voices workshops

Secluded Wellness Centre in Port Alberni hosted traditional wildcraft sessions

Illegal cannabis club in Port Alberni ticketed again

RCMP seize cannabis, issue fine for second time in five months

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Inspirational Vancouver Island youngster dies after battle with brain cancer

Kaiden Finley ‘was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

Most Read