Fremont City
California

Staff Report
3808

MIGRATE EXISTING ACCELA AUTOMATION LAND USE AND PERMIT SYSTEM TO ACCELA SOFTWARE-AS-A-SERVICE (SaaS) PLATFORM - Authorize the City Manager, or Designee, to Enter into Agreements and Issue Purchase Orders to Accela, Inc. to Migrate the Existing Accela Automation Land Use and Permit System to the Accela Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Platform, Execute Any Other Implementing Documents, and Transfer $488,116 from the Development Cost Center Technology and System Improvement Reserve (Fund 392) to CIP Project 501PWC8746, Permitting and Land Use System

Information

Department:Information Technology ServicesSponsors:
Category:Agreements and Contracts

Attachments

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Item Discussion

Executive Summary: In July 2017, the City went live with a new land management and permitting system, Accela Automation, as an on-premise platform. Since that time, Accela has changed its business plan to move its future systems to a hosted environment, phasing out support to on-premise customers. This new system platform is referred to as a “Software as a Service” (SaaS) platform. Moving Accela Automation to a SaaS platform is consistent with the City’s guiding principles as established in the IT Strategic Plan. As a result, the City needs to enter into a Master Services Agreement for use of the SaaS with Accela, Inc.  Staff estimates that the migration to the SaaS platform will be completed by the end of 2019.

 

Accela will provide the professional services to migrate the existing on-premise system to the SaaS platform, which will be supported by the Information Technology Services (ITS) Department staff and development staff, at no cost to the City. There are other one-time services being requested of Accela for which there are associated costs.  These one-time services include development fee updates, integrations of the Accela SaaS with the City’s cashiering system and GIS system, and interfaces to other City systems including eplansoft REVIEW (electronic plan checking), Cimage document management, and Selectron interactive voice response.  A separate Professional Services Agreement with Accela, Inc. is required for these one-time services.

 

Staff recommends that the City Council authorize the City Manager, or designee, to enter into a  three-year Master Services Agreement with Accela, Inc. for the licensed use and software support of the SaaS products and hosting services in the total amount not-to-exceed $1,324,354 payable in annual payments; to enter into a Professional Services Agreement with Accela, Inc. for one-time costs associated with various scopes of work in an amount not-to-exceed $300,000; and (3) to transfer $488,116 from the Development Cost Center Technology and System Improvement Reserve (Fund 392) to CIP Project 501PWC8746, Permitting and Land Use System.

Body

BACKGROUND: In June 2015, the City Council authorized the purchase of the Accela on-premise software system that is installed on City servers and maintained by the Information Technology Services (ITS) Department staff.  The system went into production in July 2017.  The purchase of the Accela on-premise system included licensing for the base land management functionality and the modules of GIS, Mobile, and Citizen Access as add-ons to the base product.

 

DISCUSSION/ANALYSIS: Accela recently changed its business plan to move its future software systems to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform.  Moving to a cloud-based system is consistent with the City’s technology guiding principles for applications in the IT Strategic Plan that state “a hybrid of cloud computing, both public and private, and on-premise solutions will be implemented, wherever available and practical”.

 

Several advantages of the Accela SaaS system include the following:

 

·         Under the new licensing structure, the functionality of the base land management product and the add-on modules is now included in a single license. This means that the City purchases only one license and users are able to use all of the products instead of the City buying a license for the base product and another license for each of the add-on modules.

·         Accela provides all applications and the infrastructure (servers, storage, firewalls, network switches) securely hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud data center.

·         SaaS improves the administration and maintainability of the applications and infrastructure in that the infrastructure is easily scalable to increase processing and storage capacities to meet future needs.

·         Accela applies regular software bug fixes, version updates and enhancements to keep the software current.

·         The mobile application in the SaaS increases the usability and improves data capture in the field.

·         SaaS enhances reporting capabilities with better usability and increased access to data and provides better integration with third-party reporting tools such as Power BI (business intelligence).

 

The Accela SaaS platform (applications and infrastructure) will be securely hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud data center.  The Microsoft Azure cloud data center is SOC 2 (Security Operations Center) compliant, which means that it has been fully and independently audited to validate the functionality of its security and meets strict control and access requirements for the City’s data being stored in the cloud.  Accela holds Azure cloud certifications for data security and compliance including NIST 800-53 (National Institute of Standards and Technology), ISO (International Standards Organization) and FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program).  The servers operate in a redundant and fail-over environment for system availability 99.5% of the time, and Accela regularly applies patches to the servers’ operating systems to reduce internal and external security risks.

 

Agreements

To migrate to the SaaS platform, the City needs to enter into two agreements with Accela, Inc.  The Master Services Agreement is a three-year agreement for the SaaS services and includes the licensing for 200 users of the Accela products and hosting of the system and the City’s data in the Microsoft Azure cloud data center. The Agreement includes a 3% inflation rate for years 2 and 3.

 

The Professional Services Agreement is for the one-time services to complete specific scopes of work identified as needed by the City.  Some of the specific work the City is requesting Accela to perform includes development fee updates, integration to the City’s cashiering system and to the GIS system, and interfaces to the eplansoft REVIEW electronic plan check, Cimage document management, and Selectron interactive voice response systems used in conjunction with the Accela permit system.

 

FISCAL IMPACT: The one-time professional services and a portion of the first year SaaS costs will be funded from the Development Cost Center Technology and System Improvement Reserve. This reserve is a combination of Planning (Fund 391), Building (Fund 392), and Engineering (Fund 393) development permit monies. Currently, the reserve is funded with $4 million, which is the amount established for this reserve in the budget resolution. General Fund monies are not a part of this reserve. The proposed action will be funded specifically from Fund 392 (Building) monies within the reserve.

 

The first-year costs of the SaaS are $396,116, and the SaaS is effective upon the date that the SaaS system goes into production at the City.  The ITS Department FY 2019/20 operating budget includes $208,000 for the annual support costs on the on-premise Accela system; therefore, there is a difference of $188,116 to be paid for the new annual SaaS costs in the current fiscal year. Accela will be crediting the City for a prorated amount of the annual software support costs paid on the existing on-premise Accela Automation system through March 30, 2020.  The exact amount of this credit is dependent on the date that the SaaS platform goes into production, which is estimated to be in November or December 2019.

 

The total amount for the one-time professional services to be provided by Accela for specific scopes of work is not-to-exceed $300,000.

 

Staff is requesting the City Council to approve a total funding request in the amount of $488,116. Transferring this $488,116 from the Development Cost Center Technology and System Improvement Reserve (Fund 392) will not affect the Development Cost Center Contingency Reserve, which complies with Council policy to remain at or above 25% of the Development Cost Center operating budgets. In FY 2018/19, the contingency reserve was fully funded at $7,908,083.

 

Funding for the annual SaaS costs in future years will be requested through the Information Technology Services Department operating budget as part of the City’s annual budget process. The annual costs will then be charged to the various Development Services Center users through the ITS cost allocation.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW:  The proposed action is not a project under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as defined in CEQA Guideline Section 15378(b)(5).

Document Comments

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1.              Authorize the City Manager, or designee, to enter into a three-year Master Services Agreement with Accela, Inc. in the amount not-to-exceed $1,324,354 for the SaaS system, payable in three annual payments: $396,116 for the first year, $407,999 for the second year, and $420,239 for the third year of services; and $100,000 for additional licensing, hosting, and data storage costs over the three-year period.

2.              Authorize the City Manager, or designee, to issue a purchase order to Accela, Inc. in the amount of $396,116 for the first year of annual SaaS costs and to issue purchase orders in the respective fiscal years for years 2 and 3 of the Master Services Agreement.

3.              Authorize the City Manager, or designee, to enter into a Professional Services Agreement and issue a purchase order with Accela, Inc. in the amount not-to-exceed $300,000 for one-time services to complete specific scopes of work as requested and approved by the City.

4.              Authorize the City Manager, or designee, to approve the expenditure of an additional not-to-exceed amount of $50,000 per year for purchase of additional user licenses, hosting services, or data storage, subject to adoption of applicable operating budget in future years.

5.              Authorize the City Manager, or his designee, to execute any implementing documents and take any implementing actions as necessary.

6.              Transfer and appropriate $488,116 from the Development Cost Center Technology and System Improvement Reserve to Capital Improvement Program project 501PWC8746, Permitting and Land Use System, to cover one-time professional services as contracted and a portion of the first year of annual SaaS costs.