Sauk County improves efficiency by extending support to field staff

IBM Lotus Notes and Domino software helps police officers complete daily logs online

Published on 25-Mar-2013

"With the XPages web application development framework, we don’t have to rely on third-party software vendors. Creating the web interface in-house can save the county an estimated 75 percent in contractor costs per application." - Merry Berg, software specialist, Sauk County

Customer:
Sauk County

Industry:
Government

Deployment country:
United States

IBM Business Partner:
The Learning Continuum Company (TLCC)

Overview

Located in the southwestern part of the state, Sauk County serves one of the 10 fastest growing counties in Wisconsin. Currently, the county is home to more than 61,000 people with a median age of close to 40 years.

Business need:
Each day, police officers in the Sauk County Sheriff’s Department turned in handwritten logs from which secretaries pulled expense and mileage data for input into a spreadsheet.

Solution:
Using IBM® Lotus Notes® and Domino® 8.5 application development tools, the county deployed an online log that police officers can access from virtually anywhere through a Web 2.0-style browser.

Benefits:
Officers enter required information directly into the database, saving hours of secretarial time and improving data analysis and reporting.

Case Study

Located in the southwestern part of the state, Sauk County serves one of the 10 fastest growing counties in Wisconsin. Currently, the county is home to more than 61,000 people with a median age of close to 40 years.

Challenge
In the Sauk County Sheriff’s Department, patrol members completed paper logs to document their activity during each shift. They turned over these logs to secretaries who input required log data into a spreadsheet. The objective was to track fuel costs, mileage and vehicle maintenance, among other budgetary items, and to document federally subsidized work. For example, the county monitored the time spent on policing within the nearby Indian reservation to justify grant money. In addition to the demand on secretarial staff time, police officers had to come back to the office to turn in their logs before shift end. Also, the static spreadsheet data made analysis and reporting difficult. The county wanted officers out in the field to directly update expense and grant reporting databases, eliminating duplicate effort and providing more accurate and timely information.

Solution
Sauk County already used its IBM® Lotus Notes® and Domino® platform to offer a number of online services. Third-party software vendors provided the thin client or web front-end for most of these services. In 2011, Sauk County upgraded to Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5 software, which includes the XPages web application development framework. Sauk County software specialist Merry Berg had been using Domino Designer and IBM Lotus Enterprise Integrator® for Domino software to build applications that integrate data from other Sauk County systems. With the new XPages controls in Domino Designer, she could now also create a web interface to the Domino database that she developed for capturing police officer log information.

To help get up to speed on the XPages framework, Berg took several instructor-led and self-paced online courses from IBM Advanced Business Partner The Learning Continuum Company (TLCC). In addition, she used the TLCC mentoring services for assistance while developing the police officer log interface. Even with the learning curve, the department saved time completing the project. “We knew what we wanted done; we knew what we needed to capture and why. I didn’t have to explain it to an external developer,” says Berg. “That in itself was a huge savings.”

A number of police officers are now testing the solution. They update the Lotus Domino database while out in the field by simply authenticating to Lotus Notes and the Domino server through IBM Lotus iNotes® software and using the new web interface to fill in their logs from laptops in their cruisers. The officers are enthusiastic about the new process. They don’t have to return to the office each night to drop off their logs, and secretaries are pleased they no longer have to decipher log entries and input data. When fully deployed, the solution will serve 45 police officers. By decreasing the time and expense of creating web-based applications, the county anticipates accelerating the extension of operational support to mobile employees working directly with citizens. It also expects to speed deployment of new online services to county residents.

Expected benefits
• Save Sauk County Sheriff’s Department secretaries hours weekly in unproductive time inputting data from written logs
• Improve access to timely information for cost-effective staffing, financial and budgetary decisions
• Eliminate the need for third-party web interface developers, for an estimated cost savings of up to 75 percent

For more information
To learn more about IBM Lotus messaging and collaboration software, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website, ibm.com/software/lotus.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
IBM iNotes, IBM Notes, IBM Domino

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America March 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Domino, iNotes, Lotus Enterprise Integrator and Lotus Notes are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.