A land of beauty, recreation and natural riches – from the waters of the Delta to the vines of the wine, San Joaquin County has it all. San Joaquin County boasts seven cities (approximately 921,600 total acres) and some of the finest opportunities in the state for boating, fishing, camping, history-gathering, or just plain fun in the sun.
Each city, as well as the unincorporated County areas, offers a unique opportunity to enjoy natural California beauty and nature, or music, arts and culture. Whatever your interest, it can most likely be found in San Joaquin County.
San Joaquin County (SJC) is the 15th largest county in California and the nation’s eighth leading producer of agricultural products. Covering 1,400 square miles, its population is nearly 600,000 people. To better serve its employees, reduce costs, and improve operational efficiencies, SJC partnered with Delegata to leverage web-based technologies that provide an effective Government-to-Employee (G2E) platform and bring additional information and efficiency to support County employees.
With more than 7,000 employees across 30 departments using a variety of computer systems, San Joaquin County had a major integration challenge. Technology needed to play a key role in supporting the delivery of administrative services through easy access to internal business and employee services. Solutions needed to integrate new technologies with previous legacy investments and processes to effectively move SJC toward its eGovernment vision.
SJC partnered with Delegata to establish an eGovernment infrastructure capable of quickly and efficiently deploying applications and data throughout the organization. Delegata combined its knowledge of government services and technology, employing Oracle’s newly released 9iAS Portal, to create SJC’s innovative Intranet portal. The solution required working closely with Oracle to refine and maximize the portal’s ability to meet the County’s needs. Leveraging off-the-shelf capabilities with existing SJC systems and data, Delegata combined our strong information architecture, systems integration and quality assurance expertise to deliver an integrated, sustainable solution.
With the Intranet portal project, SJC made noticeable strides toward full eGovernment implementation with the ability to quickly integrate and distribute applications as needed. Overall collaboration levels were improved, providing employees with quick access to news and business information. The Oracle 9iAS platform also supports improved information management and library capabilities and addresses archive issues. Additionally, the portal provides a unified place for County employees to access information, equipping them with an effective access point for enterprise-wide operations knowledge.
CalPERS, the largest public retirement system in the nation, provides retirement and health benefits to more than 1.6 million members and 3,000 employers. To better serve its members, reduce costs, and improve operational efficiencies, CalPERS partnered with Delegata and developed an Internet-based application for partner communications. The Automated Communication Exchange System (ACES) portal was developed to provide the people, process and technology links for CalPERS’ new G2G/G2B platform. Featuring online data entry forms, file transfers, inquiry, and billing capabilities for critical operations, ACES effectively meets the needs of CalPERS and its employer partners.
CalPERS provides more than 1,800 unique benefits affecting its employers, providers, and members. They wanted to enhance the processes that supported their business, making them more scalable to support a larger number of employer partners without significantly increasing staff or costs. CalPERS recognized that their existing processes could be tightly integrated – reducing errors and time consumption. In short, they needed a robust, cost-effective, scalable tool to support a significant increase in health insurance benefits and speed-up information flow.
Delegata built ACES to seamlessly connect with CalPERS’ existing legacy systems while utilizing Oracle’s new 9iAS Model View Controller (MVC) framework. We developed an e-service strategic vision, defined roles and responsibilities, modified existing processes, and defined new processes while establishing a new technology infrastructure. Not only did Delegata provide project management, analysis, development, and quality assurance assistance, we also ensured that CalPERS’ staff members fully understood how to implement and maintain the solution via a thorough knowledge transfer process.
CalPERS employers and provider partners now use the Internet to quickly and easily process health, membership, and payroll transactions. Employing Delegata’s pragmatic approach, CalPERS achieved substantial benefits, including:
The Attorney General also assists district attorneys, local law enforcement, and federal and international criminal justice agencies in the administration of justice. To support California’s law enforcement community, the Attorney General coordinates statewide narcotics enforcement efforts, participates in criminal investigations and provides forensic science services, identification and information services and telecommunication support.
In addition, the Attorney General establishes and operates projects and programs to protect Californians from fraudulent, unfair, and illegal activities that victimize consumers or threaten public safety. The Attorney General also enforces laws that safeguard the environment and natural resources.
Under the state Constitution, the Attorney General is elected to a four-year term in the same statewide election as the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Controller, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction and Insurance Commissioner. In 1990, voters imposed a two-term limit on these statewide offices.
Amongst many other public safety responsibilities, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) is tasked with the oversight of firearms purchases and eligibility clearance processing. To enforce laws that prohibit certain persons from possessing firearms, Senate Bill (SB) 950 mandated that DOJ establish a Prohibited Armed Persons File. DOJ partnered with Delegata to develop the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) making California the nation’s first state to build an automated system for tracking handgun and assault weapon owners who pose a threat to public safety.
APPS is a database of persons who have been, or will become, prohibited from possessing a firearm subsequent to the legal acquisition or registration of a firearm or an assault weapon. Authorized law enforcement agencies will have inquiry access into APPS to determine the prohibition status of a person of interest.
DOJ will populate APPS with all handgun and assault weapon owners across the state and match them up against criminal history records to determine who might fall into a prohibited status. Automatic notifications from State and Federal criminal history systems will be received daily to determine if there is a match for a current California gun owner. When a match is found, the system automatically raises a flag to Firearms Division staff which triggers an investigation into the person’s status.
Utilizing the Diamond methodology and a team-based commitment to finish the project on time and on budget, DOJ and Delegata completed the development and implementation of the new system in fewer than 7 months. Now agencies committed to public safety will have an automated tool to increase efficiency and accuracy as well as enhance collaboration and cross-departmental communication. DOJ and Delegata established a foundation for collaboration within internal departments and across external organizations by utilizing data from internal DOJ databases as well as from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI.) DOJ and Delegata were honored to win the “Best Solutions Award” for APPS at the Government Technology Conference (GTC) West 2006.
Complex value chains and business models emerge from modern business as technology continues to converge with business. In many scenarios, historical implementations constrain the business through a lack of data availability, inability of technology to adapt to changes in business needs quickly, or failure to fully understand and meet the needs of business partners. Those who implement levels of integration often fail to empower the business as needed, lacking vision compatible with needs. The lack of discipline surrounding business enablement, and not just technology implementation, often leads to constraints rather than desired business capability.
Interfaces tie partners together with the intention to collaborate for effectiveness. When business integration does not accommodate required business flexibility and agility, the desired results cannot be achieved. It is important to define the business architecture from the relationships and required performance through to technology to ensure current and future interfaces can accommodate the most critical needs. With a focus on quality attributes like security, agility and other similar factors, the right solution can support both business and technology goals.
More and more business relationships are built, enjoyed and terminated based on the ability to integrate business models successfully. From initial relationship building and contract initiation through detailed process and application integration the key facet of integration becomes sharing the right information at the right time to serve very specific needs. Service Oriented Architecture introduces new opportunities and challenges that can heighten the importance of really understanding what two or more parties need as an integrated solution for the types of activity they need to perform operationally, tactically and strategically. Business changes comparable to mergers, acquisitions or changing strategic direction could be cause for significantly different and complex integration among value chain participants. Still, the business needs have to drive the requirements for integration. These need to be prioritized and the full lifecycle of interaction for critical relationships needs to be modeled to be sure that technology can support it. Integration strategy needs to include ways to plan for likely future changes to ensure that methods selected for integration do not constrain the enterprise if the potential for change is reasonably high.
Application of this solution has resulted in broader implementation of business relationships rather than technical interfaces that limit business potential. Through application of improved lead-time planning the value chain participants are all better prepared to support an integration strategy. When data needs are understood in context of the business, the options for satisfying needs become much more evident and simple. By avoiding technology developed in silos, the business is better positioned to interact with partners in the diverse ways required to support the business model. Business effectiveness increases and cost of integration is significantly reduced.
Data silos have made integration among business partners a nightmare. Full integration between many systems has become too costly and is rarely achievable. Commonly, implementation sets integration at technology layers not synchronized with what the business is trying to do. If not appropriately coordinated, interface partners often become the bottleneck for required exchanges. Events, data meaning and timing introduce significant barriers among partners except in exceptional cases where industry standards have broken through. Since data exchange is politically sensitive and carries liability, there is still significant momentum to avoid integration. Even once completed, business integrity can be interrupted by partner system reliability. There is ample room to improve on these challenges.
Integration is a business commitment that requires architectural forethought. By identifying the scope of problems and creating categories of solutions, many potential problems can be resolved with a few key solutions. A product or tool is never the answer. Each integration scenario needs to be fully understood for its immediate and downstream impact to allow for appropriate solutions to be defined in support of the business.
Businesses are inextricably tied to one another to effectively operate in every industry sector. Since every business is constantly changing there will be many opportunities to change systems in ways that impact how integration will be managed with partners, as well as opportunities where business agreements will change what the systems need to accommodate. Each integration initiative can continue to be a unique situation that has its challenges with the level of agreement for the change as well as the pace possible by the integrating partners. When standard patterns are introduced that cover the landscape of options, there is normally far more early alignment on what the possibilities are, as well as what it will take to get to the point where the change is possible to be implemented. It is not possible to plan a perfect change when multiple parties are involved. There needs to be accommodation for different pace as well as for the ability to achieve certain levels of technology sophistication in a multi-partner environment. None of these problems is insurmountable; the problem is generated arbitrarily by enforcing changes that are not reasonable. Plan for realistic integration that serves the mutual benefit of partners to help achieve desired outcomes.
Using this solution, clients have achieved benefits for effectiveness as well as efficiency. Business relationships improve through appropriate understanding for interface fulfillment. Relationships improve significantly based on alignment of technology with business needs. Security improves and protection of data is enhanced, improving the outlook or risk due to potential liability. Data is more available for business decisions, and integration costs begin to stabilize. Information is much more available to support architecture direction and alignment. System impacts on both sides of interfaces operate more consistently and are fully compliant with standards, laws and specifications. Extended integration is more supportable, creating greater opportunity for the organization.
Organizations often cannot keep pace with the level of resources manpower-heavy services require. Additionally, waiting lines for services is very discouraging for customers, and data captured manually within legacy systems generally has poor quality. Often, transactions cannot be completed in one event, causing waiting lines to be experienced multiple times. Costs for service delivery often begin to deny the ability to offer new services. Furthermore, businesses and individuals do not have access to see or correct errors. While paper processes are cumbersome and time consuming, the same amount of time can be placed in the hands of those who want the information to be correct.
The most important practice in delivering enterprise service in recent years is to ensure that those who have the greatest interest in obtaining the service become responsible for maintaining their data related to that service. This simple move toward self-service significantly improves data and releases any service organization from performing clerical work that is time-consuming and error-prone. Self-service calls for more automation of process and use of technologies that may need creative application to make them available to all those who need service. Automated workflow tends to keep actions moving and queued appropriately to speed service and reduce cost.
Companies continue to be challenged with higher demands for service and capability where systems continue to age, making enhancements difficult, expensive and less fulfilling. While not all those served have access to the Internet, being able to provide services to those who have access helps make more resources available to other channels. This solution will demonstrate how to reverse the trends where organizations cannot keep pace with the level of services required, where poor data within legacy systems lowers quality of service, where waiting lines for services are discouraging, where cumbersome paper processes frustrate customers, where transactions not completing in one event cause repeated waste, where costs for service delivery deny the ability to offer new services, and where businesses as well as individuals lack access to correct errors in their own data. By finding ways to leverage legacy investments and move new systems into solutions that provide greater flexibility and service levels, organizations can gradually shed the image of bureaucratic stalemate, replacing it with responsive access and results.
This solution commonly results in significant benefits. Service wait-time significantly lowers, improving image and reputation. Customers are more satisfied with services received; errors are reduced and provide for a higher level of warranted service. Cost of service is significantly lowered; process and paperwork time consumption is reduced significantly; and data entry has many fewer data errors since the service is done by individuals themselves. Service levels also improve and better support the number of required customers. Service is available through more than a single channel. As work is automated and data quality improves, service speed and accuracy increase and customer satisfaction rises. The investment that people make in their organizations through self-service has proven to be well worth the effort.
The typical enterprise suffers worse today than ten years ago from an inability to leverage its data. Often, customers cannot rapidly get answers to questions, data is not available to help make decisions or plan/budget for performance, data analysis capabilities are not available or accurate, and reporting is inconsistent and takes too long. In many organizations concurrent transactions are not possible across multiple legacy or desktop systems, and the dynamics of change make it almost impossible to provide information in support of role requirements for new or changing processes. Data privacy, external sharing of data, and service to internal and external customers of data become frustrating issues.
Once again, it is important to place data as a strategic asset within an Enterprise. From any current situation it is possible to establish an Enterprise-Level data system strategy to incrementally build a solution while avoiding common delays and funding issues. Be sure to incorporate resolution of data issues at the semantic level in addition to solving the movement of data through integration. Establish a strategy for developing applications from data models that are dependent upon the enterprise semantics. Also, provide for comprehensive analysis capability with tools usable by business people, not just technology people. Finally, provide capabilities to leverage installed investments with rapid, incremental proof of delivery.
Organizations have a rich history of performance data trapped in legacy applications. Silos make that data difficult to leverage across the spectrum of business performance. Reducing silos and ensuring that the data can be used effectively for higher level purposes is critical to achieving organization goals and objectives. Decision Support and consistency of information need the ability to leverage source data with fidelity in semantic meaning as well as in data format. Solutions focused here can derive value from a number of sources: using data regardless of source, reducing delays for information at the point of need, optimizing availability of data or information, providing richer search to find pertinent data or information, protecting data, and customizing information views. Take steps now to re-establish data to the level of prominence it needs to release the capabilities of the enterprise.
Benefits of implementing this solution are broad and comprehensive. Gaining control of the data requirements and uses within an enterprise releases great energy to perform to business needs. Gradually, operating costs can be reduced in terms of time and people to resolve information needs. Requests for service can be completed much more accurately and quickly over time. Reporting regains momentum due to effective and efficient results. The enterprise image can be greatly enhanced through control and security of its information. Productivity grows incrementally creating greater energy and ability toward achieving required business results. Through a sound strategy and taking a steady course, data can, once again, establish itself as a valuable asset for the business.
Where there is a perceived responsibility for sustaining some level of relationship for communications, often the level of responsibility is not shared sufficiently for multiple parties to establish the required mechanisms to meet the implied “contract.” Constituents are frequently not satisfied with the responsiveness of those trying to serve generic needs without explicit contracts. In these cases even leaders cannot verify performance to requests for service, since there might be no established means to offer the service or to track requests. Broad topical problems may also have many interested parties that are not known at the time of an incident (natural disaster, for instance), yet there may still be an expectation for service in these situations. Without a system, documents are lost, communications are ineffective, priorities are not established, and materials may never be sufficient to meet unpredictable demands.
Communication is essential to establishing and maintaining a relationship that respects the rights of all parties. First determine what level of contact and responsibility exists in relationships, and then determine the means to support it. As implied contracts are understood, document them as services in a catalog and determine appropriate service levels. Automate processes for quality and speed improvements where possible. Use proven models of interaction to facilitate achievement to service levels required. Establish process fundamentals for lasting program success; and determine measures to predict outcomes for services that have priority. Maintain performance visibility to enhance effectiveness, particularly where topics or responsibilities have high political or financial impact. Finally, integrate performance in simple ways to facilitate service delivery.
When inbound communications can come from many sources and each communication needs to receive a response to ensure constituent support is maintained, there needs to be a way to ensure that each communication is tracked until responded to. If these responses need to be approved for any reason, the workflow needs to be controlled to a known state of being sent. When some communications must take priority, criteria for prioritization must be managed and used to direct execution. These situations are related to a business model where an organization’s existence is based on their ability to build and maintain a constituent community that believes in their cause. Then, communication with these constituents becomes critical to keep them informed and to respond to their concerns.
This solution becomes the mechanism to build more consistent relationships through communication with those who have expectations of each other. Constituents gain faith and maintain their allegiance based on the understanding and caring shown through appropriate responsiveness to issues, concerns and other topics. Organizations can demonstrate service levels and have records to facilitate improvement where appropriate for priority segments served. Constituent service results indicate higher trust and greater fidelity based on reductions in wait time and appropriateness of responses. The level of automation increases service volume significantly and helps to track topics that can benefit from mass information releases. Priority queues protect the most significant issues or individuals with appropriate service that cannot be ignored. In the end, relationships are managed with suitable communication and respect.