Cityworks Q&A

Address how your software can be modified or extended to meet an organization’s unique needs. Include information on your use of custom fields, modifiable templates, scripting, etc.

Cityworks is a highly flexible application structured to match the organizational workflows and processes of municipal organizations. As part of the implementation process all Service Request, Work Order and Inspection templates can be configured based on the information provided by clients. This includes the type of activity, the custom fields to track data not found out of the box (custom fields can be added to templates in groups or individually), use of pick lists for data standardization and a variety of pre-defined data including, but not limited to, project, labor, material, equipment, assignment submittals and workflow.

FLEET MANAGEMENT

Please address the functionality that supports Fleet Management.

In addition to standard Work Orders, Inspections and Reporting there are tools for work orders to occur automatically on calendar and metrics-based schedules. For calendar-based preventive maintenance work orders can be set to cycle in intervals of days, week, months and years. For the metrics-based preventive maintenance work orders can be set to trigger based on measurements provided in other “measurement” applications, i.e from fuel systems or SCADA. In these instances preventive maintenance can be developed based on interval and threshold settings.

INSPECTIONS

Please address the key functionality of your packaged (out-of-box) and configurable inspection capabilities. Where applicable, highlight available inspection reporting specific to the Water Utility industry.

Cityworks has several out-of-the-box inspections as well as the ability to do custom inspections specific to practices present at many organizations. The out-of-the-box inspections apply to street networks, sanitary systems, storm systems, electric networks and water utilities. Those specific to water utilities are hydrant flow tests, hydrant inspections, meter test, meter change out and valve inspections.

INVENTORY

Please address inventory functionality to support work orders. Address the functionality separate from inventory management and procurement. Where applicable, highlight functionality relevant to the Water Utility industry.

Cityworks Storeroom is designed to track warehouse transactions. The material inventory managed with Storeroom is available to users accessing Work Orders in real-time. Users have the ability to include estimated or actual materials on a Work Order. If estimated materials are added to a Work Order these materials are flagged in Storeroom as reserved. The Storeroom Manager can review reserved items and Issue to a Work Order. If there is an excess of materials remaining after the work is completed users can return surplus to the storeroom. In addition to the organization provided materials users can also track materials provided by contractors.

METER SALES

Our ‘Meter Sales’ is the process by which contractors or developers pay for new water service connections. It involves review of plans, payment of fees at more than one point, and transfer of work directives between multiple departments and crews; as well as interfaces with multiple business systems. The management of meter sales is a core business process.

A possible configuration would be the use of a Cityworks Service Request to initiate the request of a new water service connection. This could be initiated through an online request, from TVWD’s CIS or UB system (services configured using the Cityworks Service Request API) or internally.

This would develop into a Work Order for the service connection which would have a review process detailed through the use of Tasks.

Multiple departments may be involved with the workflow and each would be notified of responsibilities through the system notification based on the Task statuses.

Documents provided by the applicant would be attached to the Work Order for tracking.

Reporting could be configured to see, both in a list as well as graphically on a map, the location of the service request connections based on status.

Inbox could be configured to provide users with a real-time view of this data immediately upon entering the Cityworks application.

PROJECT TRACKING

Address functionality related to tracking projects and related project activities, budgets, costs, and scheduling.

Project Manager tracks and maintains project details, related activities, project attachments and associated budgets. Projects can be associated to Service Requests and Work Orders either as pre-defined values on the template or ad hoc. When there is a project tracked with the work activities the costs of associated Service Requests and Work Orders are rolled up to the project and reconciled with the budgeted amount.

REPORTING

Address your ad-hoc, packaged (out-of-the–box) and custom reporting capability. The system must provide ad-hoc or user-defined inquiry/report writing capabilities, with multiple selection and sort criteria. Immediate viewing and/or printing of the information is required.

Specify any preferred reporting engines or additional reporting software. Where applicable, highlight available reports specific to the Water Utility industry..

Cityworks provides an ad-hoc reporting tool through the Cityworks Search Engine. Static and dynamic search queries can be generated for one-time use or saved for future reporting using a combination of multiple fields provided from the Search screen (shown below). In addition multiple values can be selected from individual fields to further enhance the filter functionality.

The searches generated through the Cityworks Search Engine are immediately available for sorting, printing or exporting to Microsoft Excel from the Results screen.

In addition to ad-hoc search and reporting functionality Cityworks also uses Crystal Reports within the application to provide pre-defined reports as well as an option for reporting integrated with other business systems.

Azteca Systems provides all clients with access to the Cityworks data models and accompanying documentation.

WATER QUALITY

Please address the functionality that supports water quality management. This can include lab and field activities. Provide examples of how the system has been used by your clients.

Organizations are able to create Work Order templates to support any water quality related activities. If the activity is related to water sampling/testing custom fields can be used to track the sampling results with pick-list values and expected ranges (values must be between 0 and 14 for pH). In addition Cityworks can be used in the same environment as hydraulic modeling applications to schedule work activities in priority areas to insure water quality and adherence to water quality mandates. The development of Cityworks on the Esri platform also provides users with a consistent and real-time view of the organization’s infrastructure.

VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS

Many organizations are moving towards a full VM environment for most server applications. Please clarify your support for VM environments.

Azteca Systems, Inc. recognizes the growing interest in virtualized environments. In fact, in their day-to-day work many Azteca Systems’ staff utilize Cityworks on select virtualization software—Microsoft Hyper-V and Virtual PC. Though we cannot test the vast number and wide variety of virtualized environments operating in IT organizations today, our experience has shown that if Cityworks is installed on a supported platform, then it will function in a virtualized setting. See the Specifications page of mycityworks.com for more information about supported platforms.

Performance- Running software in a virtualized environment affects the performance of any application to some degree. Like any application, Cityworks’ performance is negatively impacted by virtualization. As the workload on server processing becomes heavier, the decline in performance becomes obvious. This reduction in performance is due to the added overhead of virtualization: between 30%-50% depending on the number of physical cores on the machine. Our own use has shown disk intensive operations, such as dynamic mapping and map caching, perform noticeably faster on physical machines than on virtual machines. Often, performance is a minor consideration because the benefits of virtualization are perceived to outweigh performance implications. Therefore, it is important to observe best practices on the configuration of the particular virtual environment as well as performance testing when assessing virtualization in order to properly design and size the system.

Technical Support-Azteca Systems, Inc. will strive to identify and resolve in a timely manner any issue that can be reproduced on a supported platform operating on a standalone machine. If an issue cannot be reproduced in this setting, Azteca Systems, Inc. cannot provide a fix for issues that occur within virtual environments.

Virtualization solutions are broadly used in test, development, and production environments. The benefits of virtualization include the following:

Running multiple versions of software and preventing applications from impacting each other when upgrades or changes are made.

Simplifying the process and reducing the time needed to prepare a server for new service.

Increasing business continuity by reducing downtime.

Organizations investigating virtualization should consider price and technical support along with a wide range of issues and questions when deciding whether to implement a solution. Choosing the right virtualized environment depends on the organization’s broader IT strategy, the perceived benefits virtualization provides, and the particular features and functions offered in the virtual solutions available today.

ADVANCED ASSET MANAGEMENT

We recognize the advancement of CMMS functionality and the inherent capabilities to support asset management. Please address the functionality that supports asset life cycle management. This may include risk analysis, prioritization of maintenance activities, rehabilitation and renewal strategies, replacement forecasting, budgeting and other related industry best practices.

Cityworks provides organizations with a direct view into their asset registry – the Esri GeoDatabase. Cityworks also includes condition scoring calculations through Inspections and this data can be written to the GIS. The asset data (attributes and condition values) in combination with the work management data collected in the Cityworks database (equipment, labor and material costs; historical work activities; regulatory efforts) provide organizations with the information needed to develop a robust asset management program.

While Cityworks does not provide the asset management analysis tools described above, Azteca Systems does partner with several organizations which do provide this functionality.

One available option is the RIVA application which has off the shelf integration with Cityworks. RIVA uses the GIS and historical work data in Cityworks to develop future budgets, forecasting activities and maintenance prioritization.

In addition, Woolpert has developed an Infrastructure Optimization (IO) tool which assists with decision-making for rehabilitation and replacement prioritization, capital investment timing, long-term fiscal planning, short-term packaging for capital projects, timing of capital investment expenditures and decisions regarding funds toward capital investment versus enhanced maintenance. The IO tool is an ArcGIS extension and is composed of four key tools: Risk Tool, Replacement Tool, Decision Tool and Reporting Tool. Because the IO tool is an ArcGIS extension and operates within the Esri environment, the data is available to Cityworks for enacting work management activities based on the IO analysis.

CROSS CONNECTION MANAGEMENT

How does your product support management of the cross connection programs. This includes tracking of devices, annual device testing, and coordination with testing contractors.

Cityworks supports organizations implementing unique cross connection programs. Because Cityworks is built directly on the Esri platform all cross connection device data is readily available for tracking and scheduling of work activities. Organizations are able to recreate cross connection inspections in Cityworks to match current practices and capture all necessary data which can be used in reporting. Below are examples of cross connection/backflow prevention inspection data configured as Cityworks inspections.

Inspections can be configured to cycle according to an organization’s inspection schedule and depending on the level of access provided to outside contractors they may be able to receive emails notifications of upcoming inspections. If contractors are provided with direct access to Cityworks, Inbox could be organized to provide an instant view of the current status regarding cross connection related activities.

EXTERNAL INTERACTIONS

We find value in the ability to readily exchange information with third parties (customers, contractors, and other agencies). Describe functionality that supports external service requests, contractors completing work orders, information sharing or other applicable functionality.

To support external service requests or citizen websites Azteca has developed a Service Request API. The Service Request API (Application Programming Interface) is an interface that allows citizens to access an organization’s website to enter request information online and push this information into the Cityworks database to create service requests. The API contains the building blocks for developing the service request site so the programming is consistent with the operating environment and Cityworks.

The Citizen Request Template is a sample Silverlight application that facilitates the submission of Cityworks Service Requests using the Request API (SOAP [Simple Object Access Protocol] web service). Licensed users of the Request API will have access to download the template and its source code to further customize. Organizations are free to deploy it on their corporate web-site, or to use it as a guide to develop their own public facing portal.

The options for contractors completing Work Orders are typically for the organization to decide based on internal practices. Organizations that desire to have contractors complete work orders online provide access to the system either directly or through a Citrix connection.

EMPLOYEE DOCUMENTATION

Our organization maintains a variety of staff resource information related to licenses, skill sets, certifications and other information. Please address product functionality available to manage this information.

Cityworks Designer is the administrator application used to manage employee-related information (in addition to other work management related data). For employees Cityworks provides a “Skills” tab to track employee skill sets and certifications with issue and expiration dates.

WORK PROCESS DOCUMENTATION

We have critical Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements that impact workflows. Describe functionality that supports compliance or notifications of critical requirements for work processes. For example, a work order that requires a confined space entry permit would prompt the user to complete the permit and have required equipment.

With the flexibility of Cityworks there are various options for handling work activities which include required documentation or equipment. One option is to have the documents and equipment pre-defined on Work Order templates. This will insure that when Work Orders are created these items will always be included on the Work Order automatically. Another option is to have the workflow defined through Tasks within the Work Order. Tasks can be pre-defined as well so that for critical work activities the Tasks are present as soon as the Work Order is created. Tasks can be assigned to multiple individuals within the Work Order and have their own scheduled start dates.

In the situation described above there could be a Task included to “Complete required permit” and the Work Order cannot be closed until the Task is completed.

UTILITY LOCATE REQUESTS (ONE CALL)

We manage utility locate requests through a manual process and have established a goal of migrating to a GIS-based environment. Please document any native or third-party capabilities that will support this process.

Cityworks has integration with the utility locate application, DigSmart. DigSmart is a one call ticket management software solution for utility operators that automates the process of receiving the ticket, verifying the location of utilities and determining if staking is required. If staking is required, the ticket is sent to Cityworks and generated as a Service Request. Once staking is completed and the Service Request is closed, information is relayed back to the DigSmart application to update the one call service. DigSmart supports all one call systems and is also integrated with iWater infraMap.