CIO Awards and Success Stories

OC Information Technology Wins Three NACo Achievement Awards for 2017 (May 2017)


OC Information Technology’s Shared Services Strategy, HR Data Analytics program, and myOCgov Mobile Application have been recognized with Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that enhance services for residents.

NACo recognized:

  • *Best in Category* County Administration and Management Category – Implementing a Shared Services Strategy for Information Technology
  • Civic Education and Public Information Category – myOCgov Mobile – Find County of Orange Services Near You
  • Information Technology Category – HR Data Analytics*

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. NACo President Bryan Desloge said, “Counties overcome complex challenges, provide essential services and constantly do more with less. We applaud these Achievement Award-winning counties for outstanding efforts to improve residents’ quality of life.”

*In collaboration with Human Resource Services (HRS)


Image of Charles Eckstrom

OCIT’s Charles Eckstrom Awarded as 2017 Innovator of the Year (May 2017)

In June of 2016, Charles Eckstrom was recruited from the private sector and brought into OCIT as the Assistant Chief Information Officer responsible for leading OCIT’s Business Services teams. Through Mr. Eckstrom’s leadership and vision, and with his passion for civic technology, OCIT has managed to drive innovation within a once stagnant sector of the County, demonstrating that modernization does not require huge financial investments, but rather success can be achieved through quick and iterative development processes with close engagement with agency business customers.

The Association of California Cities – Orange County (ACCOC) recognized Mr. Eckstrom with the 2017 Innovator of the Year Award at their Annual Golden Hub of Innovation’s award ceremony on May 12, 2017. This category recognizes an individual who has “led the charge” when it comes to innovation in a public agency and how this individual was essential to the program and their ability to positively affect the community.


Award-Winning OC Expediter Continues to Wow the Industry (February 2017)

OC Expediter has been named as a semifinalist in the Innovations in American Government Award competition sponsored by the Ford Foundation and administered by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School. The Innovations Awards seek to recognize and promote excellence and creativity in the public sector.

An enterprise procurement application that has been deployed in 17 County agencies/departments, OC Expediter was developed over a nine-month period with participation from CEO Procurement and OCIT's Business Analysis, Project Management, and Enterprise and Multi-Agency Applications teams. The application was completed on time and significantly under budget.

End users praise OC Expediter's intuitive user interface and overall usability. Replacing a previously manual process, the application's ease-of-use has helped to speed adoption and ensure customer satisfaction. Starting with its first deployment, OC Expediter has reduced requisition time for goods and services at participating agencies/departments by at least 75%.


OC Expediter Named with Best of California Award (October 2016)

OC Expediter captured yet another award for the County, this time from the Best of California Awards 2016 sponsored by the Center for Digital Government.

Per the Center for Digital Government website, the Best of California Awards program recognizes public-sector professionals and local government organizations for their innovative technology solutions in state and local government across California.

OC Expediter won in the category "Best Application Serving an Agency's Business Needs". The Center for Digital Government presented the award at its 2016 California Technology Forum, which took place on August 11th in Sacramento.

The organization states that "this year's Best of California awards were presented to 14 individuals and organizations for their achievements, ranging from project management to the best applications and citizen engagement. And while the areas of focus for each jurisdiction and agency varied, a common theme emerged among the winners. Those who do public-sector technology in California well are flexible — they demonstrate through their projects a willingness to adapt as circumstance dictates and use the available data to choose the most logical path forward."

"This is an outstanding achievement," said Assistant CIO Charles Eckstrom. "I would like to recognize the OC Expediter team members from OCIT for their contributions to this successful enterprise application."


OC PetTrack Mobile App Highlighted in OC Register (April 2016)

OC Animal Care recently launched OC PetTrack, a free mobile app that enables users to search through an up-to-date log of pets available for adoption, lost pets that have been brought to the shelter, and recently deceased animals.

The idea for the app came from Marc Wiggins, a member of the OCIT Solutions Development team. Eventually the rest of Solutions Development - Manager Stephen Salcido and developers Josh Gomez and Josh Myers - joined in developing the app. Julie Nguyen from Enterprise & Multi-Agency Applications rounded out the team. The app was demonstrated at the December 2015 OCIT All-Hands meeting and released to the public in early April 2016. It is available for download at the App Store and Google Play.

The OC Register featured OC PetTrack in its April 12th edition. In an interview with Register staff writer Jordan Graham, Katie Ingram from OC Animal Care commented that, "This is a reflection of the types of innovative programs that we’re looking to implement . . .”

The Solutions Development team promises that there's more innovation to come. The team continues to explore and develop applications that address agency/department business needs and enhance customer service for County constituents - even when those constituents are dogs, cats, and other animals looking to get back home or find a new one.


OC Expediter Garners Two Awards (April 2016)

Image of the Golden Innovation

OC Expediter, the County’s enterprise procurement application, has won two prestigious awards: The Golden Hub of Innovation for Technology/eGovernment from the Association of California Cities – Orange County (ACC-OC) and the 2016 Achievement Award in Information Technology from the National Association of Counties (NACo).

"Expediter is an excellent example of how we are fulfilling the vision of OCIT," said Assistant CIO Charles Eckstrom. “That vision is to ‘be a recognized leader in providing innovative public sector IT services and business solutions and a valued strategic partner to County Agencies and Departments’," he said.

OC Expediter has established electronic workflows for County Agencies and Departments that make the procurement process more efficient by reducing processing time and the incidence of errors. The application uses the latest technology to replace paper-based requisition processes and provides users with the ability to route, approve, and process requisitions online.

Application development was a joint effort between OCIT and the County Procurement Office (CPO). The project team was led by OCIT Project Manager Quazi Hashmi and included the participation of Lavanya Kantamaneni and Nancy Latimer from the Business Analysis team and Bill Tang, Alex Thomas, and Selena Wang of the Enterprise and Multi-Agency Applications team. Team members Rob Richardson and Kara Carroll of the CPO brought the business perspective to the project. According to the ACC-OC, the purpose of the Golden Hub of Innovation award is to "publicly highlight and commend cities and other local governments [that] are developing and implementing innovative solutions to tackle today's challenges. Winners [are] those cities and agencies whose programs best reflect the spirit of the 'Golden Hubs,' resulting in measurable savings to taxpayers."

The award was presented at the Fifth Annual Golden Hub of Innovation Awards held on June 10, 2016. Business Analysis Manager Jim Mata attended the event and accepted the award on OCIT's behalf.

Additionally, NACo will be presenting its Achievement Award to OCIT during an awards luncheon at the 2016 NACo Annual Conference and Exposition to be held July 22 – 25 in Long Beach, California.

The NACo Achievement Awards program is a non-competitive awards program that seeks to recognize innovative county government programs. One program from each of 20 categories is selected as the "Best of Category" and Achievement Award winner.

"These are outstanding achievements," said Mr. Eckstrom. "I am very proud of the work being done in OCIT."