David Johnson, Director
Bruce Nelson, Computer Programmer
Guillermo Barrios, Computer Technician
The Information Technology Services (ITS) department provides the conference office with support, strategic IT planning, acquisition and upgrading of computer hardware, software, networking and IT peripherals required by the conference’s business needs.
Highlights of the Last 5 Years
As anticipated in our goals set 5 years ago, the bulk of ITS work continues to be the operation and maintenance of technology infrastructure at the conference office and Pine Springs Ranch; this includes internet, firewalls, routers, servers, printers, phones, time clocks and software. Guillermo Barrios runs the help desk and also functions as the network administrator.
Since 1977, SECC has maintained in-house accounting software that is specialized for nonprofit accounting methods and reporting required by the denomination, as well as the regulations in California. By the mid-1980’s the software was in use at most conferences and academies within the Pacific Union territory. While ITS has begun the transition process to the North American Division accounting software, they continue to provide support for the SECC accounting package at 26 west-coast institutions. Bruce Nelson has been at the help desk since January 1996. His position is funded by fees paid by those institutions.
ITS started small in moving to the NAD accounting software. In 2009, David Johnson joined a group of division and union experts at the Arizona conference to implement the Adventist Accounting System International (AASI) and Adventist Payroll System (APS). The data exports and scripts Johnson wrote for that project remain tools in the SECC package, and have since been applied to assist PUC with the transition of the Hawaii conference (2010) and Holbrook Indian school (2013). In the summer of 2010 SECC began the process of converting to the NAD accounting software. ITS and SECC’s accounting department translated over 2,100 employee records and related transactions, and went live with APS on October 1, 2010. With the accounting staff, ITS built translations for 4,620 ledger accounts along with three years of historical budget and monthly balances (2007-2009) and over 80,000 transactions in December 2010. Remittance data was transitioned the following March. Plant Asset data was imported August 2013.
ITS department supports various comprehensive databases, document management as well as general office software. One of these programs is HWA Trust Processor, a commercial trust accounting database for Property and Trust Services department. Human Resources department uses Eldorado HEALTHpac, a commercial health-care reimbursement system and database for insurance. In 2011, ITS moved over one million pages of the document management system from LibertyNet to Xerox DocuShare for various SECC departments. The department also licenses and manages office software for employees.
SECC was an early adopter (2003) of eAdventist.net online membership system. In the past five years we have increased the number of churches where clerks manage their transfers online. Currently, 120 out of 158 churches use the online database.
Conference staffing to assist with maintenance of the remaining churches, companies and groups has dropped from two to one part time clerk in our executive secretary’s office.
At Pine Springs Ranch, we began installation of fiber optics in 2006 to support a reliable network, but the 2008 recession halted the development. In 2011, we were able to transition from a data-limited satellite internet connection to a dedicated T1 services. With a secure VPN, we have also extended office time clock systems to hourly employees at the ranch. After the July 19, 2013, fires we worked to secure PSR data and are updating and relocating their core infrastructure to a more secure location.
At the conference office, neighborhood improvements allowed SECC to upgrade from copper-based internet service to a direct fiber optic link. We are now able to offer secure WiFi access to office guests, and have installed a videoconference node in our Education department. In the future we anticipate projects in both “cloud” and wide-area networks linking conference, schools and churches.
As SECC has upgraded equipment, ITS continues to follow a policy of asking the Ministerial and Education departments to identify churches and schools in need of our old but well-cared-for computers and printers. In the past 5 years we have distributed 32 computers and 9 small printers to our churches and schools.
Goals for the Next 5 Years
While the bulk of the next 5 years will be occupied by normal operations and maintenance of our technology systems, we anticipate the extension or completion of several projects:
- School video-conference wide area network
- A wide-area/internet based biometric time clock system including larger (academy) sites
- Document archiving extended to treasury and administration
- Enhanced LAN speed at PSR, including VoIP phones
- Work with eAdventist on Conference directory apps for Apple and Android platforms
- Update in-house church receipting system
- Continue working with PUC on transitioning accounting software