Leadership · Education · Networking

IPMA News : August 2005


Labor and Industries’ Web Site wins “The People’s Voice” Webby Award

Home Care Quality Authority's New Web-Based Referral Registry

Oregon State University, a Leader in Open Source

Powering Up Your Enterprise GIS

IPMA Executive Seminar

Summary of July 14, 2005 IPMA Board Meeting

Labor and Industries’ Web Site wins “The People’s Voice” Webby Award

--by Shelagh Taylor, IPMA Communications Committee Co-chair and former Assistant Director, Information Services, Department of Labor and Industries

Three years ago the Department of Labor and Industries began an intensive effort to completely revamp its web site based on customer needs. L&I embarked on this project after a study that indicated up to 75 percent of the people visiting the site couldn’t find what they were looking for.

In May of this year, the Webby Awards, the leading international honor for web sites, announced that Labor and Industries’ web site, www.LNI.wa.gov, won the People’s Voice Award for Best Insurance web site. L&I redesigned its web site last year to make it easier for employers and workers to use. Since then, the site has attracted 600,000 visits a month, about twice as many as before redesign. L&I web staff have continued to make improvements on the web site based on user feedback and testing.

Called the "Online Oscars" by Time Magazine, Webby Award winners are selected by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. The 9th Annual Webby Awards received over 4,000 entries from all 50 states and over 40 countries worldwide. This year, more than 200,000 fans cast their ballots for their own personal favorites from among the nominees in each category. A Webby People’s Voice Award indicates the highest level of loyalty and commitment from a site’s visitor base. For more information, visit www.webbyawards.com.

”We appreciate the fact that our customers like the improvements we’ve made to our web site enough to take the time to vote for us,” said L&I Communications Director Kim Contris. “We are continuing to make our site even easier for our customers to use.”

Earlier this year, L&I’s web site received regional and international awards from the Society for Technical Communications. Last year the site was honored by the American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds.

L&I’s web site serves employers, workers and health care providers. The agency provides insurance coverage for workers who suffer job-related injuries and illness, helps employers meet safety and health standards, and protects consumers by licensing contractors, electricians, and plumbers.

For more information: Renee Guillierie 360-902-5410 or guir235@lni.wa.gov.

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Home Care Quality Authority's New Web-Based Referral Registry

The Home Care Quality Authority (HCQA) recently implemented a referral registry to help seniors and people with disabilities find qualified in-home care workers. The Web site is featured in a Microsoft case study on accessibility; see the case study.

For more information, contact Sherri Wills-Green, Program Manager, HCQA Referral Registry.

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Oregon State University, a Leader in Open Source

--by Shelagh Taylor, IPMA Communications Committee Co-chair and former Assistant Director, Information Services, Department of Labor and Industries

Logo of Orgeon State University Open Source LabIn the late 1990's, the Oregon State University (OSU) IT group was experiencing budget issues. They had an ever-increasing demand for services, and a budget that was being reduced by about $1M every year. It was this scenario that was the catalyst for OSU to begin exploring open source technology. Today, the OSU operates the largest non-profit research and commercialization open source lab in the world. The Open Source Lab is located on the OSU campus in Corvallis, Oregon.

Scott Kveton, Associate Director of the Open Source Lab (OSL) says OSU has two roles in developing Open Source products.

“We take on two roles here at the OSL with regard to open source software development. On one hand, we are involved in several cross-institutional projects where we actually do open source software development with a specific goal in mind. On the other hand, we try to facilitate other development by hosting large open source projects here at the OSL. We currently host the likes of the Mozilla Foundation, Apache Software Foundation, Gentoo Linux, Debian GNU/Linux, etc. just to name a few. By providing hosting to these projects, we can better help them focus on doing their ‘main thing’ while we do ours.”

When asked about the challenges and benefits OSU has experienced from their investment in Open Source technology, Scott said the benefits are three-fold.

  1. Total Cost of Ownership drives down: In the first two years of our move to open source we definitely had some ups and downs while we built up a local skill set. However, we didn’t start with open source in our mission critical areas to start. We picked some new projects to implement things with and went from there.
  2. Control of Destiny: With open standards based solutions we’re allowed to dictate our technology future because we’re able to migrate from data format to format without having fear of lock-in with a vendor. Lock-in can come in several forms; company goes bankrupt or changes management/direction; product upgrade cycles are too aggressive or too slow for existing needs, etc.
  3. Two heads are better than one: In the open source space, you’re able to leverage developers across several companies/organizations without having to pay for it. For example, OSU is participating in an open source ERP solution for Carnegie-class institutions. We are contributing $500K of investment but combined with our partners, we’re going to realize a total value of $6 million (the combination of all of their investments). We get this great value as well as 1) and 2) above for a fraction of the cost of doing it ourselves.”

Part of Oregon State University Open Source Lab’s mission is to “collaborate with public and private institutions to better understand and develop Open Source software.” OSU is hosting the Government Open Source Conference to be held October 13th and 14th in Portland, Oregon. Deborah Bryan, Public Sector Communities Manager, is the OSU contact for the conference (deborah@osuosl.org).

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Powering Up Your Enterprise GIS

--by Linda Gerull, Pierce County GIS Manager

Pierce County 'bug'In an article featured in the January/March edition of the ArcUser Magazine for ESRI Software Users, Linda Gerull, Pierce County GIS manager describes one of the greatest challenges faced by GIS managers, controlling costs while increasing GIS use within the organization. Pierce County's GIS Division was able to save the county $2.5 million and meet its computing needs for the next three years by performing server consolidation. The County leased an IBM Blade Center System that will change the system configuration from 28 machines with 45 CPUs to 15 machines with 98 CPUs. The strategy reduces the number of physical machines that must be maintained as well as limits the software licenses, power and floor space required while providing a system that will serve the county's needs for the next three years without upgrade or expansion.

Read about the GIS management strategies that led to Pierce County’s success . . . .

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IPMA Executive Seminar registration closes August 15

--by Phil Grigg and Darrel Riffe, IPMA Executive Seminar Co-Chairs

Registration is available for the IPMA Executive Seminar scheduled for September 20-22 in Ocean Shores. This year's theme is "Reinventing the Enterprise During Transition." Featured speakers include Martin Reynolds from Gartner who will talk about emerging trends in technology; Paul Farnsworth from SafeHarbor who will talk on the value of self-service portals in government; Laszlo Szalvay from Danube who will talk about project management agile computing; our CIO, Gary Robinson, on enterprise initiatives; and Eric Bruno from Verizon who will talk on wireless futures. CIOs should have received an e-mail invitation in July. Registrations should be made before August 15. Call Phil Grigg at 902-7452 or Darrel Riffe at 902-3472 for more information.

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Summary of July 14, 2005 IPMA Board Meeting

Members Present: Jim Albert, Mary Ellen Bradley, Thomas Bynum, Phil Grigg, Sheryl Hall, Darrel Riffe, Allen Schmidt and Shelagh Taylor. Phil Coates, CFO, was also present.

Thomas Bynum, IPMA Chair, opened the July 2005 meeting of the IPMA Board of Directors at 7:37 a.m.

Approval of Minutes: The minutes from the June 2005 Board meeting were approved.

Secretary/Treasurer’s Report: The Board approved the June 2005 financial status and activities reports. Phil Coates presented the half-year budget status report which showed that the actual income and expenditures are coming in about as expected.

Committee Reports:

Forum 2005: Jim Albert reported that the committee had a debriefing meeting last month and discussed what went right and what went wrong, and in general, celebrated the completion of a very successful event.

The Corporate Sponsor Luncheon had been delayed because it was originally felt that the marketing plan should be completed prior to the luncheon. Thomas Bynum suggested however, that the board should move ahead with the luncheon regardless of the status of the plan. The board approved that suggestion and Thomas will work with Andy Marcelia to set it up.

Communications: Shelagh Taylor reminded the board of the article schedule for the remainder of 2005.

August Shelagh Taylor Due August 5
September Darrel Riffe Due September 2
October Allen Schmidt Due October 7
November Sheryl Hall Due November 4
December Christy Ridout Due December 2

Professional Development: Allen Schmidt reported that the June seminar on Enterprise Architecture had about 50 attendees and went pretty well. The five speakers did a good job.

Sheryl reported that the August Neil Whitten seminar is on track to register all 250 available spots. She noted that it was going to be necessary to hire ImageMaker to provide additional audio/visual equipment and support for the event. She estimated that this would add approximately $500 to the cost of the event. Additionally, she suggested that the committee, and any available board members, go to dinner with Mr. Whitten the evening before the seminar. The purpose of the meeting would be to familiarize him with current state government issues that he may wish to address during the seminar. The board approved the suggestion and Sheryl will make the arrangements. Sheryl also asked if the idea of purchasing pens and note pads with the IPMA logo could move forward without waiting for the completion of the marketing plan. It would be best if the items could be delivered in time for use at the Whitten seminar. The board approved and Sheryl will contact Dennis Laine and ask him to move forward.

Executive Seminar 2005: Phil Grigg reported that the announcements for the 2005 Executive Seminar were e-mailed to past participants July 13. Registrations are due by August 15. There will be no bus this year as the event is being held at the Ocean Shores Shilo. Phil reviewed the seminar agenda with the board.

IT Leadership Development Program: Prior to the board meeting, Dennis Jones had sent each board member a packet of documents pertaining to the IT leadership development program. Jim Albert led a discussion about the documents which included a draft letter from DOP Director Eva Santos to Elected Officials and Agency Directors, a draft program announcement and the project time line.

The name of the program is now officially “LeaderPath for IT Managers.” The program is cosponsored by the Department of Personnel and the Information Processing Management Association. The University of Washington Cascade Center has been named as the content partner. The registration deadline is August 22, 2005, with the program scheduled to begin September 27, 2005.

The board expressed a special thanks to Kathy Rosmond and Dennis Jones for their extraordinary efforts in making this program a reality.

Other Business:

Use of the IPMA e-mail list: Allen Schmidt asked if the IPMA e-mail list could be used to send out job announcements. The board noted that this had been discussed in the past and it had been decided that IPMA lists should not be used for that purpose as there are enough other avenues for the distribution of job announcements.

Next Meeting: August 11, 2005, at the Shipwreck Cafe

The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 a.m.

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