Category Archives: Technology

Benefits of Going Paperless with a Tablet

a storage room with Computer Network hub

Tablets are quickly becoming every city administrator and office superstar’s favorite way to keep it all together in the office, abroad, and at conferences. You can keep all of your files in one place and the best part—it’s all portable! Since there’s been a lot of chatter about the benefits of going paperless with a tablet in our LinkedIn Group, City Clerk Café, we thought we would share these reasons to go paperless with you.

Five Benefits of Going Paperless

1. Cuts back on paper waste
Not only does cutting back on paper waste benefit you because all of your files can be found in one place instead of scattered throughout various file folders, but it cuts back on the amount of paper you’re using in general. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Comments Off on Benefits of Going Paperless with a Tablet

Different Ways Local Governments Are Utilizing The Cloud

Different Ways Local Governments Are Utilizing The CloudCloud computing usage by government agencies is on the “rise”, and that’s not just because of its name. While many agencies were hesitant to embrace the cloud in its early years due to security concerns, in recent years, cloud security has become as secure, and in many cases more secure, than on-premise solutions. That’s because a single-site back up is vulnerable to natural disasters and cyber attacks, where cloud-based data back ups are stored in numerous locations.
In addition, with the influx of big data, data storage, and around the clock upgrades, cloud services are becoming more relevant for government agencies than ever before, increasing security, efficiency, and unlimited data storage. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, Technology | Comments Off on Different Ways Local Governments Are Utilizing The Cloud

The Problem With Cyber Security Hacks Is…Humans

When selecting a technology provider, cyber security features and protocols are at the top of agencies’ considerations. But, as we described in an earlier article “Utilities are Vulnerable to Cyber Security Breaches Too!” https://www.blackmountainsoftware.com/2016/06/17/utilities-are-vulnerable-to-cyber-security-breaches-too/. But what is not often considered is the effect users of the technology have on cyber security.

“Sometimes a clearly defined error is the only way to discover the truth,” Benjamin D. Wiker.

More government agencies and users are finding this lesson out the hard way. Despite their aggressive security features, there is one common denominator in security breaches that can’t be managed by great software: users. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Comments Off on The Problem With Cyber Security Hacks Is…Humans

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?

    How Schools Are Stretching Their Technology Dollars

    Budget Button

    Schools are used to doing more with less, and they never cease to amaze us. When you walk into a classroom filled with laptops, tablets and smart boards, it may seem impossible that schools are saving any money on technology at all. But, that’s where you’re wrong.

    Innovative schools, especially charter schools that are able to tap into unconventional sources for funding, are finding ways to upgrade their technology while cutting their technology budgets.

    The ability to use more technology in the classroom without dramatically increasing their technology budget is a win-win: teachers are able to tap into new sources for instruction and students are learning more with technology-driven lesson plans and instruction. Read more >

    Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, School Software, Technology | Comments Off on How Schools Are Stretching Their Technology Dollars

    How Big Data is Shaping Government Agencies for the Future

    Y2014-10-03O-Naou’ve probably heard the statistic that every two years we double the amount of information created. So, at this rate, by 2020 it is estimated that we will produce 44 trillion gigabytes of data each year. This data that we exponentially create is what’s called “big data”, and even government agencies are finding ways to take advantage of the information collected for the good of their constituents.

    For most small cities, like the ones Black Mountain Software services, the use of big data to improve systems and process seems like a futuristic concept. But larger and very progressive cities are finding big use for this big data, using it to improve planning, decision-making and reputation management. Read more >

    Posted in Government Accounting Standards, Small Cities, Technology | Tagged , , | Comments Off on How Big Data is Shaping Government Agencies for the Future

    City of Lava Hot Springs Switches from DOS to BMS

    From D-O-S to B-M-S

    We are excited to feature one of our newest clients, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, in our small town stories this month. This is possibly one of the most unique places we have ever featured.

    About Lava Hot Springs, Idaho

    Lava Hot Springs, located in Bannock County, has a few things that make it unique. Besides the fact that it has 102-degree water surrounding the 455-acre town, it also claims to be an “odor-free” natural hot spring! Just imagine, soaking in warm, mineral-rich water as you take in the surrounding beauty with a deep, detoxifying breath that smells of…nothing! Read more >

    Posted in BMS Products, City Clerk Cafe, Customer Spotlight, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Tagged | Comments Off on City of Lava Hot Springs Switches from DOS to BMS

    Engineers Week 2016

    Spreading the Word About Engineers

    T2014-10-03O-Nahere’s one week in February where we take a moment out of our lives to show love, respect and thanks for the ones who make a difference in our lives.

    Did you think we were talking about Valentine’s Day? Well, leave it us to hold out for a more lesser-known, slightly nerdier holiday: Engineers Week!

    Why do Engineers get a whole week of celebration here at BMS? Well, simply put: engineers make our lives better! Their work helps turn ideas into
    solutions, solve problems, build dreams and see opportunities for future improvements. Because they play such an integral role in our society, National Engineers Week exists to increase the conversation about why we need engineers, and brings awareness about the career field to schools and educators so
    we can continue to develop the next generation of engineers! Read more >

    Posted in BMS Staff, Technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Engineers Week 2016

    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

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