Improving Control of Software Upgrades to Gain Flexibility
- Industry: County Government
- Location: Marin County, California
- Number of Employees: 3,000+
- Population: 260,831
- Tyler Client Since: 2014
- Tyler products/solution used: Enterprise ERP [powered by Munis®], Cashiering, Content Manager, Data & Insights [powered by Socrata™], Time & Attendance [powered by ExecuTime™]
Like many local governments, Marin County performed Tyler software upgrades via the traditional process of scheduling an upgrade with Tyler, which then executed the software upgrade.
This traditional process presented several challenges for Marin County:
- Upgrades were often scheduled months ahead. If an issue occurred in the interim period, the upgrade might need to be rescheduled, seriously disrupting timelines.
- Upgrades usually occurred during the workweek, meaning critical systems might not be available during the process, impacting county operations. In short, the county did not have as much control over the process as it desired.
“We like to be in control of our systems and data,” says Matthew Burton, Marin County IT manager–enterprise. “So we would like to be in charge of our upgrades and the timing and the testing.”
In response to its desire to improve control, Marin County turned to Tyler’s Deploy.
Deploy is a self-service deployment and upgrade tool that has allowed the county to install and upgrade its Tyler products on the county’s schedule, using one common platform. The intuitive features of Deploy have enabled Burton and his team to easily install cumulative updates of software enhancements and corrections with minimal impact on operations.
Burton was all in when he learned about Deploy.
“The minute Tyler said we could do it, I was on board,” he says. “We were pining for it, and the functionalities are there. So, we were like, ‘Let’s do it.’”
Burton’s previous experience with implementations and his prep work paid off.
“I knew the concept of downloading the patches and looking at the notes and analyzing what was going to change,” he says. “That has been already built into our process. So, it was a really easy transfer over to Deploy.”
Marin County’s switch to self-deployment has gone smoothly. “We sat down and upgraded the production environment,” says Burton. “It was really easy. We just said, ‘This is the weekend we’re going live.’ And it wasn’t that drastic of a change.” Burton also notes that Tyler was available if his team needed any help.
“We will occasionally get an error that we do have to reach out to Tyler for support on,” he says. “And the nice thing is they’ve been able to communicate right back.”
We can upgrade on our own timeline. I can find a weekend that works for me. We can test, and I can sit down and upgrade all of our subsequent test systems. Having that freedom, independence, and flexibility have been fantastic.
Marin County IT Manager–Enterprise
Thanks to Deploy, Marin County can now decide when to deploy and update on its own timeline.
Schedule flexibility has been the greatest impact, says Burton.
“In the past, an analyst has come to me at the 11th hour and said, ‘I just found something. We can’t deploy and put this in production,’” says Burton. “We’d need to cancel it and reschedule, which could be difficult. Now we just fix the problem and deploy in a couple of weeks instead of pushing things out several months. We can go when we’re ready.”
An added benefit is that Deploy makes it easier for Marin County to ascertain a solution’s version and to monitor status, which is particularly helpful because the county has a complex system. “Being able to see all of the pieces in the environment, which is something I didn’t have visibility into before, is very valuable,” says Burton. “I think it’s a big win that we have a complex environment we can easily manage with Deploy."
“Being able to update everything on my own and not having to make appointments is fabulous. We can upgrade on our own timeline. I can find a weekend that works for me. We can test, and I can sit down and upgrade all of our subsequent test systems. Having that freedom, independence, and flexibility have been fantastic.”