City implements technology upgrades

By JOSHUA PHILLIPS
Northeast News
January 3, 2014

After spending 18 years on one large mainframe, the city of Kansas City, Mo., government is implementing the newest technology upgrades to store important information for the different city departments.

The city turned off their 18-year-old legacy mainframe on New Year’s Eve at the city’s Communications Center. This mainframe stored the city’s information from payroll to revenue, city permits and more. Mary Miller, a chief information officer (CIO) with the city, said the city will now be run on Windows Office 365 Cloud and server-based computing.

“This change has allowed us to provide better service to customers with the newer systems we have,” Miller said. “This is the new way everyone else is going with technology upgrades. These upgrades are using the same functionalities as the old mainframe, but making it more user-friendly.”

Carlos Valenciano, an information technology (IT) analyst for the city’s IT Division, turned on the mainframe in 1995 and turned it off last Tuesday. Before the IT Division could officially switch the city to being entirely Cloud and server-based computing, the division had to find enough funding as well as a vendor.

“Carlos told me he is excited for the new technology, (but) is sad to see things go,” Miller said. “Change is challenging and exciting.”

Since these upgrades will be more user-friendly, people will be able to pay fines and taxes and apply for city permits through the city’s website using this server-based computing, Miller said.

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