City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii improves operational efficiency, reduces operational cost

The challenge

A Budgeting client since 2003, the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii was struggling with outdated technology, disparate and shadow legacy systems compartmentalized on an outdated mainframe platform.

Honolulu selected CGI (through a rigorous RFP process) and the web-based, built-for-government CGI Advantage  ERP solution, expanding their existing Budgeting system to include Financial Management, Budgeting, Procurement, Human Resources and Payroll and Business Intelligence.

The strategy

The project kicked-off in May 2006 and focused on implementing CGI Advantage Financial Management. Honolulu’s existing systems were originally implemented separately, and were maintained as such. So integration and flexibility were at the top of the list. And by leveraging out-of-the-box functionality to fuel day-to-day business, Honolulu would eliminate shadow systems and reduce redundant data entry. 

Modernized technology was also at the top of the list. The age of the systems and the technologies used to develop them made it difficult and costly to maintain and improve them. Modern technology and configurability would establish a standard platform, reducing the cost of maintenance and minimizing customizations while remaining flexible for change.

Web-based, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) opened the way for efficiency. After a careful analysis of business processes, Honolulu and CGI identified numerous ways to take advantage of automation, eliminating paper-processing and cumbersome layers of approval using online forms and automated workflow. 

Working side-by-side, Honolulu and CGI began to remove those road blocks, providing consistent communication and valuable training to encourage people to adopt more modern and efficient ways of conducting business.

The technology

As part of this project, Honolulu moved from the mainframe environment to an IBM AIX environment, establishing a standard foundation for ERP as well as all other systems used by the departments.

In addition, the operations division successfully completed an ERP disaster recover exercise in October 2007, a significant test of the newly architected system.

The results

The City and County of Honolulu went live with CGI Advantage Financial Management in July 2007. Today more than 20 departments (including Environmental Services, Design and Construction, and Budget and Fiscal Services) and 5,000+ employees are using the new system, from directors to staff clerks and everyone in between. Together they are achieving their goals and realizing numerous benefits:

  • Eliminated paper and paper approvals using online forms
  • Streamlined labor-intensive approvals, from a typical 15 levels down to 4 or 5, using automated workflow for faster approvals, enhanced control, accountability
  • Shared, real-time information and powerful reporting provides greater visibility and increased collaboration across all departments
  • Consolidated financial information into one central repository, eliminating four home-grown, shadow systems and the associated costs of maintenance
  • Modernized technology, standardizing on a single platform for all IT projects moving forward, taking advantage of interoperability and vendor consolidation
  • Implemented a real-time disaster recover plan
  • Electronic workflow and electronic document tracking improving tracking and compliance.

"We replaced a 16-year-old financial system with a new state-of-the-art ERP solution in 18 months − on time and on budget."  

Gordon Bruce, former CIO and Director of the Department of Information Technology, City and County of Honolulu (2004-2012)

Continuous improvement

The City and County have started the next steps in collaboration with CGI, implementing CGI Advantage Human Resources Management, Payroll and Performance Budgeting. Integration of these modules with Financial Management will further their goal for increasing efficiency, accountability and reporting for enterprise wide decision-making.

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