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New server paves way for new software
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Before Barton County officials could begin using the new commercial software the County Commission approved last week, a new server was needed to handle the upgrade. Monday morning, commissioners authorized spending up to $9,000 to make this happen.
 At its March 11 meeting, the commission approved the purchase of a software package from Computer Information Concepts Inc. of Greeley, Colo., for $218,595. CIC was also willing to include a new server in its bid, but county Information Technology Director John Debes believed he could find one for less than what CIC offered.
He did. The CIC server would have added $10,000 to its bid, more than the Dell unit Debes found.
“It is robust and will last a long time,” he said. Not only is it cheaper, it is four-times more powerful than the CIC offered.
Plus, “there’s room for growth,” Debes said. As is, it could last two to three years without expansion, but with the addition of new hard drives, the lifespan can be extended.
County Administrator Richard Boeckman said Debes spent hours working with CIC representatives on the project. The company was fine with Barton County looking elsewhere for the needed equipment.
Making this even more attractive was the fact that the Register of Deeds Office was also needed a new server. This machine will serve that need as well.
This all needs to happen soon rather than later, Debes said. CIC will begin pulling the last 10 years of data from the current county system in the near future so it can be translated.
The new server should arrive in less that two weeks. The conversion will begin shortly after that.
The new commercial software will handle payroll, accounts payable and taxes. The windows-based system replaces a home-grown one created by county personnel. It will be compatible with other programs used by the county, such as the new state-mandated program employed by the Appraisers Office.
 CIC officials said the overall cost includes the software, data translation, installation and training. There is also around-the-clock technical support. Starting in 2014, there is also an annual maintenance/enhancement fee of $41,000.
The county will have the additional benefits of being able to scan all related documents into a digital format and produce “real-time” reports, something it can’t do now.