FINAL Minnesota Department of Children, Families & Learning (CFL) engages Intertech to develop custom technology solution for personnel licensing process. “The new technology has many benefits,” says Richard Wassen, who manages the Personnel Licensing Unit for CFL. “Most significantly, it has saved the state $100,000 in annual operating costs. It makes licensing more convenient for educators. It removes barriers to the recruitment and hiring of new teachers and administrators. And it improves the information available to the public.” Challenge About 28,000 applications for new or renewed education licenses must be processed annually in Minnesota. An outmoded system meant applicants had to wait a frustrating 12 to 15 weeks for their paperwork to be processed and a license to be issued. The old system’s limitations became more critical, however, when reports of teachers who were working without licenses and committing ethical and criminal offenses came to light. Administrators, educators and parents sought an accurate and speedy way to check the license status and history of the people working in their schools. Decision Minnesota’s Department of Children, Families & Learning interviewed and sought proposals from technology development companies, including Intertech in Eagan, Minnesota. After a comprehensive proposal review process, Intertech was selected to develop a customized technology solution. “The main reason we hired Intertech was their proven track record and reputation for using technology to develop practical solutions to real-world problems through listening to their clients,” says Wassen. “We knew that Intertech wasn’t just going to design something would use the latest ‘gee whiz’ technology. We believed they were committed to designing something that would provide long-term benefits based on our special needs…and we have been validated by the positive outcome of their work.” Solution Laying the Foundation Before developing the solution, the Intertech team evaluated the existing system and made sure they understood the goals of the new solution, which were identified as: · Improving efficiency · Cutting costs · Managing change “We believe listening to our customers and careful pre-planning is crucial,” explains Intertech founder and CEO Tom Salonek. “The upfront work helped Intertech avoid developing a solution that would be too cumbersome, too expensive or too limiting.” New System Offers Multiple Benefits The new system still requires submission of a paper application, but now all applications are electronically scanned, sorted and stored, with complete and up-to-date information easily available online. Other benefits include: · Better customer service. The new system means Personnel Licensing staff can examine electronic versions of the documents and act more quickly on applications. Since its implementation in 2001, the new system has cut the waiting time in half. In some cases, applications have been processed and sent out in as few as 10 days. · More confident hiring. An expediting process can be requested by a district in cases when a license is needed quickly to complete a new hire. Districts are then spared from bringing someone on staff while uncertain of the status of their license application. · Greater access to information. Licensure information also is available for counselors, school nurses, psychologists, social workers, parents and the general public. “We’re pleased that this application is doing the job it was created to do,” says Salonek. “We also appreciated the opportunity to work in partnership with folks at Children, Families & Learning to create a tool that addresses important issues in Minnesota.” What’s Next Long-term plans call for the license application process to move to a fully Web-based system. About Intertech Founded in 1991, Intertech (www.Intertech.com) is a leading Twin Cities-based e-business and e-commerce consulting company. The company’s 40-some software developers design and implement e-commerce, e-business and wireless business solutions for small- and mid-sized corporate clients in such industries as communications, financial -services, manufacturing, medical/healthcare, multimedia/publishing and retail. The company also works extensively with governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations. Intertech was ranked 286th in Inc. magazine’s list for 2001 of the 500 fastest growing companies in the United States and it ranked 243rd in 2000. The company has twice been named one of the 50 fastest growing technology companies in Minnesota by Deloitte & Touche as part of the 2000 and 2001 Minnesota Technology Fast 50 awards program. The company also ranked 440th in the national Deloitte Touche listing of the 500 fastest growing companies in America during 2001 and it ranked 335th in 2000.