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Customer Snapshot: Overview

Named 2nd among Money magazine's 2010 survey of ''America's Best Places to Live.''

With their reputation as a top place to live in the United States, Maryland’s Howard County does things right when it comes to running the business of government. To gain even greater financial control and improved departmental efficiencies, Howard County leaders replaced their outdated legacy systems with LocalGovOne – a qualified SAP® Business All-in-One partner solution.

Howard County

US$1.5 billion (budget)

Number of Employees

Implementation Partner URL

Public Sector

Ellicott City, Maryland, USA

Customer Website

Implementation Partners
Optimal Solutions Integration Inc.

Line of Business
Finance, Sourcing and Procurement, Sustainability

SAP Solutions
SAP Billing, SAP Business All-in-One

Customer Snapshot: History

A Piece of American History

Howard County has a rich and diverse history:

Customer Snapshot: Business Model

A Great Place to Live

The residents of Howard County, Maryland, have a lot to be proud of: top-ranked public schools, a robust recreation and parks program, and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state.

It’s no wonder that Howard County has been cited in national surveys as among America’s best places to live.

Customer Snapshot: Success Strategy

Supporting a Vision

County officials want to ensure that the government’s business operations can effectively support the county executive’s vision for the future of Howard County.
They recognized the potential for standardized business processes, improved control over public finances, and greater efficiencies in operations such as procurement and utilities. Their goal was to modernize the business systems and enable Howard County to respond more quickly and cost-effectively to the needs of their constituents.

The Challenge

Dramatic Growth in Recent Decades

The county – situated between the cities of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. – has grown dramatically in recent decades. Howard County is now home to around 290,000 citizens, and the county landscape has gone from a relatively rural area to a much more suburban one.
A few years ago, local officials discovered that this transformation had pushed the county’s existing business systems to their limit. The legacy systems were disassociated and outdated. Howard County needed enterprise-level systems that were more aligned with how the county had evolved.

Enter SAP

A Vote of Confidence for Integration

Howard County knew it needed an integrated solution that could handle the full range of public sector issues – from utilities to grant management. Further, the forward-looking county saw the opportunity to update business processes and accelerate the implementation using recognized best practices.
Howard County based their system search on a comprehensive requirements document that included specific milestones designed to ensure timely project completion.
We evaluated offerings from several vendors, and we also contacted other governments to better understand their implementation experiences. –Sandra Stecker, Deputy CIO, Howard County

Enter SAP: The SAP Experience

Successful Collaboration

Ultimately, Howard County chose LocalGovOne – a qualified SAP® Business All-in-One partner solution from Optimal Solutions Integration Inc. This integrated software is based on the SAP ERP application and is tailored with best practices to enable state and local governments to streamline and automate their core processes. The county also decided to use the SAP Billing application to help manage their water and sewer utilities. Howard County and consultants from Optimal Solutions then put together an implementation team dedicated to “problem solving and getting the job done.” In addition, the team followed Optimal’s OPTIMIZE methodology for structuring and managing SAP implementation projects.

The result of their successful collaboration was a project delivered on time and within budget.

Better Business

Better Visibility and Financial Control

Today, Howard County has the level of visibility and financial control you need in a US$1.5 billion organization.
Each department has the ability to drill down into their expenditures, and everyday operations such as procurement are performed with checks and balances following documented processes.
Fiscal responsibility is a top priority. SAP software helped us streamline financial management and made it much easier for us to make the most appropriate decisions when it comes to spending. –Ken Ulman, County Executive, Howard County

Better Business: Benefits

Benefits that Extend Beyond County Lines

This improved control, extends from the purchase of $20 footwear to managing a multimillion-dollar grant. Taking the lead for 10 different jurisdictions in central Maryland, Howard County is managing a nearly $100 million portion of a federal grant to implement new broadband technology across the state.

The 1,000 miles of cable in this inter-county broadband network will ultimately connect over 1,000 schools, colleges, libraries, hospitals, and public safety facilities.

Better Business: Run Simple

Modern, Innovative, and Sustainable Public Services

Whether it’s high-speed broadband or online bill payments, Howard County remains in the vanguard of providing its constituents with modern, innovative, and sustainable public services.

With better financial management, our county departments can focus more of their time on core functions…that means faster utility billing times and greater visibility for activities planning and costs by the Department of Recreation and Parks . –Sandra Stecker, Deputy CIO, Howard County

Journey Ahead

A Walk in the Park for County Residents

County officials are now planning to drive even tighter integration in functions such as treasury, supplier relationship management, and human resources. Howard County is also investigating mobile technologies to further empower their workforce of some 2,800 employees.
Howard County is a great place to live. Just ask the folks enjoying one of the county’s “Sunset Serenade” concerts in the park.
Greater visibility into our county programs, including associating revenues with corresponding expenses, enables us to deliver the public services that our constituents really want. –Sandra Stecker, Deputy CIO, Howard County
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