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

Alberni vet heading to Africa with Veterinarians Without Borders

Dr. Roberta Templeton and her vet husband will help dairy farmers in Uganda

B.C.-born hockey official talks to IIHF about switching European rule book to NHL rules

Rob Shick will represent NHL at 4th World Hockey Forum in Russia

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Helping with Christmas bird count is ‘citizen science’

Port Alberni’s bird count will be Dec. 28, 2019; volunteers are needed

BUDGET 2020: Port Alberni Fire Department needs new equipment

Police services ask for funding for community policing office

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read