Tuscaloosa County wanted a solution for their Automatic Vehicle Locator application that would work both short-term and for the long run, while being cost-effective and turned to Netrix for advice and support.
The Tuscaloosa County Information Technology Department’s mission is to continuously improve the citizen experience while reducing costs. Serving over 227,000 residents and dozens of individual departments, the Tuscaloosa County Information Technology Department supports the functions of the county government, including application development.
Their Automatic Vehicle Locator, a particularly vital application for the sheriff’s office and other departments in Tuscaloosa County. They needed an extensive overhaul, and the contractor who built the original version was retiring.
The Automatic Vehicle Locator application is an always-on application that allows emergency personnel (both in the field and administrators) to instantly see where a specific vehicle is in real time and pulls up all relevant information needed at the same time. Several important upgrades were needed, and newer capabilities were being planned and discussed.
The Tuscaloosa County Information Technology Department faced several immediate challenges:
- The loss of institutional knowledge: They understood that original developer’s retirement meant that his unique expertise would be lost. They understood that simply replacing the developer wasn’t a smart long-term solution.
- Planning and budget: From experience, they knew that application development projects often experience scope creep and cost overruns, due to dependencies and issues discovered after the fact, and a lack of precise project and budget parameters upfront.
- Ongoing support: Most IT directors understand that the folks that write the code aren’t always the right people to monitor, manage and update the application on a day-to-day basis. This was not an app that could afford downtime of any kind.
Tuscaloosa County wanted a solution that would work both short-term and for the long run, while being cost-effective and turned to Netrix for advice and support. Netrix had been working with Tuscaloosa County on dozens of projects for over eight years and established a strong working relationship based on mutual trust. They listened carefully, asked the right questions, and returned with a solution to meet their unique immediate requirements and would accommodate their expanded capabilities down the road.
Netrix recommended that they take over both the application development and the day-to-day management and support of the Automatic Vehicle Locator. Their team created a proposal with defined budget, timeline and project parameters based on the new functionality the app required, but more importantly, researched and defined the exact support required, like regular database updates, that might have been overlooked.
The Netrix plan fully addressed Tuscaloosa County’s requirements, timeline and budget.
Moving application support to Netrix allowed Tuscaloosa County’s IT staff to concentrate on more pressing IT initiatives, and allowed their internal developers to focus on coding, rather than support.
The institional knowledge was transfered to the Netrix team, preventing loss. The application was kept secure and the county’s AVL processed maintained.
Netrix’s solution provided Tuscaloosa County with the peace of mind that their Automatic Vehicle Locator application was in safe hands, for both the application development and on-going management.
Another Successful Project
Tuscaloosa County understood that a retiring IT staffer posed a potentially dangerous situation with the loss of institutional knowledge of this application, and that replacing that individual with a contractor was not a good long-term solution.
Planning & Budgeting
Netrix first conducted extensive discovery, then provided a detailed and accurate application development and support proposal.
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