"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Saturday, 14 July 2012

New Information

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Conversation Continues":

I am struggling valiantly to keep up with all this verbiage about IT technology. What does seem increasingly obvious is that everyone agrees that the system is not working, may never work and might not be the right product. Can we leave it at that and try to clean up the resultant waste so as to stop spending more money stupidly? That was, after all, a large part of why the current Council was elected. Otherwise we are simply replacing excessive legal bills with over-the-top tech bills.

Many of us are struggling with IT language. But needs must and I commend you.
While I am not sufficiently conversant with the lingo myself,I can help you understand that  what you read here is my perspective.
It does not reflect opinions  of other members of Council.
Mine was the only vote against purchasing the Machimo program.
Here be the result of my efforts to determine facts about the success or otherwise of the program elsewhere, And my knowledge of the town's daily operations.
Yesterday I spoke to the  manager of the program at the Region. He was  positive and helpful.
While acknowledging  implementation has taken a long time, it is beginning to show benefits.The Province likes it. The annual audits
are well received.
Implementation has been underway since  2004. There has been an increase in staff  to assist in getting the information from the field into the computer.

"The initial implementation costs for Maximo was $800,000 which did not include consulting costs for business process development and improvement for work order and inventory management.
Initially when we implemented Maximo, annual licensing was $56,000. With the purchase of new modules and add ons, and almost double the staff licensed to use it now, we are at an annual licensing cost of approximately $100,000"

What I take from that is, initial cost of buying the software 
was not the end.
Additional consultant services, new modules and add-ons have been required for the system to work. 
Annual cost for licensing fees at the Region has gone from $56,000, to $100,000. More staff are using the system.
Considering  a higher  number of people in the field at the Region,our licensing fees will not be so high.
They will however be a new  annual operating cost in addition to the payroll for new  staff needed to make the system work.
The  Region's operation is not like ours Field operations at the Region are mainly in transportation.
The Region is responsible for supply of water and treatment of sewage. 
We  treat the water, distribute and market it. We collect sewage.
Infrastructure to do both is our responsibility.
We make contracts for garbage collection.
The Region signs  contracts for its disposal.
They sign three different contracts for bus service.
They don't participate in contract negotiations so it's unlikely  daily operation is their concern.
A software program functioning at the Region, after eight years requiring ongoing consultant service  and  adaptation with new modules and add-ons and a dissimilar field operations, is no more likely to be  functional in Aurora than it was in the beginning at the Region. 
That it is likely to be adaptable to our function,even after considerable additional  expenditures. is not realistic in my view. 
I am mindful of placing town staff in compromising situations.
I believe  the  person who recommended  purchase of Machimo for the Region also advised the purchase for Aurora.
I stress.The view put forward here is mine. It is not shared 
by any other member of Council
I believe it must be shared by some staff at the town hall who are involved in the process.
They are not likely to be asked for input. Nor would they be encouraged to offer.
They are under orders to provide no information requested  by a Councillor.
All information must first be vetted by the relevant Director. 
It's the times we live in.      



Anonymous said...

By comparison the Centre is a bargain.

And members of the community can actually visit and see things, touch things, listen to things and even do things,

A software program is inhuman, unfeeling, displays nothing educational to town residents, and sounds like, in Aurora's case, it will continue to cost significant outlays while possibly not performing as it was supposed to for years, if ever. And by then improved versions will have been created.

Technology is a marvellous thing but it is useless and expensive if it is poorly designed and not understandable by those who are to operate it.

In future Aurora Council should abstain from investments made in ignorance.

Anonymous said...

There is a problem when one individual boasts that he/she sees every piece of paper that passes through a building. It can cause a massive bottle-neck. Not to mention the difficulty when this almighty soul is ill, on vacation or - heave forbid- attending a secret meeting with the Center. Does Aurora need another Fiefdom ?

Anonymous said...

Sorry. I cannot see how a outfit can charge a service contract for a product unless it is up and running. Great business if someone is willing to pay, but not reasonable. We have a generator and pay to have it checked regularly so that it runs when needed. Simple enough. If you cannot show me how the thing works so that I can use it, you cannot charge me for having it sit useless.

Anonymous said...

The Center might be a bargain if it could be re-located into a building they could call their very own and make a decent living from the operation. Otherwise, dear 10:36 AM, you are comparing apples and onions as usual.

Anonymous said...

10:36 AM
The Center is not a bargain. It is a steal. Living in a building that costs you nothing and doing exactly what you want with it with no accountability. How like you, the pot, calling the soft-ware program a kettle!

Anonymous said...

Would this be the same well-paid staff that seem to be unable to deal with Aurora's birthday celebration? It shouldn't have been such a surprise. I guess we should lower our expectations if they cannot handle what is needed now - before the new soft-ware system kicks in. Silly me. I thought it was Council who called the shots.

Anonymous said...

Back to basics. This all began when evelyn asked about construction in her neighbourhood. The mayor said the new system would provide the answer if she asked the top guy. I assume she asked the question. Was it answered and, if not, what does the mayor have to say about it ? If the system answered the question, we are wasting time here. Cut all the tech stuff. Back to basics. Was the construction explained?

Anonymous said...

Yup, The Centre makes me feel so warm & fuzzy! That couple in the states took less than a week to handle an a
nasty divorce settlement. The Centre has been dragging things out since the beginning of the year because no one had to courage to play the termination clause. It's sad when Hollywood couples get it right and Aurora doesn't. So don't' tell me that the Centre is a bargain.....Bargain basement maybe.

Anonymous said...

A couple of these comments could have come from the jam lady. Fruit, vegetables and cookware!

The Centre occupies a building owned by the town and exists through agreements that expire at the end of next year. So let them expire and discontinue the charade of secret negotiating sessions - working groups.

The town should take over the operation and hire personnel to run it.

At present no councillors may sit on the Centre Board if they have voting privileges or they may find themselves in the same position as the former mayor, being charged with a conflict of interest under the provincial act of the same name.

Regarding computer systems, the region appears to have admitted failure. What is the score with the province? They have mandated the rules. Is its system functioning?

George said...

I am an freelance writer and found great interest in the Farmers Market Code of Conduct.
One tidbit I did not expect to uncover is a women on the Farmers executive books the Jazz Festival vendors,has sat on the Cultural Center Board, and booked the Farmers in that building at the same time.You be the judge if conflicting.

Anonymous said...

Of course there is a conflict. The same cast plays all the roles, gets top billing and manages to do very well for itself. Circles within circles. George, you might want to check out the names of those sitting on Provincial heritage groups and compare them to active members on Aurora's various ' Boards '. Have at it.

Anonymous said...

8:06 PM
You write the Party-Line for the Centre as uttered by Susan Walmer. ' Leave us alone until the deal expires because we will be back by then. ' She really wants to get that key to the Town Hall back ! And it is likely what will happen now. But it didn't have to be that way. There was a window of opportunity and three individuals on Council slammed it shut. Haven't viewed municipal politics in the same way since. Don't know how Evelyn stands it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Never a dull moment.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said on 15 July, 2012 3:39 PM...

How did a post about a municipal software package devolve into the usual bitching and moaning about "the Centre"?

What is particularly humourous is this instance of the constant and continuous carping is submitted to a post titled, "New Information".


If you let this topic stay here for a little longer, I am sure someone will post about how in the dead of night on a family-centric event, 3 families were presented with suits from the then mayor... Just like the cultural centre debate, it has nothing to do with software.

To be fair folks, we are not talking about installing the latest version of Microsoft Word. This is a mammoth undetaking. Unless you know what you are talking about, complaining about the timeline or costs makes you look uninformed.