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County expands new software system
Officials hope to see improved efficiency with upgrades
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It’s been about a year since Barton County offices switched to a unified bookkeeping software. Although the conversion was at times rocky, officials are now comfortable with the new system and ready to expand it.
The Barton County Commission Monday morning approved switching additional services to Computer Information Concepts software. These include off-site digital backup of county records, digital image conversion and document indexing, and employee time keeping.
“It makes sense to consolidate these systems,” County Administrator Richard Boeckman said. Using more services from Greeley, Colo.,-based CIC will help make business operations even more efficient.
The remote backup/disaster recovery will cost the county $8,120 in 2014 and $5,350 for data storage and support in subsequent years. The files would be saved nightly to the CIC server farm in Greeley.
This is necessary for continuity, said county Finance Officer Jessica Wilson. “If the County should experience a disaster, we would only need a computer and the internet to continue county computer operations.”
Currently, data is backed up to a local server and files are physically taken off-site each night by a county employee. This will continue to provide an extra measure of protection.
There are already some county records, such as deeds, that are saved off-site.
The digital conversion/keyword indexing and retrieval comes with a $7,245 pricetag for 2014 and $975 (support and enhancements) in subsequent years. This involves taking documents that are scanned in as images and converts them to documents that can be searched by the word.
As part of the agreement, previously scanned digital records stored on the county’s server will be converted to the searchable format. And, from here on out, all records will be accessible.
Cancelling the current digital scanning maintenance contracts will save approximately $13,164.96 a year, Wilson said. So, the county will begin saving $12,189.96 annually.
It will also avoid repair, upgrade and replacement costs for the server. In addition, the new system will be more user friendly and save time for employees looking up information.
 The Time Clock Plus will replace the current Time Centre system, which has not worked well and caused problems with employees clocking in and out, Boeckman said. “Time Clock Plus is a superior product.”
Time Centre has been in place since the original CIC conversion last year. Although not created by the company, it was part of the CIC package.
Pam Meadows, a CIC representative was at the Monday meeting and said the developer of Time Centre no longer supports it, making a change necessary. She apologized for the problems and said they are selling the replacement to the county at the company’s cost, and are only expecting half the payment up front and the balance upon the county’s satisfaction.
The new time-keeping software will cost the county $14,155 in 2014 and the annual support fee of $2,715 thereafter. The cost to renew the Time Centre annual lease is $5,270 each year, so (factoring in the initial $14,155 cost) after five years the county will start saving $2,555 a year.
“They have worked very well with us,” Wilson said of CIC.