Access Albemarle Status Report




Update on the status of Access Albemarle including details on the launch of Phase 1




Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Culp, Wiggans, and Henry






December 2, 2009


ACTION:                INFORMATION: 



  ACTION:              INFORMATION:  X











Albemarle County entered into a multi-year partnership with Microsoft Corporation several years ago to develop an integrated local government/school business management system to improve many of the County’s key business systems.  These improvements were designed to help the County meet its strategic objective of efficiency and effectiveness in county government operations.  The partnership with Microsoft was developed to capitalize on the County’s current use of Microsoft products and the County’s existing enterprise agreement with Microsoft.  The project’s initial phases involved extensive analysis of existing business processes across local government and school division departments, requiring significant research and assessment of numerous functions related to the County’s financial and human resources activities.


When completed, Access Albemarle will provide the County with an integrated public sector solution that combines and streamlines operations that are currently provided through five distinct mainframe systems that are not integrated. This integrated system will allow the County’s existing business functions, which include financial management, purchasing, human resources, payroll, budgeting, and tax collection, to work together and will allow County leadership to better identify and track County financial and human resource operations.




Enhance the Quality of Life for all Albemarle County Residents. 



The County first started working towards this integrated application in 2006, knowing that although the end result would be very beneficial, it would be a long and complex process to analyze and integrate numerous functions related to our financial and human resources activities.  It has proven to be challenging and we have encountered some setbacks as we have worked with Microsoft and several other vendors to develop this integrated business management system.  In spite of these setbacks, staff has continued in this effort to protect the County’s previous investment in the development of the system and has successfully negotiated a no additional cost agreement* with Microsoft to move the project forward. 


Thanks to the hard work and persistence of staff and recent partnership with our new implementer, Anderson Tackman Company (ATCO), outstanding issues with the prior versions of the software product have been resolved, system requirements have been finalized and approved, and the first full phase of the project (Phase 1) was launched at the end of November.  This phase includes General Ledger/Financial Management System, Procurement and Accounts Payable Management, Grant Management and Miscellaneous Billings and Receivables Management and the integration of the Financial Management System (FMS) with Enterprise Reporting.  The components of this first full phase are scheduled to be operational by July 1, 2010.  An initial phase of the project to address urgent needs for auditing and budgeting purposes was completed over the past year while requirements for Phase 1 were being completed.  As a result, the Fixed Assets, Budgeting and Reporting components of the new system have already been successfully implemented and are currently in use.  Integration of these initial components will be an important task of Phase 1.


System Benefits:

There were a number of critical organizational benefits that motivated the County to undertake this significant effort several years ago.  These benefits are especially important now in providing opportunities for increased efficiencies and streamlined processes across the organization: 


How the Project Scope has evolved:

The project scope has evolved over time as county staff has worked with Microsoft and other vendors to focus very specifically on meeting the County’s core business needs and developing a reasonable and supportable approach to implementing the various phases of the system.  The following are key adjustments that have allowed the Access Albemarle project to successfully launch its first full phase in November:


Original Project in 2006


Revised Project as of November, 2009


Project Milestones:

Initial Phase:     Fixed Assets, Budgeting, Reporting - Complete

Phase 1:           Financial Management System, Procurement – Scheduled to be operational by July 1, 2010

Phase 2:           Human Resources and Payroll – Planned to be operational by January 1, 2011

Phase 3:           Revenue & Tax Collections – Planned to be operational by July 1, 2011




The County has expended approximately $4 million to date for all software, hardware, consulting services, and process improvements enabled by the project.  The County will incur no additional project costs* within the current scope as described above. 




No action is requested by the Board at this time.


*County will only incur an additional $88,000 cost to account for non-Microsoft software needed for implementation.


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