Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chicago, IL – In December, The City of Chicago’s Department of Revenue (DoR) completed the replacement of its legacy cashiering system (RECAPS) with Payment Manager, a commercial, off the shelf cashiering product from The Active Network, a San Diego based marketing and technology services company. Keane was chosen to perform the implementation, and Clarity Partners played a lead role in capturing the business requirements, assisting with the design and managing the testing and training efforts for the implementation.

With the retirement of RECAPS, several accounting functions that were ‘bolted’ onto the legacy application had to be reconceived, since these functions are not found within traditional COTS cashiering applications. The result of this effort led to the design and development of the new City of Chicago Department of Revenue Payment Portal. The portal, in addition to acting as an initial clearinghouse for all Payment Manager cashiered payments, provides a suite of accounting applications to assist the DoR in the management of payment processing, make adjustments and run over 150 customized reports. Clarity played an ongoing design, development and testing role throughout the portal development project.

A team of Senior Business Analysts from Keane will begin in May to document the detailed requirements of the Payment Portal using an Agile planning and development methodology. The project is scheduled to complete in early 2009.

Active Network’s deployment of Payment Manager at the City of Chicago was far from routine. ‘The degree to which The City needed to integrate it’s back office accounting functions with Payment Manager had never been attempted before,’ said Phil Stebbings, Clarity Partner’s senior resource on the project, ‘The DoR wanted to avoid a situation where Payment Manager would have to be customized and extended to replicate all of RECAPS cashiering and back office functions in favor of an approach where non-cashiering functions and departmental source systems could be maintained and updated independently’.

In the new environment, the City’s cashiering system can be upgraded with minimal impact to back office processing. Alternatively, back office functionality currently residing on the DoR Payment Portal can also under undergo maintenance and be extended without impacting payment cashiering.

The new cashiering system interfaces with debt-generating systems across the City, including CANVAS, IRIS, Banner and Hansen. In the City of Chicago’s payment environment, Payment Manager cashiers payments for all the City’s payment centers and other payment sites including kiosks, internet and mail-in payments. The project is central to the DoR’s goals of providing unsurpassed customer service at its many payment locations. In the final phase of the project due to complete in March, the Payment Portal will be extended to include the management of NSF check processing.

About the Chicago Department of Revenue

The Chicago Department of Revenue's mission is to support vital city infrastructure and services by maximizing revenue collections while providing superior customer services. The Department of Revenue is committed to administering and enforcing the Municipal Code of Chicago in a confidential, efficient and courteous manner. They are responsible for educating and assisting the public in the process of meeting their business obligations and informing them of the basis of all enforcement actions. They are also accountable for providing accurate information and letting citizens know their rights in dealing with the Department. The Department of Revenue encourages all to actively participate in all of their processes, further research each person's rights and responsibilities and give the Department feedback on how they may serve the public.

About Keane, Inc

Recently acquired by Caritor, an IT services industry pioneer, Keane now offers services that span consulting, technology, and outsourcing backed by greater technical depth, industry expertise, and geographic reach. Based in San Ramon, CA, Keane operates in 10 countries and employs more than 14,000 professionals. From application and business process outsourcing services to industry-specific solutions that merge consulting insights with technology innovation, everything Keane does is tailored to meet your unique and specific business needs.

About The Active Network

The Active Network, Inc., an online community, offers application services technology and marketing access to community service and participatory sports organizations. The company also offers programs, facility, golf course, membership, and revenue management software solutions for parks and recreation, education, and municipal golf courses; Web site content management software solutions; and cashiering and payment, citizen service request, and crisis communication software solutions for government.  For more information regarding The Active Network visit http://www.activenetwork.com/.