700 Graham Rd
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221
February 2015 Treasurer’s Update
The following is an email sent from Sam Orth, Chief Technical Officer for the Management Council of Ohio Education Computer Network (MCOECN) explaining the delayed start of the Tyler-Munis Accounting software pilot program. The first wave was scheduled to begin January 1st, 2015 with 10 participant school districts.
From: Sam Orth
Dear Wave 1/Wave 2 Tyler Munis Pilot School District and ITCs,
We are writing to update you on the status of the Partnership’s relationship with Tyler Technologies, Inc.
We understand there are many concerns regarding the length of time it has taken to consummate the Partnership’s relationship with Tyler. It has taken much longer than anyone would have liked, and like many of you, we understand and share your frustrations in wanting to move forward more quickly. After reading this update, we hope you will understand and appreciate our efforts on your behalf.
Our emphasis in this program from the very beginning has been to deliver a best-in-class quality, fiscal and human resources, software package at an affordable cost, and to continue the high level of support that the ITCs provide to their associated school districts.
Beginning with our corporate briefing visit to Tyler in May of 2014, the Partnership has been working with the understanding from Tyler that hosting the Munis platform in Ohio and using Ohio-based staff to support the hosting environment and Munis customers was a viable cost efficient option.
The Partnership’s ability to become expert resources in hosting and supporting Munis is critical to our ability to control costs for school districts, ITCs and the Partnership, while maintaining high service levels for districts participating in the program.
As contract negotiations with Tyler unfolded and our information-gathering efforts around controlling costs, risks and knowledge transfer to Ohio-based Partnership staff (training) increased, we identified several concerns related to these components of the relationship with Tyler that the Partnership needed to resolve before it could move forward with the sizeable statewide financial commitment required.
After extensive efforts to achieve clarity from Tyler, outreach to existing Tyler customers, and on-going discussion with the OASBO and MCOECN steering committees and the governing boards of each partner; the Partnership has decided to suspend its discussion with Tyler to locally host and support Munis for K-12 entities in Ohio. Our efforts led us to conclude that the Partnership’s goals and expectations for a self-hosted and supported model could not be achieved through Tyler’s current business, technology and support model at an appropriate level of cost and risk to participating school districts.
The Partnership’s decision to suspend the self-hosted and supported model does not mean that the Partnership has ended its relationship with Tyler. The Partnership will use the information it has gathered in the process thus far, along with additional information provided by Tyler, to move forward with Tyler hosting Munis in their Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. This process will be much shorter than the process that we’ve traversed thus far.
The Partnership has already communicated its decision to Tyler and is the process of gathering additional information around benefits, costs, risks, sustainability and other components of Tyler’s SaaS model.
Once we receive complete feedback from Tyler and subsequently meet with the Munis Steering Committee, our first task will be to meet with Pilot school districts to communicate financial, scheduling and/or other significant changes to the program.
Given the delays to consummate our relationship with Tyler and potential changes to the program, we understand that districts may individually re-evaluate their participation in the program.
As we said at the onset, we appreciate your patience and cooperation, and hope you value and understand our efforts on your behalf.
We anticipate follow-up meetings with participating schools in February, and will schedule that outreach as soon as it is practical to do so.
Until then, if you have any questions or have other feedback, please let us know.
Sam Orth (orth[at]mcoecn[dot]org)
David Varda (david[at]oasbo-ohio[dot]org)
Executive Director, OASBO