To address the increasing complex and dynamic cybersecurity risk landscape, we have established a security awareness program that includes formal training using an industry leading training system, periodic testing of employee awareness, regular communication to remind county employees of risk to avoid, and security workshops to engage technical and business leaders in the importance of security awareness.
ITD is developing a Service Desk Chatbot with customized skills integrated with the ticket management system that is capable of voice interaction, displaying information on devices, chat window, and text message communications. The first iteration of the Service Desk Chatbot will allow users to receive ticket status, request for status updates, and create new tickets.
The Digital Transformation initiative that was launched by the ITD to fundamentally change how the endpoints are provisioned, configured, deployed and managed across the County has been a big success. There are multiple projects tied to the Digital Transformation that include:
Most County devices are now regularly upgraded to keep up with the semi-annual Windows updates from Microsoft. To help ensure that these updates are regularly completed, ITD is upgrading desktops and laptops to Windows 10. Currently, ITD has upgraded 5976 devices. ITD has launched a parallel initiative to encrypt hard disks to protect the valuable data on County devices. So far, 2455 devices have been encrypted using Bitlocker. ITD has begun the rollout of Multi-factor Authentication (MFA). It has been implemented to one agency and is in the process of being implemented to other agencies.
Since 2002, Alameda County Social Services Agency (SSA) has been providing no-cost IRS certified tax preparation to low- and moderate-income taxpayers. SSA Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) preparers are helping taxpayers receive large tax refunds by claiming the credits they have earned.
The EITC Online Appointments Scheduler Application automates the appointment scheduling process as well as allow taxpayers to search for available appointments online. This empowers taxpayers granting them more flexibilty to schedule appointments when they want and from whereever they are. It also frees up valuable volunteer resources allowing them to focus on completing more tax returns.
The new Boards and Commission application not only gives the Clerk of the Board better tools to fill and monitor the over 650 board positions in Alameda County, but it also provides the members of the Board of Supervisors new insight into which positions are vacant or will need to be filled for their individual districts. The new application integrates with the websites for each individual board or commission, so that any changes to the memberships made in the app are immediately reflected on the websites for each board or commission. And lastly, the Salesforce platform for this new application will allow ITD to efficiently add new features and enhancements to further improve the usefulness of this application by allowing members of the public to submit their applications directly into the system for review and processing.
Implemented October 2017.
A complete overhaul of the in-house Property Tax Systems is under way. ITD developed a roadmap for the migration of the property tax systems from Mainframe to the browser-based modern system. Roadmap was released in Q3 2018. Two modernization projects are under way: payment processing module for the Tax Collector and supplemental correction processing module for the Auditor, both due in Q3 2019.
Updated April 2019
The CLETS switch is the only means of connection of all Alameda County Criminal Justice agencies to the CA Department of Justice Databases, The current version was written over 40 years ago on the mainframe and is no longer supportable. ITD plans to replace it with a new Windows based system that will allow for better connectivity.
An RFP is currently being processed to select a vendor. Proposed implementation by 2019.
The Alameda County Data Sharing Initiative provides the public with easy online access to records and information about County business and operations. The Initiative aims to enhance the County’s commitment to transparent government and to encourage civic engagement.
ITD continues to support the initiative by maintaining the County's data sharing website and by hosting community hackathons.
The Alameda County Information Technology Department (ITD) developed the IMPROVE application for the Assessor’s Office, providing a comprehensive solution for tracking and assessing real property in Alameda County. Development of IMPROVE started in 1999. Since then, technology and industry standards have greatly evolved. In order to take advantage of the GIS, imaging, reporting technologies, reduce use of paper and increase the level of automation in the business process, IMPROVE is being converted from the current client-server PowerBuilder platform to the Microsoft .NET technology platform. New IMPROVE is web-based and was the first browser-based full-scale Assessor’s system in California. This will allow for greater flexibility in application development, maintenance and integration with other systems and technologies while increasing Assessor staff productivity, quality of data and services to the public. The team is currently working on upgrading the interface with Assessments Appeals Board and appeals case management module.
Updated April 2019
The eCRIMS modernization project converted all of the mainframe CORPUS green-screen functionality to the web based CRIMS platform. The new system created with the ITD, Superior Court, District Attorney, Sheriff, Probation and the Public Defender working together creates a Criminal Justice Data Hub.
Phase 4, which included integration of Court’s Odyssey system with the various case management systems of the County’s Criminal Justice Partners, was completed July 2016. Currently work is in progress on decommissioning the legacy mainframe systems.
A major accomplishment in the recruiting area is the implementation of a digital friendly onboarding system called SmartERP. This new system streamlines the process of bringing a new hire onboard by having the prospective employee fill out all the relevant applications, their personal information and all other required new hire information completely online. This eliminates the need for candidates to make a special trip to the job site to fill out and sign stacks of paperwork prior to the hire date. It also allows them to read and certify new hire policies before they even start. All this can be done by the candidate at their own pace and in the comfort of their home. The information then flows into PeopleSoft, reducing the amount of information that needs to be manually entered by the department.
New application replacing the Mainframe system that was originally developed in the 1970s. System allowed Auditor Tax Analysis department to significantly reduce the effort spent on the annual tax rate area updates done by the staff and to improve data quality. New process is designed as 100% paperless, leading to reduced use of paper, as about 5000 sheets of paper were used annually to print the reports in support of the business process. Application was released in May 2015. New addition to APTIS, released in 2017, allows Auditor to automate the process of uploading special assessment information for the 450,000 real properties from all taxing entities in Alameda County.
Rather than simply replace end-of-life firewall devices, we are implementing a NextGen security appliance. The solution includes new innovations such as DNS Security services, global intelligence and automation to prevent attacks, strong security for encrypted traffic, and protection of Cloud based infrastructure.
We have completed an RFP to select a firewall vendor and an implementation partner, and are planning the migration to the new platform.
ITD is committed to continuous improvement in operational efficiency. We have been working on streamlining internal operations and implementing automation for internal processes using DevOps methodology. Using various development tools, developers automate deployment and testing of the in-house applications. This effort leads to an increase in quality of our in-house applications, reduced implementation time and improved communications with the customers and other teams within the department.
The migration of County users to Office 365 is complete. The 1st phase was to move all of the County’s email to Office 365. We completed the migration of all County users to Office 365 mail in May 2018. ITD has also moved several workloads to Office 365 including:
This initiative allows for streamlined communication, increased collaboration, and for the introduction of new tools and efficiencies, allowing us to better serve our County customers. We are entering the next stage of our county wide migration into Office 365 now and are focusing our efforts on rolling out new features as well as moving data and files to OneDrive.
Under the guidance of the Board of Supervisors, we in partnership with TechExchange donate refurbished computers that are distributed to local schools, communities, and non-profit organizations. The cool thing about this program is the processes that were developed in partnership with TechExchange to manage the supply chain, digital data erasure and distribution of computer assets on an ongoing basis.
Just in time for the 2018 elections, ITD partnered with the Registrar of Voters (ROV) to roll out a new eye-catching, mobile responsive, and user-friendly website in February. The Official Election Site of Alameda County was designed and developed with the goal of making information most commonly sought by voters easy to find.
With both offices headed by Chief Information Officer/Registrar of Voters Tim Dupuis, it makes sense that the new website would showcase compelling new features that are taking hold with many of Alameda County’s online destinations. These features include informative video content, streamlined text menus, and a prominent search feature. The new website also makes great strides in serving Alameda County’s diverse population, with detailed information in five languages to help voters.
Streamlining the website was ROV's number one objective when the redesign project began more than a year ago. The site was built within the County's enterprise web content management system that allows authorized personnel in the Registrar’s office to easily update information as election cycles change eliminating the need for technical assistance.
With the June and November elections coming up, voters will have ample time to become familiar with the new website and features for the big 2020 Presidential cycle in 2 years.
Implemented February 2018.
SSA manages Adopt-A-Family program during holiday season. ITD developed an application to support the management of the program. Some highlights include an admin area that allows site coordinators to better track gifts. There was also a lookup feature that auto-populated recipient data for staff. These features and others allowed SSA staff to process donations quicker and more efficiently.
In March of 2019 we successfully completed upgrade of our PeopleSoft Financial system to the latest delivered version of PeopleTools 8.56 and PUM 29. As before, this upgrade was achieved completely by in-house staff. The upgrade was flawless. County vendors are able to use the latest version, called FLUID version for bidding on any County Projects.
In August of 2019 we will be upgrading our PeopleSoft HR and Payroll system to the latest delivered version of PeopleTools 8.56 and PUM 28. New upgrade system will be current with the latest delivered version by Oracle.
Updated April 2019
County of Alameda played a significant role in helping battle the October 2017 destructive wildfires that occurred in Northern California. Various county agencies were involved in providing staff and coordination for Fire and Rescue, Law Enforcement, Emergency, Public Health and Medical Mutual Aid services. ITD created this cross-collaboration tool, which allowed agencies to add resources, time, and cost information for services provided to tackle destructive and widespread wildfires in Napa and Sonoma Counties. This summary information could then be easily reviewed by Department Heads, CAO and the Board of supervisors.
Implemented in October 2017.
The County has adopted a “mobile first” design philosophy and is applying it to all new websites including the redesigned ACGOV.org, allowing the site to be viewed on any desktop or mobile device. Using a minimalist approach, the usual navigation bars were removed and the search bar emphasized. The search functionality provides various filters and suggested keywords to aid locating the content faster. For those users who still like to click through a site, key links were added through out to help the user locate important and highly visited pages. This new search-centric implementation provides the public the opportunity to easily locate County services and information without the need in understanding government hierarchy. ITD will continue to improve and enhance the site with the user experience in mind.
CalWIN (Online system used by 18 California counties) supports the administration of public assistance programs such as CalWORKS, CalFresh, MediCal, General Assistance, Foster Care etc., and it pays these benefits to individuals in the form of Warrants, Checks, EFT and EBT. Out of these, our County processes the Warrants, Checks and EFT so the individuals in our county are being paid timely. The current system is being processed by Mainframe through its scheduler, Zeke and also using DSeries to transfer files to SFTP (which Mainframe cannot) to Union Bank for fulfilling the payments. New system was rewritten completely using Microsoft .NET technologies and the process is scheduled through DSeries. The scheduler runs daily, weekly, monthly as well on demand for COLA payments.
We developed the Workload Distribution Tool (WDT) for the Social Services Agency (SSA). The WDT application continuously pulls vital information from case management systems and distributes work evenly to workers based on their availability. This will allow for SSA to efficiently manage actions on cases timely. The tool will also enable management the ability to monitor and keep track of critical case actions.
Saving the County the costs of producing Central Collection Statements on paper and the associated costs of mailing, is the goal of this project. Clients will be able to opt in to receive a monthly email instead of receiving a paper statement in the mail. The email to the client will contain a link to the County website for credit card payment or payment by check. If check is preferred a payment stub can be printed from the website to include with the clients payment.
Implemented March 2015.
The initiative seeks to improve the County's efficiency through process re-engineering and implementing new technologies.
For 2016: ITD is continuing to build new imaging applications to reduce paper and improve workflow. We will also be implementing an enterprise eSignature and eForms solution as a tool in reducing paper and streamlining business processes. And we are promoting the use of video conferencing supporting the Climate Initiative.