What counties are already using this? Taylor County converted last year - have had multiple problems with the system. How are other counties working with Odyssey? Do you have problems?
The former DA brought Odyssey to Kaufman County. My impression is that nobody likes it, including the clerk's offices. I was able to get much more useful information out of the system they have in Lubbock County. I have no idea how the two systems compare in price.
Williamson County is in the process of switching to it. Please post some specifics on any problems or compliments, as it will help us in the process.
Collin County is in the middle of switching as well. Our civil stuff just switched over to it, but the criminal cases aren't due to be switched until next year, I believe.
Since I am the appellate attorney I don't use odyssey - but there are meetings with Tyler now to try to resolve some of the issues. The jail likes the system - except for the financial part of it. Check fraud, collections, JP and jail have voiced numerous problems with the financial part of the system. Ck Fraud says it will take 2 add'l employees to get the work done because of the way the financial section works - one issue is that it does not pick up the right vendor to pay when money is collected. Also have heard complaints about the bond info - picks up merchant name instead of bondsman. Court adminstrators have complained bout the docket - cannot mesh civil and criminal docket together for the day - have to print two separate dockets. Also have heard criminal history problems with reporting to State. The complaints I have heard from the DAs is that can no longer merge subpoena requests, discovery, etc in the forms with the case. Check with Hays County - I believe they were the first to get the system - see if they have issues that have not yet been resolved. New releases are to come out - hope to resolve problems.
Fort Bend County has contracted with Tyler Technologies, has already gone live with probate/mental health, will go live on civil in a few months and then criminal next year. I believe Collin County is ahead of us by a few months on a similar schedule. We have had no major issues in probate other than some configuration changes, which are normal.
If Taylor County is having problems, we have not heard of those, although they have an older release from last year. We went live on a new 2007 release, will update to a new 2008 release for civil, and will have an even newer version for criminal next year. I have seen the product and it will merge subpoena requests, indictments, etc. Merging documents is also a collaborative effort between your county and Tyler, but everything is in MS Word.
I understand Williamson County is switching from Tyler's Legacy product to Odyssey all at one time to preserve their integration instead of switching a module at a time. I predict they will have issues, maybe major ones, that will be frustrating to fix all at once. I think Denton County is doing it the same way.
Hays County was sold a "beta-version" of Odyssey at a reduced price. It was a prototype and they got what they paid for. It is not the same product being marketed now.
Kaufman County went to Odyssey straight from some type of archaic mainframe system. They didn't even have Microsoft Office, which Odyssey merges data into. I can't imagine the issues the end-users had trying to learn how to use Office at the same time they got Odyssey. I believe some departments there are not using all the functions the system offers either. They are still performing their old processes instead of using the new system to its full capacity. Understand you will change the way you do (some of) your job, and nobody likes change.
All that said, the jury's still out. It is a new program that is changing all the time. I like what I see, but can't promise you it won't have problems. My best advice to you is to follow Collin County and Fort Bend County's progress as they/we are continuing the implementation with the newest releases over this next year - one module at a time.
I understand we were the second county to get this - I thought we had Legacy before - but not sure. With the newer versions they may have worked out the bugs in the system, but Taylor County's issues still exist. From my undertanding no one has actually installed the newer version. Still meetings going on (yesterday and today) regarding the numerous issues Taylor County has faced - merging documents, check fraud, collections and docket sheet just to name a few. It might work great on the civil side, and know that the district clerk's office has not voiced major problems. Merging documents (we use MS word) is still a problem. All I can say is that there are many people in our offices that have problems that have yet to be resolved. I think we got ours in early 2007, so we probably did not get the "good" version. Also have heard each package individually seems to work good - check fraud was first to get online with odyssey (about 3-4 mos before rest of county offices) and worked well - but when JP offices came live - check fraud problems started, then when the civil and criminal came live - all of the problems got worse.
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Denton County just recently completed the Fit/Gap Analysis process and is waiting on Tyler to furnish us their report with sizings (number of estimated manhours to make the individual changes to their off the shelf product). When this is available our internal CJIS-Odyssey Committee can select which items are needed before go-live.
Additionally, we are also hosting a discussion forum (email list) for anyone interested in communicating with other Odyssey customers in Texas. The new end-user subscriber password is: tsg2000. The site is as follows: http://list.dentoncounty.com/read/all_forums/
if you have any interest.
Denton is not planning on implementing Odyssey all at once and we are a legacy customer of Tyler. We have had Odyssey hot checks for over a year. The plan is to implement Civil and Probate during the first quarter of 2009. Criminal, Law Enforcement, Jail, ad JPs will follow over the following year if all goes well.
At least that is the current plan!
Wes, what was the old system that Fort Bend District Clerks office paid big bucks for that was going in place when I left? As I recall, it didn't work very well.
It is called ACS. Affiliated Computer Systems. And only the clerk's civil division is on it. Criminal is still on a mainframe system (not Windows driven). ACS tried to sell us their crap but we embarrased them so bad during a demo they stopped calling.
Kerr County has been on line two years and we still have significant issues with the county clerk's office, OCA reporting, and slow(very slow)customer service. For specifics call Jannett Pieper at (830)792-2260.
Williamson County is NOT switching to Odyssey all at once. The civil module will go live within the next few months (user training will begin late this month).
Criminal and law enforcement (jail and Sheriff) will go live at the same time later this year or early next year. The JP module will follow after that.
I have been working with Tyler in many areas to include forms and subpoenas. So far what we've seen and configured works and things merge...with less work than we currently do.
Is there any appellate function at all to Odyssey--Prosecutor?
I sat in on some training the other day and I was a little disturbed. I don't think they understand what is legally required of an expunction, and it seems awful complicated. I haven't been able to find anyone who has documentation about how it is supposed to work, and the trainer completely ignored my question about documentation.
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I have rarely used Odyssey. Most of it just to look up information on writs, etc. The training we had was limited also, but I believe they spent more time with the people who depend on it for input, etc. We are still getting updates because of problems. I don't really see the need for its use in appellate work. Don't know how the expunction works. I did an expunction sbout the same time we went to Odyssey based on flase identification. For months she was still in the system as an aka for the other person, but I just looked it up and she is no longer listed as aka, and her name shows no history. Maybe when DPS updates their records, odyssey is updated. If you find out anything let me know.
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Does anyone have any experiences (good or bad) using the document creation features in Odyssey? We are getting close to having it up and running, and I am trying to decide whether to use it to prepare our pleadings in juvenile cases.
We use Odyssey for indictments, judgments and I've started to use it for jury charges. That part works fine. It takes a little practice to add your own documents. My boss hates the system. For reporting aspects and calendering its not that great.
Our county is considering switching from Able Term to either Odyssey or Net data? Have the bugs been worked out of Odyssey? Anyone have any experience with Net Data? I would really appreciate any feedback. Are there any other companies that you use.
Our county is also switching from able term to odyssey. I would also be very interesting in hearing about any problems or issues.
Is anyone aware of whether their county is using odyssey for payroll? If so, please contact me. I have some questions.
Collin County is still in the midst of implementing Odyssey. Tyler is well behind schedule, and has not yet begun the criminal phase. They are still trying to work the bugs out of the civil phase. Odyssey has not worked well in our Hot Check unit, and I have not seen what their prosecution module looks. I don't believe it will have any electronic filing capabilities.
In a word - be wary if our experience means anything.
Fort Bend has delayed our criminal implementation until the clerk gets a financial feature they need, so we won't take their prosecutor package until next spring (we are all going together). The prosecutor product is not near as robust as the clerk's case management module, but Tyler knows it, has apologized for it, and is working right now to improve it. I think you will see significant upgrades over the next year. One of those is electronic filing (where cops file with you). The system is already integrated to allow electronic filing between the prosecutor and the clerk if you use both modules. I am not aware of any payroll functions. I have yelled at them plenty about what it is missing and slowly but surely it is coming along. Will have hot checks by the end of the year and JP's up Q1 of 2010.
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