County will update computer software
By Shellie Berg
By Shellie Berg
On Dec. 14, the Winnebago County Board passed a resolution for new computer software and equipment because its lease ran out that week.
The county wants new governmental software and new Internet software to display several departments records.
The Unisys mainframe system, which was installed in 1980, has been updated from time to time. But a recent study signified the county should use a different approach.
In 1998 there was a community task force assembled by Chairman [Kris] Cohn and a number of people in the data-processing world, said Rick Pollack, chairman of the Operations Committee, which conversed about the resolution prior to the board meeting.
The county hired Entre Computer Systems, BDO Seidman and Unisys Host Computer Systems. They indicated the county should analyze software packages developed for governmental entities with the size and scope of Winnebago County.
They also suggested that the county move away from the system written completely from scratch. The computer language is mapper language, Pollack noted, adding that the county hasnt been able to purchase software from other companies because the language is its own. Therefore, the county wants to look at more standardized systems.
Pollack stated the county will be able to look at software on the free market and have competitive bids for the best dollar for this county.
At the Operations Committee meeting before the board meeting, a debate arose about whether the system should be upgraded over a three-year period or a five-year period. The five-year period would cost $150,000 more per year, according to Pollack.
Yet, staff in the data processing department werent sure they could install it and transfer files in that time. Pollack remarked that he couldnt tell for certain which time period would be the safest. I dont have a crystal ball, Pollack said. I dont know.
But he advised fellow committee members it would be important to pass the resolution, whether it be for three years or five years. Clearly, its better than not doing anything, he said. I think its prudent.
Pollack said the county board chose the three-year period because members believe the countys staff can complete the job in that time. I have confidence that our staff can carry this out, he stated.
Pollack said the county would like to take the saved money and apply it toward packaged systems.