3 Resources for Local Governments
September 08, 2020 by
The Beatles released the song “With a Little Help from My Friends” on their 1967 album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Today, more than 50 years later, this idea of getting by with some help still rings true – especially in local government.
In the midst of a pandemic, municipalities are working diligently to figure out how to keep government running as safely and efficiently as possible. Here at Tyler Technologies, we’ve seen lots of innovation at the local level – from a village thatr encouraged citizen engagement online to a city displaying coronavirus-related expenses to citizens through transparency dashboards.
And while every implementation is different, it is important for municipalities to learn from their own experience, and that of their peers. An exemplary example of getting by with help from friends is the city of Auburn, Maine.
Serving a population of a little more than 23,000 with a $90 million budget split 50/50 with the local school system, Auburn has been using an integrated ERP solution from Tyler for more than ten years to increase performance and efficiency in its financial and human capital management processes.
While the solution helped the city to make significant progress in streamlining its operations, Auburn had not managed to adopt the full set of features available. Jill Cunningham, the city’s database staff support manager, told us that the year 2017 was a turning point for the city. At that time, Auburn decided to advance citywide usage of its ERP solution.
Learn how the city of Auburn used Tyler’s PACE Program to improve its use of an integrated ERP solution.
Fast-forward to early 2020, when Auburn was forced to temporarily close the doors of City Hall due to COVID-19. Said Cunningham, “It was only then that we fully realized the impact of our efforts to-date. We knew we had taken the necessary steps to be successful despite the many obstacles that other local governments were facing.”
Here are the three things Cunningham has credited with helping the city of Auburn get by during these times of uncertainty:
The city of Auburn invested in Tyler’s Planned Annual Continuing Education (PACE) program. The program is designed to support Tyler's ERP clients who are committed to adopting the new features and technical enhancements our products deliver each year. It offers ongoing education to train staff on new features and functions as they become available – and ensures that your Tyler solution continues to meet the evolving needs of your organization.
The city of Auburn opted for Tyler’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployment. The subscription-based, hosted solution includes support, maintenance, and upgrades of Tyler applications, platforms, and infrastructure.
With the SaaS model, many administration tasks have been offloaded to Tyler support staff, allowing the city of Auburn to focus on other mission-critical initiatives. For example, when the city shut down, Cunningham and her team were able to get employees set up with online access in two days without missing a beat – enabling them to continue processing invoices, purchase orders, and more.
The city of Auburn looked to Tyler Community, Tyler’s user-driven online support network, for guidance. Tyler Community enables Tyler clients to share knowledge about Tyler products, provide collaborative learning opportunities, and offer product support via blogs, forums, libraries, and wikis.
Cunningham was able to quickly connect with her municipal peers to collaboratively figure out how to manage in a post-COVID-19 reality – from setting up pay types and tracking codes, to figuring out accruals. Said Cunningham, “It was really helpful, especially while we were in the thick of figuring out our new reality, to not have to recreate the wheel.”
Today, the city of Auburn has opened its doors to citizens again – using proper safety precautions. And its financial and human capital management operations are more efficient than ever, putting it in a great position to consider new ways to help its citizens and the community as the opportunity arises.