2016 Best in Cloud (and Business Innovator): City of Port Coquitlam
Posted by Jessica Tatlow
City of Port Coquitlam’s Project Implementation Specialist, Ed Vasquez, sat down to chat with us about their 2016 Unit4 Customer Award in the Best in Cloud category, where they were also the runner-up in the Business Innovation category.
Ed admits that he was skeptical about a cloud implementation at first, worried about integration issues if they weren’t able to physically access the database. But the determinedly cloud-focused Director of IT at the city, Robin Wishart (who has been spreading the excitement about the city’s cloud migration with Unit4) and Unit4’s previous success and experience with cloud won him over.
City of Port Coquitlam is located on the west coast of Canada, has 55,000 residents, 500 employees and very strict data residency regulations – and they are the first Canadian municipal government in the cloud!
Like any public sector organization, the city was feeling the pinch of budgets and resources, and the IT team in particular wanted to be able to deliver better service to employees and citizens. Moving to the cloud allowed them to redirect specialized IT skills to higher value tasks like developing better integration between systems and investing in citizen engagement solutions instead of worrying about routine day-to-day server maintenance.
In the process of moving to Unit4 Business World On! the city’s IT team built what they call the Business World Bridge, which allowed them to transfer historical and transactional data between systems. This system now allows their Property Management, Recreation and Unit4 Business World On! ERP systems to share the same data. With an in-house API Framework, they have also built custom applications for data visualization, account synchronization and a mobile timesheet app.
“Being in the cloud has given us a very robust, versatile system that provides in terms of data and reporting. It is leaps and bounds above what we used to have,” Ed says of Unit4 Business World On! in the cloud.
The verdict? According to Ed, “Unit4 support is rock solid… It’s like an extension of your own team. [Moving to the cloud] is actually a lot simpler than you might think.”