Santa Clara Co. consolidates Web sites to save

Santa Clara Co. consolidates Web sites to save

Santa Clara County, home to California's Silicon Valley, was hit hard by the dot-com bust. High unemployment led citizens to seek more services at the same time the county government is downsizing.

Planned budget reductions will possibly result in 1,200 positions being eliminated in the next fiscal year, said Elizabeth Gorgue, senior IT project manager and e-government evangelist. By consolidating its public Web presence from 51 separate sites into one, at www.sccgov.org, Santa Clara County will save money while improving outreach to its technology-savvy citizens.

Gorgue said the vision for the internal employee portal is that it will become 'the workbench to access all applications an employee needs to do his or her job.'

Next week, the county is launching an electronic forms automation suite for employees using Liquid Office from Cardiff Software Inc. of San Diego and Vignette V7 software from Vignette Corp. of Austin, Texas. The automated forms call data from the county's PeopleSoft human resources application from PeopleSoft Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., Gorgue said.

Employees used to use a paper form for 18 personnel transactions. Now the form is automated into separate electronic forms and workflow based on each of those transactions, Gorgue said.

The county will continue to transition to e-government using Java applications, said Satish Ajmani, Santa Clara County CIO.

The employee portal is the latest milestone in a county that six years ago didn't have a CIO, Ajmani said. There are still 50 e-mail servers running 'every flavor of e-mail you can think of,' Ajmani said, including Novell GroupWise, Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes.

Like many other state and local governments, the county is grappling with a cash shortfall after the economic downturn. 'Over the past five years, we've spent $100 million on technology,' Ajmani said. 'This year we'll be lucky if we get $700,000. If it's broken, we can fix it, but that's about it.'

(Posted March 12 and updated March 15)

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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