LA increases CGI-AMS work

Los Angeles County has awarded a multiyear, $33 million contract to CGI-AMS, amending a previous contract to implement a core financial system that will go live July 1.

The new contract with CGI-AMS, a subsidiary of Montreal-based CGI, includes maintenance costs for the next five years for a financial and grants management system. Company developers are currently testing the system before it goes live, said Dave Delgado, vice president and managing director of consulting services at CGI-AMS.

The new contract will implement procurement, fixed asset, inventory control and time and attendance systems during the next 15 to 24 months, he added. The deal will also include design of a human resources system, Delgado said.

County officials are assessing their future human resources needs to determine if CGI-AMS' product will address those needs. If not, they will need to perform a competitive bid process, he added.

Under the original $13 million contract signed about a year and a half ago, the company replaced the county's financial system, which was implemented by American Management Systems about 20 years ago. CGI acquired AMS last May.

Delgado said the company's AMS Advantage 3 product fit so well and required so little customization that county officials amended the contract to implement more functionality. The upgrade was essentially done through a sole-source process, he said.

Several years ago, the county issued a contract for an enterprise resource planning system. At that time, the company was not a viable candidate because its product wasn't even ready for beta testing, let alone live operations, Delgado said.

But as county officials went through lengthy negotiations with the top two candidates, the AMS product matured and was implemented by the Massachusetts state government, Delgado said. Los Angeles County officials noticed the development, canceled their procurement process and awarded the $13 million contract to AMS.

Delgado said the new system, which is only designed for state and local governments, has several advantages. For example, county officials no longer need to worry about losing technology staff who could maintain the mainframe-based system because that system will be phased out. They have also streamlined and updated their business processes. The new system also reduces training costs and change management, Delgado said.

Department leaders and other employees and vendors will be able to access certain levels of data via Web browsers, a function they did not have before.

"In some cases they had green screens," Delgado said. "It's a leap in technology for them."

More than 190 public-sector clients use CGI-AMS' product. The company is in the process of upgrading financial systems for more than 40 clients nationwide, Delgado said, adding that it's much cheaper than implementing an entirely new system.

With a $17 billion operating budget and 90,000 employees, Los Angeles County is the largest county in the United States .

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