Hawke's Bay Regional Council (HBRC) is implementing shared council software from the IRIS consortium taking the number of users to seven.
IRIS (Integrated Regional Information System) was developed by Datacom and went live in September 2013, on budget and to specification but a year late, with six council users spanning the country: Northland, Horizons, Taranaki, Waikato, West Coast, and Environment Southland.
It was always planned to bring more councils on board but that has proved challenging at times. One, Bay of Plenty, was expected to join the group but chose to go its own way in 2015, buying commercial product Accela instead.
The latest annual report from Regional Software Holdings (RSH), the council-owned vehicle that operates IRIS, reveals that HBRC is implementing the software as a user but not taking a shareholding ownership in the project as the other councils have done.
"Whilst there have been challenges, the implementation has progressed well and the company looks forward to HBRC going live with their implementation," the report stated.
HBRC budgeted $1.1 million for the implementation project in June 2017. Most of the system is expected to roll-out next month with some components delayed until early next year.
RSH is continuing its efforts to woo other regional councils to achieve even better economies of scale from the project. One other unnamed council is actively interested, according to the report.
The report reveals Datacom was paid $278,468 in the year to 30 June 2018 compared with a budget of $203,205 - rhat was also up on 2017's spending of $260,720.
Direct software expenses for the year paid by RSH were $68,041, while total expenses were $1.33 million, compared with a budgeted $1.16 million.
Six releases of new functionality were delivered during the year including 11 major and 21 minor enhancements.
However, the report stated that IRIS will require further investment over the next few years to keep its technology current.
"RSH is committed to ensuring that the IRIS software solution is based on a fully supported and future-facing technology platform," minutes from a Waikato Regional Council meeting in March stated.
"As part of this commitment, RSH is intending to invest in a technology refresh program that will see capital investment shifting from the current platform towards the design and delivery of a future technology platform."
RSH earned a broader brief during the year, becoming the vehicle for other collaboration initiatives, collectively dubbed ReCoCo (Regional Council Collaboration).