General Manager�s Report

August/September, 1999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

���������������� ������ REPORT ��� ����������������������������������������������������������� ������PAGE #

 

 

�������������� Marketing Report����������������������������������������������������������������������������� 3

 

 

 

�������������� Technical Report������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 6

 

 

 

�������������� Financial Report������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������� 7

 

 

 

���������� �� New/Outstanding Issues������������������������������������������������������������������� 9��������������������� �����������������������������������

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARKETING REPORT

 

 

OVERVIEW

InforME is Interactive!

 

Our first interactive service was launched on September 1st.Interactive driver records are actually the third InforME service; the first two being Batch driver records, followed by the BMV Special Request service.Interactive services are characterized by live searches or queries, followed by immediate delivery of a user�s request.Interactive Title and Registration searches are scheduled for launch on September 15th.We are meeting our project plan timeline for the Secretary of State, and all is going very well.

 

Web Design Services
 

Based upon the overwhelming support of the Board, we have hired a new graphic artist by the name of Jari Feldt.Jari is a very talented artist who has moved to Maine from Sweden, via the Midwest.�� He has vast experience in multimedia design, including animation.Jari started on September 1st and plans to begin offering services to agencies immediately.We have begun discussions with a few agencies, but have no immediate work for Jari.We are keeping him busy with work on the Secretary of State�s services designs, as well as our InforME site.If we receive Board approval for our web design proposal, we can begin marketing Jari�s services more extensively.

 

Customer Service
 

We are happy to report that the phones have been ringing off the hook!Since August 19th or so, after 1526 letters were sent out to existing BMV customers announcing the new Internet services, a steady stream of calls have been coming through.The entire InforME team has been very busy serving customers, which is just how we like it.Setting up new accounts, answering questions, and walking customers through the new apps has been time-consuming, but delightful, since it means InforME is really in action.We have already received signed subscription agreements from 15 companies!

 

 

Kudos to BMV/SOS
 

The Secretary of State�s office has been exemplary in their assistance to the Network in getting services up and running.In the initial stages of any application, the Network must ask a great number of questions, run thoughts by staff members, and ask for assistance in testing and revisions.The Secretary of State�s office and the BMV staff have been responsive, helpful, and generally great to work with.It is because of this assistance and support that we have actually been able to launch four services in less than three months.

 

 

MEETINGS

 

7-8/99

BMV/Secretary of State

InforME staff has had many meetings with BMV and SOS staff in the development and implementation of new services.In fact, we meet regularly every other week to review the project plan and demonstrate our progress.

 

7/20/99

State Webmasters Retreat

The presentation to the State Webmasters was very successful.The webmasters do seem to be very concerned with the current migration issues involved in moving state web content from a Unix server (called Webster) to an NT server (called Janus).Apparently there is a new issue of storage space on Janus, which is causing more concern and delays for webmasters.It does appear that InforME could provide an excellent solution to solve the space/storage problem by migrating all the data to InforME servers.We talked preliminarily about issues surrounding the possibility of InforME becoming the state�s official homepage, how that might affect agencies, what might be the benefits.We also talked about web services that InforME will be offering.On the whole the response and feedback were excellent.It is essential for the success of the Network that this important group be "on board" with InforME and the strategies surrounding it.

 

7/21/99 (and others)

Ethics and Campaign Finance

InforME staff has met several times with Ethics and Campaign Finance to discuss online campaign finance filings.This is a very exciting project and one that will be very high profile.We were hoping to have a signed SLA for the Board to approve on Monday, but there have been some delays.The next board meeting will likely feature the SLA for this application.

 

7/22/99 (and others)

Inland Fisheries and Wildlife �Danny Morris, Vesta Billings, and Don Kleiner

At this meeting, we fleshed out the elements of the SLA we will be drafting between IF&W and InforME.There will basically be three areas where InforME can make a contribution:

1)      Taking over their label service (similar to BMV special request)

2)      Providing a store front � Process licenses, permits, and sell other IF&W items like hats, mugs, etc.

3)      Providing an improved integrated system that will allow Internet license/permit applications to be processed more efficiently.

We are looking forward to finalizing our SLA with IF&W in the coming month.

 

8/5/99

State Technical Coordinators Meeting

Not to be confused with the State Webmasters group, or the IS Managers Group, this group is comprised of mid-level technicians, many of whom will be the hands-on staff InforME will work with on a regular basis.We presented the site and answered questions.Again, feedback was very positive.

 

8/11/99

Bureau of Banking � Professional and Finance Regulation � Howard Gary, Colette Mooney, Christine Pearson, Christine Solomon, Paul Sawyer, Jim Cosgrove

In this meeting, the Bureau of Banking gave us a project overview of a brand new service the Bureau will be implementing.They will want an entirely new look, feel, and navigation for the new project which involves the Universal Bank Charter.This new service will have a much stronger marketing focus and will encourage and welcome new businesses as they come to Maine.We will be having follow-up meetings with Banking.We will also likely be pursuing an SLA with PFR in general to assist them in getting their renewal forms online and interactive.We had a follow-up meeting with the Bureau on 9/9, where we introduced Jari to the team.

 

8/13/99

Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) � Bill Libby, Lynette Miller, Rayna Leibowitz, Robert Gardner

MEMA has identified a new service for InforME.It would enable businesses that store hazardous materials to file necessary paperwork, associated with the reporting required by the state, online.The current paper method is extremely burdensome to the customer and often requires double, triple, and sometimes quadruple-data entry.Not only does the state receive this data, but also the local government entities.There is a public right-to-know aspect to the application as well.InforME has indicated its interest in the application, but has also communicated the �full plate� schedule we are working under.The agency will be preparing a project prioritization sheet to better acquaint the Board with the application.We indicated to them that we ought to proceed, but that development may not begin on the project for quite some time.We actually also had a follow-up meeting to this initial meeting with Lynette Miller.

 

9/8/99

Cabinet Presentation

Secretary Gwadosky presented InforME to the Governor�s Cabinet this month.The presentation went beautifully, and the reception was excellent.It was very rewarding to see that a vision, which began so many years ago, has come to fruition through the efforts of some key leaders in Maine State Government.The InforME Board should be very proud of its Chairman.Secretary Gwadosky highlighted the excellent leadership of the Board thus far, and it�s obvious that the Governor and the Cabinet have a great deal of confidence in the Board�s role in InforME.

 

 

Upcoming meetings and presentations

 

9/23 � Presentation to Professional and Financial Regulation

9/27 � Department of Labor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TECHNICAL REPORT

 

Our technical operations have significantly improved.Our contractor, Todd Tolhurst, has provided extensive assistance and guidance as we�ve adapted to the needs of the State.

 

HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE

 

MEETINGS

Gary Beckwith, Director of Development, attended a one-day seminar on XML in Arkansas, and spent three days in Indianapolis familiarizing himself with an established NIC site.Gary returned with Indiana�s JAVA library and several contracts for existing applications.

 

PROGRAMMING������

 

STAFFING

We have contracted with an excellent system administrator, Todd Tolhurst, to work 4/5 time and fill in as database administrator in September during the absence of Yong Feng.We have applied for H1-B visa status for Yong, and because of a backlog at the INS, Yong must not be employed by any U.S. company until his application is approved.Our attorneys have advised us that we will very likely be able to employ Yong again on or around October 1st.

 

 

 

FINANCIAL REPORT

July and August, �99 report will be attached at Board Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW/OUTSTANDING ISSUES

AND UPDATES

 

 

 

 

FOR BOARD CONSIDERATION

 

Subscription Fee

We would like to suggest a $50 annual subscription for InforME.For this annual fee, customers will be entitled to receive 10 user names and passwords.The renewal fee will also be $50.Other NIC affiliate networks are charging $75 per year, with a $60 renewal rate.Being that Maine is a state with a strong commitment to small business, we considered $50 to be a more accessible price.

 

STAFFING

 

Graphic Artist

We welcome Jari Feldt to InforME team.Jari has been an artist and designer since he was in high school, excelling in both print and computer graphics.And while I�ve certainly heard great references before, I have never heard a candidate compared to Leonardo Da Vinci until now.We look forward to Jari�s assistance on the InforME website.

 

Administrative Assistant

We have made a change in this important position, and are excited to welcome Renee Loring to InforME.Renee�s banking background will be a valued addition to our staff and her experience in bookkeeping, accounts payable and receivable will be appreciated.Renee also has strong potential to contribute to our efforts through creative graphics and telemarketing.

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

        Project Prioritization Sheet

        Web Design Proposal

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Tamara Dukes

Network General Manager