Corpus Christi public works gets high tech overhaul

As part of IBM’s ever-expanding Smarter Cities initiative, the company announced yesterday a partnership with Corpus Christi, Texas to provide service request tracking, wastewater management software and other infrastructure monitoring tools.

IBM has developed a central intake system for handling work requests and ongoing maintenance across city government, replacing a paper-based tracking process.

“Corpus Christi is evolving into a more sustainable city — one that has intelligence, foresight and accountability built into the way we manage the services we provide our citizens,” said Steve Klepper, an administrative superintendent for Corpus Christi. “Working with IBM, we have the real-time status of city services, automated work orders and an overview of city’s infrastructure to better manage our resources, as well as better maintain the city’s mission-critical assets.”

Through the centralized management process, the city will be able to monitor and analyze the status of tens of thousands of physical assets such as its water mains, traffic lights, bridges, park lawns, fire hydrants, garbage trucks and storm water ditches using IBM Maximo Asset Management software, the company said.

Central to this reorganization is the rollout of a citywide “One Call Center,” which generated more than 45,000 electronic work-order requests from across the city. Previously, staff could not accurately track how long it took to respond to and fix problems because citizen calls were routed to the appropriate department and recorded on index cards before being entered into a spreadsheet. And although the city had already established a geographic information system (GIS), work orders were not interfaced with this system, so departments couldn’t spatially analyze work requests to determine whether a customer request represented a site-specific problem or an area-wide issue that would require more support.

“Corpus Christi is setting the bar for how municipalities can use technology to gain intelligence into their departments and systems to operate more efficiently and provide residents with a better place to live,” said Guru Banavar, IBM CTO for Smarter Cities. “Working with IBM, Corpus Christi city managers are operating smarter and managing their work and crews better.”