There is still no go-live date for full implementation of Marin County's new computer system. In a little over two weeks, the county will conduct what is hoped to be the final test of the new system using payroll data from March, simultaneously running the data through its new and existing systems — the 11th time it will have conducted such a parallel run.

"The most important thing is that we're able to pay people correctly and that we're able to track every piece of that payroll to finance," said Angela Nicholson, an assistant county administrator. "Until and unless we can do that we won't have a go-live date, but we are very optimistic. The system is working really well at this point."

Installation of the first phase of the new system began in February 2015 with the design of new finance software. The software went live on schedule in July 2016. Payroll and human resource components of the system were next, but both have proved problematic.

The county has struggled with computer systems before. It installed a $30 million SAP computer and software system in 2006 that became so problematic and expensive to maintain that officials abandoned it four years later. The county sued the vendors, alleging bribery and fraud, and spent $5 million on the litigation before settling the case for $3.9 million.

The county has budgeted $14 million for the new computer system and its installation. The bulk, $8.2 million, is being paid to software vendor Tyler Technologies of Texas, which specializes in public-sector software and services.

Liza Lowery Massey, CIO of the county's IT department, said the project remains about $2 million under budget. One big difference this time is that the county has a "not-to-exceed" contract, not a "time and materials" contract, with Tyler. "We continue to have project management from Tyler on site every day."

Nicholson said the main reason for the delay was Tyler's acquisition of ExecuTime, a third-party vendor, in the midst of the installation of the new system.

The county's contract with Tyler included a license with ExecuTime for software that will allow county employees to fill out their time cards digitally. After Tyler acquired ExecuTime in the summer of 2016, the ExecuTime software had to be integrated with Tyler's existing systems.

"We've had all kinds of bumps in the road as they've been integrating that time solution," Nicholson said. "But we really wanted it to be a seamless product for our employees."

(c)2019 The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.