How Do You Move a Mountain? Taking on San Rafael’s ERP Project
The City of San Rafael’s ERP system EDEN is the primary financial tool for budgeting, payroll, cashiering, purchasing, and human resource management and has been in use since 2002. While it continues to support our City’s day-to-day financial needs, the software has reached end-of-life and no longer receives supported updates from the vendor, Tyler Technologies. As newer products enter our City’s software ecosystem, EDEN shows its age by not having the flexibility to easily talk to other systems.
ERP replacement projects are notorious for being multi-year endeavors that go well beyond the estimated budget. Our team has been working with Finance and the City Manager’s Office to scope out a project plan that allows us to move forward more nimbly, with reduced risk, and greater flexibility. Our vision for solving this challenge will be to:
- Solve the right problems – We will identify critical and emergent needs related to ERP and ERP-dependent functions, processes, and staff roles so we can define the problem that needs to be solved first.
- Have a plan – Build a road map and vision for future solutions that can be integrated.
- Build with experts – We will rely on product and subject matter experts to help keep the project on target and aligned with the strategic vision.
- Build iteratively – Look to developing modular, interoperable systems that allow for flexibility, openness, and the ability to get data in and out rather than “one system to rule them all.”
During the months of June and July our team has been building off previous research and working with staff to create user stories for ERP by conducting user interviews to document work processes and learning from staff where improvements are needed most. We are working to define the City’s current technical landscape and will begin drafting a vision for what the future state of this system could be before building requirements and taking the next steps.
We’re here to help
In May of this year, Digital rolled out a new Department Request Form to funnel questions, requests, and inspired ideas from across the city into a central database for our team to track. Since then, we have received nearly 50 submissions, leading to over 40 short projects. Nearly 30 have shipped and the remainder are currently in progress. This new process has given us better insight into the needs across the city and helps us prioritize and track our work as a team.
Thank you to all of the city staff who have engaged with us in this new request process. As a reminder, you can always submit your questions, ideas, and requests to https://employees.cityofsanrafael.org/digital-get-help/ and a member of our team will respond within 48 hours.
Cyber security in the news
Two major cyber security events in recent news. PrintNightMare Zero Day vulnerability and Kaseya ransomware attack. A zero day vulnerability is when threat actors discover and immediately use the vulnerability to gain unauthorized access.
PrintNightMare vulnerability allows threat actors to exploit windows built-in software that manages printing to gain elevated access. Digital worked closely with the City managed service provider, Xantrion Inc., in reducing the City surface of attack for the zero day by disabling unnecessary print servers and services on the City network. We are keeping a close eye on when Microsoft will release an out-of-band update to address the threat.
We scan the City network for Kaseya software. We found one known instant running in an isolated network. We immediately disabled the Kaseya agent. Kaseya released a compromise detection tool, which we ran, and the city is not affected.