City of Evanston, Illinois, User Spotlight — Q&A

Q: What led Evanston to implement Cityworks?
A: Evanston’s Utilities Department staff had a need to track work activities on water and sewer assets in a GIS-based asset management system (AMS). In 2004, the City migrated to Cityworks from a previous rudimentary asset management system because we recognized that Cityworks GIS-centric capabilities both met our immediate needs and offered new possibilities for asset management.

Q: How is Cityworks being utilized at the City?
A: In addition to its original implementation in 2004 to track work on water and sewer assets, the Utilities Department began utilizing the service request portion of the software in 2008 in response to a desire to record customer requests in a centralized location. The Department is currently using Cityworks Desktop to track over 100 work activities and their associated costs. Additionally, nearly 50 types of customer calls are tracked in the service request portion of Cityworks.

Q: What benefits have been realized by Evanston because of Cityworks?
A: Our investment in Cityworks has shown many benefits over the years. To name a few cost-saving measures, Cityworks has given us a means to efficiently produce data for our Annual Reports, been instrumental in finding areas most in need of CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) funding, and given us a centralized repository of work history to assist the Department in applying for stimulus funds and FEMA reimbursements. Most recently, main break data acquired through Cityworks has assisted in long-term planning for water main replacement.

The implementation of the service request function within the Water and Sewer Division in 2008 has also resulted in many benefits, including improved customer service through enabling call takers to give consistent responses to citizens while also providing them with call history. In addition, the Utilities service request templates are being used to help implement a new centralized Customer Request Management (CRM) system at the City.

The success of Cityworks in the Utilities Department has sparked a citywide interest in expanding its use to other departments.

Q: What are the City’s future plans for Cityworks?
A: The City of Evanston has plans to grow Cityworks use substantially in 2011 through three initiatives. First, a citywide CRM system, GovQA, is scheduled to go live on March 1. For the first time, all customer requests and questions coming into the City will be stored in a centralized database. It is important, however, for departments who already use Cityworks to continue business as usual, so we will be integrating Cityworks service requests with GovQA through the Cityworks API. Second, we plan to implement work order tracking in the Public Works Department’s Streets & Sanitation Division via a revised “jumpstart” program with Azteca’s implementation services. Third, we plan to migrate to Cityworks Server AMS in order to better manage the increased user base and potentially enable data entry in the field.

Q: What is your overall take on Cityworks?
A: We are very excited to be expanding the benefits that the Utilities Department is realizing to other departments in the City and to be migrating to Server AMS. I personally have been impressed by the evolution of Cityworks and with the knowledge and response time of the support staff in the four short years that I’ve been working with it.

With Amanda Ault, GIS Analyst, City of Evanston

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