Columbus, Ohio upgrades finance systems with Tyler, Microsoft


The City of Columbus has signed a $5 million deal with Dallas-based Tyler Technologies to implement Microsoft Dynamics AX as the core financial application to replace the city’s current aging system. Dynamics AX is an ERP solution with public sector functionality jointly developed by Tyler Technologies and Microsoft. The City will access the Dynamics AX platform as a cloud-based solution through Tyler’s hosted facilities.

Columbus like many cities is facing the end of lifecycle critical computer systems. CivSource previously reported on changes at the New York City Department of Finance, just now opting to upgrade a 30-year-old mainframe system. The Columbus system is younger – 15 years, but is also nearing end of lifecycle.

Columbus will move to Tyler Technologies cloud. Cloud services have been critical for city and state governments, allowing upgrades to move forward without new on-site hardware installations, and providing flexibility for on-demand spikes in resources.

The technology has the look and feel of common Microsoft applications like Outlook and readily works with other Microsoft services including the office suite. It is backed by Tyler’s public sector engines and cloud services, relying on the best of both companies.

The Columbus contract is also notable as the city itself has a decades long reputation for financial and reporting quality. Columbus is the only only U.S. city of its size to have an AAA credit rating from all three national rating agencies. For 33 consecutive years, the City has achieved a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).

“Our process was as much about finding a partner as it was the system itself. We viewed it as not just acquiring software, but finding a service provider that was willing to invest time and resources to learn how we work, and show us commitment beyond the standard RFP response,” said Tom Noorkah, financial systems administrator for the City of Columbus.