The City of Corpus Christi, located on the southern coast of Texas, has a population of approximately 316,863 people. Dedicated to delivering responsive services addressing the diverse needs of the community through fiscal discipline, continuous improvement, straight-forward communication, wise stewardship of resources, and excellent customer service, the city ensures efficient and conveniently accessible information and business services for citizens, businesses, government, and visitors through advanced technology and innovation.
The city’s MIS (Municipal Information Systems) department supports all of the systems in use by their e-gov department. E-gov provides business services for the citizens, including payment applications, appointment scheduling, and backend applications running on various platforms.
Filling the Knowledge Gap
The city was using a third-party monitoring solution that was labor-intensive, difficult to customize, and did not support multi-platform technologies. Then, the MIS department suddenly lost a long-time employee with extensive IBM i knowledge and experience with several key software applications.
The MIS department was under tremendous pressure to quickly hire a new employee. However, the skills required were unique and they were unable to find an appropriate replacement. They looked to their partner SunGard Public Sector, a company that provides software and consulting solutions designed to meet the specialized needs of city and county governments, public safety and justice agencies, school districts, and state and central government, to provide system administration support.
“We’ve worked with SunGard Public Sector for several years, said Debby Studer, IT Application Coordinator for the City of Corpus Christi. “They have a strong reputation with municipal governments, and the software applications they provided us in the past were top-notch. We trust them implicitly and knew that they would be the ideal partner to help us solve our staffing crisis, so we quickly brought them on board to manage our system.”
The city needed a systems management software solution to:
- Support front and backend applications
- Maintain the already high levels of technical and customer services offered
- Automate hardware and software management
- Optimize the use of scarce technical resources
The Right Recommendation
SunGard Public Sector recommended the city purchase its Remote Administration offering, which included Halcyon’s Network Server Suite, a fully integrated solution that manages all network servers and devices from a single console, and Halcyon’s Operations Center Suite for IBM i centralized monitoring and management to streamline their department.
“The system we were using was not flexible and wasn’t able to handle all of our requests,” added Mike Hernandez, Functional Analyst for the City of Corpus Christi. “We were receiving error messages in the middle of the night, which would require our technicians to troubleshoot system problems from remote locations. We desperately needed a solution that would proactively manage our applications.”
Up and Running
The city was up and running with the monitoring solutions in just a couple of days and technical staff was on-site to answer questions and help the city customize the solution to fit its needs.
“Customization is still an ongoing project for us because we continue to be surprised by the capability of the product," Studer said. “As we continue to use the technology, we find additional ways that we can customize it to make our department run more efficiently.”
Halcyon’s solutions now alert technicians to unexpected problems through email, SMS, telephone, and pagers, and many alerts are dealt with automatically. Business critical performance alerts are now forwarded to SunGard Public Sector network operations center 24/7.
“We are very impressed with Halcyon’s features and functionality as well as the knowledge of their staff. The team of SunGard Public Sector and Halcyon are very responsive to our needs and they are quick to turn around any special requests. Since we are working with municipal-centric applications, it is very important that we are able to provide our citizens with high quality solutions 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Hernandez added.
“Since using the Halcyon technology, we have been able to eliminate two archiving products and we have also decreased the number of calls to our help desk,” said Hernandez. “In addition, we are considering implementing the monitoring solutions for use with other applications within our department.”
“We are very happy with our system management solutions,” added Studer. “We no longer have to worry about our systems failing and our employees are now able to focus on other projects, ultimately enabling us to be more productive.”