Frequently Asked Questions - UBS FAQ's

Does your software interact with other applications?

All of the CitySuites applications including UBS have been designed for maximum interoperability with other systems.

Do you have one version for smaller entities and another for larger entities?

Because of its design, CitySuites applications can serve organizations of all sizes with the same software program. With a single version, support and enhancements are simplified enabling ISSI to provide the very best in customer care.

Can we use one database and share it with all of the users?

UBS was designed to support a multi-user environment. With a single database, users can easily be added as your organization continues to grow.

What type of database does UBS support?

Borland Interbase is reccomended for small entities that do not have an IT staff or the second option is Microsoft SQL Server for those sites that already have adopted this database as a standard.

What other programs do I need to work with UBS?

UBS is a completely self-contained program that includes the functions of utility billing, receipting and work order applications. It even has a built-in report writer and word processor functionality to easily create letters, forms, etc.

How long has your company been in business? How long have you been developing software?

Innovative Software Services, Inc. was established in 1998 with product development starting in 1995. A privately-held company, based in Eaton Rapids, MI, our company has enjoyed consistent growth and now has customers in six states.

How many users can I have on the software?

You may add as many users as your organization deems necessary. The only limitations would be related to your networking environment and the number of concurrent database user licenses.

What kind of training is available?

Innovative Software Services, Inc. (ISSI) is committed to providing superior educational services for our clients.  In addition to a thorough, process-driven training program during the installation, ISSI also provides a number of other continuing education programs including refresher training, industry seminars and our user group gatherings.  We also provide a quarterly newsletter to our clients to keep them up-to-date on relevant news, software enhancements and upcoming future events.

What kind of support is available?

Serving our clients is the lifeblood of our business.  To support our clients, we use a combination of telephone support, the internet and on-site service.  Our hotline service is staffed from 8:00 – 5:00 (EST) Monday thru Friday with after-hours support available with advance notice.  We often use the Internet to gain access into your system (with your permission, of course!!!) that allows us to quickly diagnose and troubleshoot whatever problem or question you may have.  If it’s required, ISSI will go directly to your site ensuring that issues are resolved quickly and professionally.  In the age of voice mail and automated attendants, you will always have the comfort of talking to a live human being when you call ISSI.

Do you have online help available?

All of the CitySuites modules have help systems built right into the system.  With a click of a button, you will get the help files associated with the portion of the program you were in.  It is simply the most effective help system available.

What are the hardware requirements necessary to run your system?

Harware requirements are dependant upon the number of users that will be utilizing the software.  With that said, the specifications are very minimal and usually do not require you to purchase additional or new hardware.

Will your software work with any operating system?

The software will run on any Windows platform supported by Microsoft.

What type of security features does your software have?

Security in UBS is detailed down to the user as the administrator can grant or deny access to no less than twelve areas of the system.  Each user is issued a login in and password that is also controlled by the system administrator.  UBS also has a detailed audit feature that time and date stamps every transaction performed by the system.

Can I use your software from a remote location?

CitySuites products are designed with maximum flexibility in mind as it supports remote access.  Contact our Network Specialist team to discover how remote access can be used in your system.

How many licenses do I need to buy?

One and only one.  All of the modules within UBS are provided for you.  Even if there are certain features you may wish to use at a later date, you have the comfort of knowing there are no extra expenses.

Does your software allow us to write custom reports?

All of the CitySuites products have a powerful and user-friendly report writer built into the program.  With minimal training, you’ll be able to get the information that you need in a format that meets your needs. In addition there CitySuites ships with a multitude of standard reports.

We’re a small entity. Can we afford your software? Do we need all of the features?

CitySuites products were designed to operate according to your business rules and practices.  This structure has made the products equally effective for large and small organizations alike.  While smaller organizations may not require all of the features within the software, it’s comforting to know that the capabilities are available to you.  The price structure for CitySuites products are based primarily on the size of your organization so it’s affordable for all sizes.

Is there a demo I can install and try?

Because the system does require some level of training in order to effectively use the system, ISSI does not provide a demonstration CD.  However, ISSI or one of its authorized resellers will gladly provide the assistance for you to have the “hands-on” experience.

How much do I have to pay for software upgrades?

Software upgrades are included as part of your service agreement.  ISSI believes that customers that continually grow with the software are our best customers.  To help support this belief, ISSI has made it as easy as possible to stay current with the latest software release.

Is there a fee for technical support?

There are no fees associated with technical support as they’re included as part of your service agreement with ISSI.

How do I install the software and how long will it take to get up and running?

Installation is performed by a fully trained CitySuites technician or one of its authorized partners.  Since the installation is done by an experienced technician, software installation generally takes less than a day.  Our comprehensive training program expedites the time necessary to get up and running making you an experienced user in no time at all!!!

How do I get my old data into the new system?

Before any data is brought over to your new system, our conversion team meets with you to discuss your data conversion needs.  These conversations are used to determine what information is crucial to your operation and what is not.  It’s a good rule to bring over only the information that is necessary.

Can I use my existing bill format in the new system?

You can use your existing bill format or make changes that might have previously limited you with your existing system.

Can your system handle multiple companies or districts?

UBS allows you to manage multiple districts with the same software.  A distinct and separate database allows you to maintain records for an unlimited amount of organizations.

Can I provide a customer with a new copy of a previous bill?

You can easily reprint bills on demand with UBS.

Can I provide a receipt for walk-in customers?

UBS supports a variety of printing options including receipt printing.  The receipt may be as detailed or simplistic as you choose.

Can I print specific messages on a customer’s bill?

Individual messages can be printed on a customer’s bill.  You may use a standard message that was placed in the system or create a unique message.  Messaging in UBS is simple and powerful as you can print messages for a single customer or many customers.  Communicating with your customers is in your hands.

Will your system support bank drafts?

Electronic payments are made easy with UBS.

Will your system allow me to print mailing labels?

A complete word processing system is included with UBS making all forms of correspondence, including mailing labels, easy and efficient.

Can we make custom changes to the system?

Under most circumstances, the table-driven structure of UBS makes custom programming unnecessary.  In those rare instances where a modification is necessary, our staff will discuss the issue with you.  If it’s simply a good idea that will benefit many of our customers, it’s been our policy to make these modifications at no charge at all.

Is source code available?

Source code will be made available to you in the unlikely circumstance that ISSI ceases operations.  Provisions have been made to place the source code in escrow.  Complete details on this subject are included as part of our contracts.

Our municipality provides multiple services. Can we put them on a single bill?

UBS allows you to combine all of the services that you provide onto a single bill.  In addition, you can set your business rules to manage each service individually or collectively.

Does your system allow us to perform budget billing?

Budget billing can be instituted at any time in UBS.  Information contained within the system will allow you to provide budget billing for your customers with little effort.

What electronic meter systems does your system work with?

UBS will work with virtually any meter system currently on the market including Sensus, Neptune, Badger and a host of others.  Since electronic meters are a configurable setup in UBS, a new or different meter configuration can be established easily and quickly.   Contact us to find out if we’ve already worked with your current meter system.

Does your system allow us to track our meter inventory?

A key component of UBS is the inventory tracking system.  Inventory, critical inspection dates, service dates and other features are included as part of the standard UBS package.

Does your system allow us to produce work orders?

A work order system is included as part of the standard UBS package that will enhance the service to your customers while greatly reducing the effort for your organization.

What types of services will your software support?

Our UBS system can handle virtually any type of service that your organization bills for including water, sewer, electricity, refuse, cable, and internet services.

Can I accept credit cards through your software?

Multiple payment methods, including credit cards, are supported.  With our UBill Advance product offering, your customers can receive emails to receive their bills, statements and pay instantly with their credit card.

Can I send a utility bill to the customer and the landlord?

Yes.  The system can be set to send bills or shutoff notices or both to multiple locations such as other family members.

Can a customer view their utility bill online?

Your customers can see their bills with our UBill Advance product. UBill Advance can send a customer’s bill by email, view the bill and make their payment all from the same screen. Your customers can view their bills at any time saving your organization time and providing better service for your customers.

Does your system support barcode receipting?

Absolutely.  Many of our customers use barcodes to greatly reduce the time needed for processing bills and increasing the accuracy of the payment information.

Does your system support CASS certification?

UBS easily provides the information in the necessary format to support CASS certification.  Contact one of our representatives to find out if CASS certification is right for your organization.

Will your system allow a customer to make budget payments?

With ease.  Simply put in the parameters of the budget arrangement and UBS will do the rest.

Can I store notes on a customer account?

There are multiple areas within the customer account for notes of all types.  There are even locations to place your local ordinances or step by step procedures throughout the program.

Can I produce letters, door hangers, etc.?

With the built-in word processor, you can create and easily produce letters and communications of all types.  You can store the documents that you use regularly and automatically generate the documents based on your rules.

What version of Windows do I need?

UBS supports all Microsoft supported Windows operating systems.

How much does your system cost?

System costs vary by location and depend on many factors including number of users, amount of data converted and amount of training required. As a general rule, our pricing structure allows smaller organizations to pay less for the system making it affordable for everyone.

How can I see a personal demonstration?

Contact Innovative Software Services, Inc. and we’ll be happy to come to your location or provide a demonstration over the internet.  Our presentation will be tailored specifically for your organization and is designed to be interactive.  We understand that every organization is a bit different as we’re looking to address the needs that are most important to you.