Archived IT News


Pierce County IT Wins Two Standing Ovation Awards
- October, 10 2016

Congratulations to all the IT staff who won Standing Ovation Awards! Staff from IT, the Auditor, and Budget and Finance received an award for their work designing a biometric time entry system. The system allows Elections extra hires to quickly clock in using any finger, thereby saving Pierce County more than $10,000 a year. Check out the project video to learn more.

Additionally, IT won a Partnership Award for helping to link recorded documents with parcels in the Public GIS system. This project provides greater access to 15 commonly used recorded documents, including deeds of trust, bargain and sale deeds, surveys, liens and easements. Take a look at the award video to learn more.

Puget Sound Fresh app wins international award for design excellence
- July 8, 2016

The Puget Sound Fresh App is the perfect way for consumers to learn about fresh summer produce or find local farmer markets. Now the popular app has won a 2016 Apex Award for design and overall communications excellence.

Pierce County collaborated with neighboring agencies, University of Washington Tacoma and non-profit Seattle Tilth to create the app.

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy praised the app for supporting local farmers. “The County took the lead in developing this free app, and it’s now benefiting communities all over western Washington,” McCarthy said. “It is gratifying to learn that Puget Sound Fresh has received this recognition.”

Chuck Buzzard Named Washington's GIS Person of the Year
- May 19, 2016

Pierce County’s Chuck Buzzard is a groundbreaking technologist, innovative leader, and partner with many state and local agencies. Chuck has now been named “GIS Person of the Year” for his expertise and countless hours of volunteering.

“Chuck Buzzard is the “gold standard” for GIS professionals,” said Pierce County IT Director Linda Gerull. “His leadership and constant focus on partnerships have improved GIS data and systems at the local and state level. He is always ready to share his expertise and is patient as others learn the complexities and impacts of GIS.”

Pierce County congratulates Chuck on this special recognition!

Pierce County's Email Migration Featured in New Case Study
- Mar 15, 2016

A new case study from data management company Bishop details how Pierce County migrated a legacy email archive system to Office 365. The County worked with Bishop to copy 233 million messages to the Microsoft Cloud, while at the same time ensuring the migration met public records and legal requirements.

Read the entire case study.


Puget Sound Fresh app wins national award for best new mobile app
- Sep 18, 2015

Western Washington farmers and consumers who support local food already love the Puget Sound Fresh app. Both Android and Apple users can use the app to find more than 350 farms and farmers markets, as well as recipes, harvest calendars and events.

Now the Fresh app has won a Savvy Award for best new mobile app from the City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA). The Savvy Awards recognize outstanding local government achievements in communications, public-sector marketing and citizen-government relationships. 

“Pierce County took the lead in developing this free app, and it’s now benefiting communities all over western Washington,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “We’ve had nothing but positive feedback, and I’m proud that Puget Sound Fresh has received this kind of recognition.”

Pierce County makes the top ten list of digital leaders in government
- July 9, 2015

Pierce County has made the list of “Top Ten” digital leaders, according to the 2015 Digital County Survey. The annual survey recognizes leading examples of counties using technology to improve services and boost efficiencies.

“It is an honor for Pierce County to be recognized as a top digital leader,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “Our success would not have been possible without our strong team of innovative leaders. The new initiatives have enhanced our community by keeping citizens safe, informed and connected.” 

The survey, conducted by Center for Digital Government (CDG) in partnership with the National Association of Counties (NACo), identifies best technology practices among U.S. counties.



Business Examiner profiles FirstToSee

- Dec 15, 2014

The Business Examiner profiled the FirstToSee project in the latest Who's Who in the South Sound column. Check out the full story here.

FirstToSee recognized among the best in the Northwest!

- Dec 12, 2014

Pierce County’s FirstToSee project just received an award for being among the best new tech sites and mobile apps in the Northwest. FirstToSee leverages the latest technology so that the public and responders to quickly share information in a disaster. 

The Society of Technical Communications (STC) presented with a merit award for excellence in graphic design, layout, and technical writing. Judges also praised the FirstToSee mobile app for excellent design and functionality. The project team is being honored alongside professionals from major Northwest companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing. 

“I’m incredibly proud and happy to see these departments recognized for their innovations in making government more accessible,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “By consistently finding new and better ways to provide outstanding customer service, Information Technology and the Department of Emergency Management are truly setting the standard for interactive government.”
Making the Case for Government Technology Investment
- August 12, 2014

Pierce County IT is setting the standard when it comes to adopting Cloud services. This is why Department Director Linda Gerull was featured in a special CIO report by Government Technology. The report focuses on how the County has moved HR, payroll and benefits systems to the Cloud, and is now working on financials. In addition to more than 50 cloud applications, IT is also moving legacy systems to the cloud. This cloud-based HR and payroll implementation has reduced annual operating expenses by $100,000. The County is saving an additional $300,000 annually by streamlining new hire and terminations process, time entry, etc.

Read the full report on the Government Technology site.

Pierce County wins national technology award from International Association of Emergency Managers

- Aug 4, 2014

Pierce County has won a national award for using the latest Web technology to help locate abducted children. The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) recognized the County’s Lead Management System for a Technology & Innovation Award. Investigators can use the system to quickly search and organize thousands of tips about a child’s possible location. The system is one of the first of its kind to be designed for local government.

Click here to read the full announcement.
Pierce County wins national awards for District Court Live Chat and the FirstToSee emergency system
- June 16, 2014

Pierce County leads the nation when it comes to using technology to better serve the Courts and protect the public in a disaster. That’s why the County has received three national awards for District Court’s Live Chat and the FirstToSee emergency system.

Click here to read the full announcement.
Pierce County's FirstToSee Social Media System Supports Oso
- Apr 7, 2014

Government Technology has profiled Pierce County's FirstToSee social media monitoring system. The article discusses how the system leverages existing online networking technology to vastly improve emergency management and preparedness in the Puget Sound region.

UW Tacoma Students Are 'app'-lied learners
- Jan 30,2014

Students at UW Tacoma’s Institute of Technology are learning about mobile app development by getting their feet wet.The Institute and Microsoft are hosting a one-day free on-campus app development workshop at which student programmers will build apps requested by community partners.

In addition to the workshop, UWT has partnered with Pierce County to provide students with real-world experience. This is not a typical internship where students work on routine tasks. Each intern works closely with a mentor to design, build, and launch a mobile app. The work of these students helps the county keep pace with technology changes while expanding service delivery. Meanwhile, students gain a competitive career edge while serving their community.

Click here to see the full announcement on the UWT website.



Mobile Internship Program Profiled by ACM Inroads Magazine
- December 27, 2013

Academic magazine ACM Inroads profiled Pierce County's mobile internship program as part of a series on tech industry trends and higher learning. The program provides local students with practical experience in developing mobile apps. Interns also learn how to solve problems, manage projects to completion, and communicate with non-technical customers. These skills are difficult to teach in a classroom environment, which is why the program has been so successful in helping students launch their careers in a competitive job market.

Pierce County Moves to the Cloud for Mobile Security
- November 18, 2013

Pierce County's innovative mobile security program was recently profiled by leading government technology site State Tech magazine. The article discusses how the County uses the Cloud-based AirWatch service to manage more than 450 county-issued Apple iPads and iPhones.

IT Department Well-Represented in the County Standing Ovation Awards!
- September 24, 2013

Pierce County IT won two Standing Ovation Awards in the Innovation and Partnership categories. Two staffmembers were recognized for their outstanding accomplishment of building a partnership with local universities via the mobile internship program. The partnership has lead to the development of county smartphone apps (internal and public) and provided students with practical experience which gets them to the top of job recruitment lists. 

A joint IT and District Court team won a Standing Ovation Award in the Innovation category. Team members were recognized for their terrific work in building the Court’s vision for online chat and self-scheduling tools. This service has proven be to very effective in reducing the large number of calls and in-person visits. Furthermore, self-scheduling allows District Court to be more “green” thanks to fewer notices being mailed.

Pierce County Earns Award for Mobile Internship Program
- September 12, 2013

If you’re a local college student looking to jump start a high tech career, Pierce County has an app for that. 

Thanks to a partnership between Pierce County and the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT), local students get real-world experience making mobile applications for smartphones. As one of the first programs of its kind in the nation, Pierce County’s mobile internship was honored by the widely respected Digital Government Achievement Awards. More information can be found on the Pierce County news page.

Using Technology to Keep Up With Road Upkeep
- August, 2013 

Top civil engineering website CE News has featured Pierce County's excellent Public Works asset management system. The article discusses how technology has helped reduce the life cycle costs for Pierce County's road assets by making it easier to identify which assets need repair or replacement.

IT Applications Save Taxpayer Money
- July 19, 2013

A new video from PCTV looks at how Pierce County is using existing technology to save time and taxpayer money. The video focuses on how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology is being used to streamline elections, as well as how mobile apps are improving public safety.

MyVote App Keeps Pierce County Voters Informed
- July 12, 2013

With the Aug. 6 primary election just around the corner, the MyVote app gives voters an easy way to get information on the go. The app lets voters check their registration status, see a sample ballot, find their local districts and elected officials, and see if their mail-in ballot has been received. MyVote also shows map locations of voter drop boxes. The app is available for mobile phones and tablets from the Apple and Android stores.

Watch this PCTV video to learn more about MyVote.

Pierce County Wins Two Awards for Using Technology to Deliver Key Services
- July 8, 2013

Last year, Pierce County completed a redistricting project affecting nearly every local voter in just five weeks. The County also started using the latest mobile technology to track damage to roads, bridges, and buildings during floods, fires and other disasters. 

These two innovative programs have been recognized as among the best in the U.S. by the National Association of Counties (NACo). The 2013 NACo Achievement Awards recognize counties for excellence in delivering key services to the public. 

More information can be found on the IT Awards page.

Pierce County Does "Mobility Right" According to Public CIO Magazine
- June 6, 2013

What does Pierce County have in common with NASA, Orlando city government, Chicago transit, and the state of Michigan? These were all agencies profiled by Public CIO Magazine for setting the standard when it comes to mobile technology and government. The article discussed the County's mobile device management of over 300 tablets and 650 smartphones, award-winning mobile apps, and the mobile intern partnership with University of Washington. 

Pierce County Leads the Way in Using Technology for Public Works Asset Management
- May 2, 2013

Pierce County leads the way when it comes to using GIS/mobile technology to track road assets such as sidewalks, manholes, catch basins, culverts, etc. Two government magazines recently featured the County's innovative approach to maintaining road assets.American City & County wrote an article on how Pierce County uses GIS data to predict when road assets will need maintenance. Public Works uses the GIS and asset management systems to get an accurate snapshot of the condition of the County's entire infrastructure.

GeoWorld profiled how the ArcGIS system allows Public Works teams in the field to gather data about road features. The County can use this data to make strategic work assignments.

Pierce County's Mobile Device Management Profiled by 
- Feb 8, 2013 has profiled Pierce County's innovative use of Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools. IT staff use AirWatch to remotely configure iPads, manage approved apps, and ensure device security. MDM tools have allowed staff to deploy more than 200 iPads in just a few weeks. The entire article can be found here.