Weatherford Democrat

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December 26, 2012

County moving to new Odyssey courts software

By JUDY SHERIDAN

jsheridan@weatherforddemocrat.com

Parker County Commissioners recently awarded a contract for new judicial software to Tyler Technologies and authorized County Attorney John Forrest to negotiate it.

The county will lease, rather than purchase, the software, known as Odyssey. A purchase would have required additional hardware and training to be operated in-house.

The request for proposal analysis — which evaluated both the traditional purchase model and software as a service — showed an estimated cost to the county of $3.1 million for the latter, with about $1.1 million for implementation and about $396,000 per year for the next five years.

Radford said implementation costs would actually be a little less. In addition, about $250,000 — paid to Tyler annually to maintain the current system — would be deducted from the annual costs.

High points of the new system will be ease of use, integration with third party projects, e-filing for attorneys for civil cases, the ability for document scanning for all judicial offices and the ability to automatically create cases for the Department of Public Safety, according to John Galbraith, of Tyler Technologies.

“We were on the fence, as to whether to go in house or with software as a service,” Information Technology Director Trish Radford told the court. “But I met with the tech people, and now I’m convinced that software as a service is the way Parker County should go.”

Going in house would require adding 16 servers to her office, Radford said, requiring more air conditioning and other changes. The high workload would necessitate hiring another person.

“With software as a service the only thing we’d have to maintain would be one server,” she said. “The [software] images would be here but would also be uploaded to the site in Dallas, like all the other data would be. All the data is backed up in Dallas and then backed up in the state of Maine, every day.”

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