Special SF city council meeting tonight to approve massive software contract

This is the first I have heard about this contract. I am blown away by the cost and annual maintenance fees ($1.8 Million).

PDF Outlines: memo-f-smemo-f-s-2memo-f-s-3

I have seen some pretty hefty fees for software, but this blows me away. I also am troubled by the maintenance fees. Not sure how many people work in IT and the Financial office for the city, but I would think with that many people on the payroll, they could have figured out a cheaper route. But hey, it’s not their money 🙂

This is also an interesting read on a study proposing to change city employees benefits; benefits-changes

Mike might have to get his hands a little dirty to win this battle.


#1 Scott on 03.26.12 at 1:43 pm

All of those private software companies vastly over-charge for their services. A friend of mine wanted to create the ultimate database for her favorite band, and I could do for next to no time 90% of what they were billing her $21,000 (plus $10,000/yr. maintenance and support) to build.

#2 Detroit Lewis on 03.26.12 at 1:59 pm

I talked to someone who has worked in software/computers for over 20 years, and he told me that the license fee is probably correct (have to be licensed on all of the computers the city uses) but was skeptical about the rest. He also did some quick research on the company, based out of Texas, which troubled him a bit (would our databases be in Texas or only with the city)? And if so, why aren’t we trying to use a regional company?


#3 Detroit Lewis on 03.26.12 at 2:05 pm

As for overcharging, I agree. I charge $80 per hour for graphic design. If I am doing a logo design, I charge double that and include my concept time (which is basically me doing research and thumbnails). I think the most I have ever charged for a logo is $400, and the cheapest is like $100. I had a guy call me once, and I told him my fees, and said, you probably won’t pay over $250, and I will give you 3-6 design ideas. He couldn’t believe it, he told me that a local ad agency (that starts with an ‘L’ and ends with a ‘R’) told him it would be between $2-4,000 dollars for a few design ideas, then filled his head about some other concept and marketing ideas. I just laughed.

#4 Scott on 03.26.12 at 2:31 pm

Sounds similar to when I attempted to take my end-of-year CD booklet to a “real” printer. As you know, these are little gifts that I give out every year to friends, and I have a run of about 100. Printing, cutting, and stapling these things at Staples or Office Max cost about $75…the quote from this company was over $250! And I was giving them a completed design…cut marks and everything!

#5 Anthony D. Renli on 03.26.12 at 3:04 pm

DL- answering a couple of question as to why we don’t go with a local/regional developer – because there aren’t any who have experience developing an ERP solution of size and scale sufficient to handle all billing/financial management of the city and we do NOT want to be any companies first foray into this market. For an example of what happens when we go local with stuff like this I refer you to the “New Improved State License Plate Software”

This limits us to a small pool of national companies who can have a product, and then can customize it to fit the City’s needs. We’d be looking at SAP, Microsoft, or some other big player in the ERP world (and all of the big names would be more…trust me Microsoft Dynamic’s licenses are semi-insane, and customization on Microsoft’s end falls into the “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it” realm) or some development shop like
Yes they are based out of Texas – but knowing what I know they are not looking at a cloud based ERP solution – which means it’s local -and this is going to eat up a big chunk most of the implementation costs. (SQL or Oracle Licenses, Windows Server licenses, Hardware to run the VM’s on, expanding SAN storage – I can see these initial purchases running darn high).

#6 Anthony D. Renli on 03.26.12 at 3:13 pm

Darn copy and paste missed a line…
after the or some development shop like
should be
Tylor Technologies that has a developed ERP solution that has a verified install base in other cities of our size or larger.

#7 l3wis on 03.26.12 at 3:22 pm

Thanks for the clarification. The ironic part is that they were probably the ‘cheap’ vendor.

#8 rufusx on 03.26.12 at 7:10 pm

Ha ha – lewi – your story reminds me – the consulting comapny I worked with once had Bell and Howell as a client. Their old logo was BELL + HOWELL (just a plus sign in between, specifi font, etc.) and had been exactly what it was since the 1950’s. They decided they needed to “modernize” their logo for the 21st century. They hired a logo design specialist company, who charged them around 1.3 MMM to “buttonize” the +. What a frikkin racket!!!

#9 rufusx on 03.26.12 at 7:17 pm

For sanother slant – Holy Carp!!! The city is just now getting on the ERP train? That thing left the station about 15 years ago!!

#10 rufusx on 03.26.12 at 7:18 pm

Ohh I forgot – it’s still South Dakota. Sorry. I slipped back into California dreamin there.