Queensland’s Hinchinbrook Shire Council in Australia is benefiting from TechnologyOne’s new digital transformation tool, CiA and its SaaS implementation CiA Live. As a result, HSC is now saving significant time and effort on its digital transformation as its transitions its back-office IT from the previous Ci platform to the Connected Intelligence Anywhere (CiA) platform.

Pretty much anything you might want to do, TechnologyOne has already done with another council,” said Brett Exelby, Director Corporate and Community Services.

It just makes commercial sense for us to leverage that industry knowledge. Migrating to CiA shows our staff that we’re serious about investing in bringing the organisation forward. It also allows us as a management team to focus on our mission, not managing IT infrastructure. When you’re running your own IT systems, you wear the risk if something goes wrong. Moving to SaaS means you’re instead buying a service.

HSC and TechnologyOne

HSC serves a regional North Queensland community of nearly 12,000 people, centred on the town of Ingham. Its remit covers some 2,810Km2, from Hinchinbrook Island on the coast to Mount Fox inland. It has more than 6,500 rateable properties. However, as a small council, HSC faces ongoing financial constraints and budget challenges.

In this context, HSC wanted to move to TechnologyOne’s CIA as a fourth-generation Software as a Service (SaaS) ERP solution. Its objectives were to:

  • become more efficient
  • save more money
  • bring about broader business transformations.

HSC was, however, concerned that implementing a new and improved tech system would cost time and money.

HSC has been a TechnologyOne customer since 2012. It has seen the benefits of exploiting TechnologyOne’s 30+ years of experience working with other local governments. Late in 2022, it sought TechnologyOne’s input about what to do.

TechnologyOne’s CiA

CiA is an evolution of the Connected Intelligence (Ci) product. Many of Australia’s largest corporations, government departments, universities and utility providers use it every day. Part of its significance is that it removes customers’ needs for direct server connectivity. Instead, they can harness SaaS and cloud-based software.

According to TechnologyOne, CiA is “the enemy of complexity“. When adopting CiA Live, customers no longer have to worry about processes for upgrades. TechnologyOne’s twice-a-year upgrade policy has adopters covered.

Architecturally, CiA Live is an enterprise resource planning platform. It gives users access to TechnologyOne’s entire suite of products via one cloud-based solution. This enables the CiA interface to provide a seamless experience accessible across any device, in any location at any time of the day. Furthermore, with its ability to integrate across key industries, it has support for some 300 modules with >10,000 capabilities.

Users can manage day-to-day tasks like accounting, procurement, project management, risk and compliance management and supply chain operations through this one interface.

CiA Live implementiation

After receiving the requested input, HSC opted to follow in the footsteps of fellow councils that had already upgraded to TechnologyOne’s CiA. It went one stage further: it decided to become the first Council to adopt the CiA Live service.

To do this it exploited TechnologyOne’s extensive knowledge and experience of the hundreds of such migrations it previously completed by using Migration Central. This claims to be a simple and efficient solution to upgrade an organisation’s business processes from TechnologyOne’s older Ci platform to the fourth-generation ERP platform, CiA. TechnologyOne purpose-built the tool to support and enable an organisation to self-navigate through a guided set of migration steps.

Steven Veltmeyer, Information Services Manager, Hinchinbrook Shire Council, said, “As a small, resource-constrained council, that made a lot of sense to us. CiA Live helped make the decision to move to SaaS easier for us by helping to make the process more efficient on our side. The step-by-step approach meant we learned from the experience of others”.

Enterprise Times: what does this mean

Having completed the transition from Ci to CiA, HSC is seeing the difference. According to Veltmeyer: “TechnologyOne’s CiA platform is what we (now) use to interact with customers, do rates notices, finance, all asset management and payroll, and a whole bunch of other stuff. It’s … the heartbeat of what the Council does. The beauty of CiA is you can use it anywhere. You can use it in any browser. Our people can go out and use their field app or use it on their phones.”

In effect, CiA Live is a tool for HSC which reduces barriers that might inhibit smaller organisations from migrating to a modern SaaS platform. Large-scale ERP implementations are often complex. Transitioning and upgrading can be even more so. As HSC is proving, CiA Live permits its staff to access information from anywhere. When covering an area as large and diverse as 2,810Km2, this matters.

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Charles Brett is a business/technology analyst consultant. His specialist areas include enterprise software, blockchain and enterprise mobility tech (including metering). Specific industry sectors of interest and experience include finance (especially systems supporting wholesale finance), telecommunications and energy. Charles has spoken at multiple industry conferences, has written for numerous publications (including the London Times and the Financial Times). He was the General Chair of the bi-annual High Performance Systems Workshop, 2005. In addition he is an author and novelist. His Technology books include: Making the Most of Mobility Vol I (eBook, 2012); Explaining iTunes, iPhones and iPads for Windows Users (eBook, 2011); 5 Axes of Business Application Integration (2004). His published novels, in the Corruption Series, include: The HolyPhone Confessional Crisis, Corruption’s Price: A Spanish Deceit and Virginity Despoiled. The fourth in The Corruption Series - Resurrection - has is now available. Charles has a B.A. and M.A in Modern History from the University of Oxford. He has lived or worked in Italy, Abu Dhabi, South Africa, California and New York, Spain, Israel, Estonia and Cyprus.

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