GRM News Washington and Oregon Fall 2012

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Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting Aumentum, Newsletters, Resources October 12, 2012

From the Desk of Shane Concepcion

Welcome to our 2nd core market newsletter of 2012. It is truly amazing how quickly this year has flown by, as we are about to transition into the holiday season.

In late July, we hosted our inaugural eConvey summit in the Bellevue WA office. There are currently two Counties (Yakima and Snohomish WA) live on eConvey. Thurston and Lewis Counties are forecast to cutover before the end of the year, and we are excited to continue growth into 2013. We recently installed version 2.0 into production @Yakima as well.

Thanks to those of you who physically were in Orlando or who attended remotely for this year’s National User Group conference. It was a success on many levels and an honor to be able to partake in the numerous educational and networking opportunities. The Ascend group had a productive discussion and made decisions about what new enhancement issues to submit to Thomson Reuters for consideration. The hope is that next year’s conference will be on the West Coast – we will keep you all apprised. The Connexion site will contain a lot of the educational materials presented at this year’s conference.

We continue our transition to the Thomson Reuters corporate structure and it has gone very smoothly. We will eventually all transition to the phone systems where we will have new direct dial phone numbers. The important thing to emphasize in the midst of all the changes is that our day to day operations remain “business as usual.”

For the remainder of this year, our company holidays will be Thursday November 22, Friday November 23, and Tuesday December 25.

In closing, I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your loyalty and business. We appreciate your support of our products and services over the years and we wouldn’t be here without you. I’d like to wish you and yours a safe/memorable holiday season and a prosperous New Year, on behalf of all of us in the Government unit of Thomson Reuters.

Shane Concepcion
Operations Manager

 

From the Desk of John Walters

Greetings Customers!

Shane requested I provide a couple paragraphs updating you all on Aumentum and our progress in the Northwest. In short…it’s been significant.

Led by my Sales Executive, Bob Tenace, we now have signed contracts for Aumentum implementations in 5 Oregon counties! These include: Marion, Yamhill, Josephine, Jackson and Klamath. We are currently in contracting with Washington County and hope to have that document signed by the end of the year for a project start in early 2013. These were highly contested procurements against the likes of CCI, True Automation, Tyler and the OR-based Helion/Orcats system. Soon Thomson Reuters will be serving 15 of the 36 counties in Oregon in addition to the 23 counties (of 39) that we currently serve in Washington with Ascend and TerraScan. We are honored to be your Vendor; I know Shane’s outstanding crew will continue to work diligently to exceed your expectations.

These Aumentum wins come as a result of not just Bob’s good looks, but by the strong supporting cast we assemble to present our solutions to our prospective clients. The subject matter experts we bring to our product demonstrations represent a small sampling of the knowledgeable professionals that we have here at Thomson Reuters. It is that depth of knowledge we expect you’ll see when you take the opportunity to peel back the covers on our outstanding product set. If you would like to see what the excitement is about related to Aumentum, please contact Bob Tenace or me, and we’d of course be pleased to facilitate a product presentation and to provide pricing for a future migration to Aumentum.

Thanks again for being our customers. We do appreciate it!!

John Walters
Sales Director, Western Region

 

 Conversion/Migration Corner
By Daniel Kelley

We had two rather successful Informix to SQL Server migrations this past summer with Benton and Snohomish counties in WA. Each had unique challenges along the way and we certainly learned more about each database environment than we probably ever wanted to know! Many counties have been anxious to move onto a SQL Server platform as they leverage existing IT expertise to support resources across multiple departments and products.

I am excited to finish a first pass with Klickitat WA before the end of this month. Meanwhile, thanks to assistance from David Skillin and Steve Anderle, Wasco OR (The Dalles) has an initial database conversion for Ascend they can begin to audit. Unlike migrations, conversion projects are much more complicated beasts and the answers are not as easy to find as they are when you already know the schema you are migrating. We are looking forward to continuing our work in the coming months.

 

Sigma CAMA Corner
By John Wagner

Data Management enhancements (the Query Builder change was in Release 3.3h, the others will be in the next release)

  • In Query Builder, you can now select Key Level 2 tables for your query. This means that you can search on land influences and commercial amenities.
  • The Image Maintenance screen now has a button for adding a Note to a photo. The note is stored in the NOTES column of the PICTURES table. The Wiki tool on Connexion explains how to use this new feature.
  • We have added a subquery wizard to Update Builder. In Update Builder, you have always been able to update a column in a table using one or more columns from another table by using a subquery. For example, you can update TOTAL_ACRES in the PARCEL table with the sum of ACRES from the LAND records by setting it equal to the following subquery:

SELECT SUM(L.ACRES) FROM LAND L WHERE L.LINK_ID = PARCEL.LINK_ID

The problem is that you had to type in the subquery. Now there is a wizard that you can use to build the subquery using point-and-click. Check Connexion for documentation further explaining this new feature.

Field enhancements to be included in the next release:

  • On a download, the Field program now includes more information when the PID List you choose has some locked parcels. In the past, you received a message like: “198 OUT OF 200 PARCEL(S) WILL BE DOWNLOADED – 2 ARE LOCKED. PROCEED WITH DOWNLOAD?” The problem is that it was difficult to determine which parcels were locked. Now this message is accompanied by a list of the locked parcels, including the user who has them locked.
  • Have you ever downloaded a set of parcels, only to later discover that you included a parcel that doesn’t belong in the set? This becomes a problem when someone needs to update this parcel. Since it’s in the download set, it’s locked and cannot be updated in the office database. And because you’re still working on your download set, you’re not ready to upload your parcels and unlock them. Now there is a solution. The Field program has a “Remove” button that allows you to choose one or more parcels from your download set and remove them from the field database. The parcel will be deleted from the laptop and unlocked in the office database. Any changes you made to these parcels in the field will be lost, but you will get a warning when any parcel to be removed has been updated.

 

Welcome to the Wiki World!
By Alexandra Murphy

The Thomson Reuters Customer Connexion site is one of the most versatile but very likely under-used tools in our support/information arsenal. While the majority of users who are registered for the Sigma product line offerings on the website are administrators, there is actually more content available for everyday users who won’t be performing software updates, downloading patches or seeking database scripts. Reference-related content is being updated continuously with the goal to provide a shift to a central location for information that can be accessed wherever you are. This is being done with our general user base in mind. Connexion is not just for administrators any more, it’s for you.

Day by day, more Wiki topics are posted. As the tool evolved we started coming up with ways to make the Wiki work more like an on-line help file. One way in which we’ve succeeded in doing this, is creating topic pages for modules including links which turn the Wiki into a virtual user manual. The best part of it is that this is a manual that doesn’t need to be downloaded and is continually updated.

Users can create a Wiki shortcut on their desktop using the path:

http://connexion.manatron.com/CAMA/Sigma/SigmaWiki.aspx

Clicking on the icon would bring you directly to the Wiki. For users with a wireless connection, this makes it possible to bring reference material with you wherever you go. In addition to the Wiki link, there are topics within the Wiki which could be put directly into an icon or shortcut. For instance, someone who would only be using Image Maintenance could create a shortcut to:

http://connexion.manatron.com/CAMA/Sigma/SigmaWiki/tabid/379/Default.aspx?topic=Image+Maintenance+Topics

This is the topic page for all Image Maintenance Wiki material. Here’s what the topic looks like:

The Wiki provides us with a way to bring you Internet-based user help without a big file. It’s a tool we plan to expand and are looking to increase traffic in order to enable greater efficiency and knowledge to all jurisdictions. So, if you haven’t signed up for Connexion today… What are you waiting for???!!!

 

2012 Aumentum User Groups Conference Recap

The 2012 Aumentum User Groups Conference, held in Orlando Florida in September, was a success as power users from across the country gathered for a variety of networking and educational opportunities. The conference kicked off poolside, as attendees gathered at the Hilton at Walt Disney World Resort® for an evening of food and mingling.

Monday’s opening session was addressed by Bill McKinzie who provided a company update and insight into what the week’s sessions would hold. In addition to the education tracks, the conference featured a Usability Lab, lead by Jaisha Burr and the Thomson Reuters Project Management team. This interactive lab provided users with the opportunity to have hands-on experience during the conference as well the chance to brainstorm with other power users and share ideas regarding the direction of our products. The Records Management team, in collaboration with US Imaging, hosted a “Lunch and Learn”, presenting on three key elements of county records management including: Document conversion, software/hardware and professional services.

Conference attendees even reported a couple of celebrity sightings in the area, as Walt Disney World®’s very own Mickey and Minnie made an appearance at Monday night’s social event held at Fort Wilderness Camp Ground and Resort. Hosting a “beach picnic”, Thomson Reuters invited all attendees for a classic barbeque meal, cocktails, dancing… and there are even reports of a mean hula-hoop contest. Guests gathered on the tiki-torch lit beach and watched the nightly Electrical Water Pageant on the water, to end the evening.

User Awards were awarded at the Wednesday evening banquet. Read more about the recipients, including Washington’s Pierce County, here.

Thank you to everyone who attended this year’s conference, and we look forward to seeing you in 2013!

 

Just for Fun

Our Bellevue office got into the Halloween spirit this year, as a few of our staff participated in the office-wide Halloween Costume Contest. Can you identify them?
Okay, we’ll help you out….

Kurt Layman, Shane Concepcion, Megan Walters, Kathy McDonald