Rick Colen Drives Process Improvement and Implementation for the County of Fresno

By January 14, 2015Uncategorized

Rick Colen is not a man who wastes time. As the Deputy Director of Information Technology for Fresno County, he already has a lot on his plate managing a staff of 110 who support the needs of 7,000 users across 126 locations and 26 departments. When he’s not attending to the requests of his internal and external customers, Rick is a dedicated runner, marathoner and Search and Rescue volunteer. He brings to his job the same drive and passion he brings to everything he does. Rick knows what success looks like and how to attain it.

The County of Fresno is situated in the heart of California’s Central Valley. It encompasses a diverse population of over one million people who work in agriculture, higher education, healthcare and a variety of other fields. Fresno is the county seat and the fifth largest city in California. It is also the 56th most populous metropolitan area within the U.S.

Rick’s team is responsible for all day-to-day IT operations in the County, including its networks, applications, security and data. As the population of the area continues to grow, so does the need for services— and his group must be prepared to deliver a range of IT-based solutions. Rick employs a driven, but measured, approach to managing these requirements. As a trusted partner, we have been fortunate to work with Fresno County as it has adapted—and continues to adapt—to changing demands.

To meet the requirements of a growing population (whose need for services increases exponentially), the IT Department required greater visibility into the County’s business processes. Its legacy system was no longer able to provide relevant analysis, reporting, or insights into the status of IT projects. As a result, IT was unable to predict delivery timeframes with any degree of certainty — or comfort.

The time was ripe for a new business process improvement solution. Rick and his team initiated an RFP, with the secondary evaluation taking four months and consisting of evaluating six BPM software and workflow software vendors. Process Director was selected by the IT staff, working in conjunction with the Communications, Facilities and Fleet Services Departments.

“The biggest challenge we faced,” according to Rick, “was not having a mechanism for determining when a process should complete, nor having a timeline within our structure that would enable us to know, in advance, whether that process might fail altogether. Those are two of the reasons we selected Process Director.”

Ease-of-use was another reason for selecting Process Director, along with the ability to quickly develop and deploy Word-based smart forms. Being .Net-based, rather than Java-based, also figured heavily into the decision. Because Process Director also incorporates a timeline element, Rick’s team is able to see outstanding requests and projected timelines.

The first order of business for the IT Department was to update eRams, the County’s existing Electronic Request and Asset Management System. Searching for data within eRams had become almost impossible and the system itself frequently crashed. “Someone would initiate a request but it would get stuck in a queue and we had a difficult time getting it processed. It got to the point where we couldn’t add new people without breaking the system,” he stated. The range of other projects for Phases II, III and beyond is growing, as the County automates and rolls out new processes.

One of the nicest benefits of the decision to deploy Process Director is the partnership that has developed between Fresno’s IT team and BP Logix. Rick recognizes that he can be demanding, and BP Logix has consistently met or exceeded his needs. “If a company doesn’t have quality customer service, I won’t do business with them. The BP Logix team is phenomenal to work with and you can tell that they are focused on customer service.”

One of the advantages of our work with customers is engaging with problem solvers like Rick Colen. It provides us with incentive — and purpose. Addressing the needs of our customers and prospects can lead to some exciting challenges and rewarding outcomes.