Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Utilities Are Vulnerable to Cyber Security Breaches, Too!

Data Breach Unsecured Warning Sign ConceptIf you are one of the 56 million people who have suffered a breach to their credit records, credit card number, debit records, tax returns or other types of identity theft, then the idea of a data security breach is not very foreign to you. All sorts of data—not just retailer and tax data—is subject to cyber security hacks and breaches. Vulnerabilities to other lesser-considered systems that store delicate information (social security numbers and payment accounting information) such as utilities are becoming the new victims of data breaches.

In fact, these information breaches are happening all over the US: by a dishonest employee at a water sewer department in Southern California, from the stolen laptop of a utility worker at a North Carolina water department and by a contractor working at a Massachusetts water and sewer commission who lost a company hard drive. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Comments Off on Utilities Are Vulnerable to Cyber Security Breaches, Too!

Is It Time to Upgrade Your Technology?

Technology-Art
When determining technology needs and upgrades, many important questions should be considered: Is this the right time to consider a change? How will this affect the agency’s daily workload? When should we do it? Is this right for our organization?

Changing software or technology can be a big deal. Despite what some vendors might say, it’s a significant change that requires a well-thought out plan and good decision-making that will lead to a beneficial long-term solution.

Five Key Questions to Ask Before Upgrading Your Agency’s Technology

  • How Much Will It Cost and Do We Have the Funds to Support an Upgrade?
  • Read more >
    Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Comments Off on Is It Time to Upgrade Your Technology?

    8 Things Every City Clerk Should Understand and Know About in 2016


    T2014-10-03O-Nahe job of being a City Clerk requires wearing many hats: software user, recorder, reporter, coworker, conference-goer, accountant, social media expert, customer service provider, budgeter…there is no end to the many roles and tasks completed by city clerks on the daily. In honor of a new year that promotes continued learning and self-improvement, we’ve compiled a list of what we believe are the eight things every city clerk should know and understand for 2016.

    What the Cloud is?
    With so many agencies going to “The Cloud,” it is important to know exactly what this dreamy concept is and how it affects data computing and storage. Read more >

    Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Products, Cloud Computing, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 8 Things Every City Clerk Should Understand and Know About in 2016

    What is Cloud, in Five Letters

    cloud-computing-626252_640 copy

    How can five letters leave you so confused, like your head’s in the clouds? Well, when you’re talking about something that you can’t see, is indeterminable in size, and exists “in the clouds,” it’s understandable why people are confused by it. So, we’ve broken down the cloud in five letters:
    C, L, O, U, D.

    An Explanation of the Cloud in Five Letters (CLOUD)

    C – Computing. Cloud, or more formally known as “cloud computing,” is the practice of using a network of remote servers, “the cloud,” to store, manage, and/or process data rather than on a local network server or a personal computer’s hard drive. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, Cloud Computing, Small Cities, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on What is Cloud, in Five Letters

    Dealing with Change: Tips for a Seamless Software Conversion

    7K0A0190How many times have you heard the words, “that’s the way we’ve always done it” from a co-worker’s mouth? Most likely, a lot! So when it comes time to make a change—in assigned roles, vendors, software, or processes—it can be difficult! Especially when we’ve grown so accustomed to a certain way of doing things.

    In the wise words of Socrates, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

    At Black Mountain Software, we understand what it means to ask a county, municipality, school or utility to change. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Staff, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dealing with Change: Tips for a Seamless Software Conversion

    When “Good” Back-Ups Go Bad—Will Your Data Really Survive An Unexpected Loss?

    At BMS, we want our tools and services to empower our clients, and provide them with unparalleled functionality and trusted reliability. We strive to craft products that can be counted on to perform seamlessly each and every day. Sometimes, however, our clients face technological glitches that are outside of our control, resulting in unexpected data loss. Some causes of this loss include outdated technology, power outages, or viruses/malware. Regardless of the cause, a data loss can set their operations back days, and sometimes even weeks, thereby costing invaluable time and money.

    BMS knows that, while data loss can happen to any client, the resulting headaches are 100% preventable. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on When “Good” Back-Ups Go Bad—Will Your Data Really Survive An Unexpected Loss?

    Hardware That’s Not So Hard

    by: Barbara Thomas, Support Specialist and Guest Blogger for the BMS Utility Billing Team

    I’m a technophobe at heart. If I even have to plug into a USB connection on my computer, my hands shake. Nonetheless, so many of us are surviving, even thriving in the workplace thanks to devices like computers and printers and digital phone lines. Consider how smartphones have changed our lifestyles and eliminated the need for maps and telephone books and such, saving space and time for us.

    Thanks to technology, even more labor saving devices can be really simple to use and can enable quick and accurate data entry and free up time that can be better spent performing customer service with a smile. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Hardware That’s Not So Hard

    Why More Agencies Are Putting “Cloud First”

    Ccloud-computing-626252_640 copyloud computing is no longer new innovation, and many offices have implemented cloud computing as an integrated part of their infrastructure. Local, state and federal governments are getting in on the action as well, by implementing “cloud first” policies for software installations. And Black Mountain Software is no exception!

    A “cloud first” policy means that the vast majority of software applications will be accessed on the cloud. If the installation cannot be performed from the cloud, then it will be installed locally, but only if cloud is not available, i.e. “cloud installs are preferable.”

    The reasoning behind “cloud first” policies is simple: the cloud offers a faster time to market, reduced installation and deployment costs, scalability, enhanced security and disaster recovery, and a reduction in risk. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, Small Cities, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Why More Agencies Are Putting “Cloud First”

    How The Cloud Protects Office Data

    English: Diagram showing three main types of c...Many organizations and government entities have chosen to store and access their data in the Cloud. But what’s so special about the Cloud?

    Well, while most use the Cloud personally for easier access to their data from anywhere, there is also a level of added security that comes with using a Cloud solution for data storage and backups.

    Because data stored on the Cloud is accessible to users from any location with internet access, it displaces the traditional server and hard-drive vulnerabilities of data being stored in a single location, making it more secure than data stored on company computers. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, Cloud Computing, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on How The Cloud Protects Office Data

    Why Government is So Quick to Adopt The Cloud

    English: Cloud ComputingUsually a late adopter, the Government is more commonly associated with “slow and secure” rather than “high tech and new.” But when it comes to the cloud, more and more local governments and municipalities are taking the leap, and cloud is quickly “changing everything in Government IT.”

    We ran across an article in Government Technology about local government cloud adoption, and thought it was an interesting—though lengthy—read.

    The article discusses how once counties and cities adopt the cloud for one thing (say, the County Appraisers office), the usability, cost-savings, and quickness encourages them to explore other areas where the cloud would be helpful. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Why Government is So Quick to Adopt The Cloud

    Stay Connected with Black Mountain Software

    If you sign up for Black Mountain Software emails, about 4 times per year you will receive a special email designed for organizations like yours that are not already Black Mountain customers. We won’t clutter your inbox, and we will provide information relevant and helpful to you. And don’t worry, your email address is never sold or given out to third parties.

    Select the Email Updates You'd Like to Receive:

    Other Ways to Stay Connected:

    Subscribe to the Blog Subscribe to City Clerk Cafe Connect with LinkedIn
    Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Connect on YouTube