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Springbrook Iterates into the Cloud With New Product Cirrus

The accounting, payroll and HR tech company sees its new offering as the future version of its current products. Here's Springbrook's plan for building up the solution and giving customers an easier path to the cloud.

Springbrook Software, a company that serves up payroll, accounting and HR software to local governments across the country, has launched a new effort to move more of its customers to the cloud. Along the way it’s adding more data analytics, visualization and becoming more mobile friendly.

But it’s taking its time.

The plan is to use a new application called Cirrus to eventually take over many of the functions of Springbrook’s existing cloud platforms. The company is beginning with a module handling bank reconciliation, with plans to add modules for cash receipts, utility bills, core financials payroll and human resources and property tax.

Ken Hoffmann, the company’s chief product officer, walked customers through Cirrus during Springbrook’s annual Activate conference on Feb. 17.

“Really the long-term vision here is that Cirrus would eventually replace what most Springbrook Enterprise Cloud customers interact with today … now, that’s a long-term horizon. So the idea of Cirrus ultimately eclipsing or replacing that product is going to take a very long time,” he said.

The goal is to use the rollout schedule to gather customer feedback at every turn and incorporate it into Cirrus’ development. As modules become available, users will be able to give them a spin in a test environment without needing to switch over or migrate.

“For those of you using the Springbrook Enterprise Cloud today, you’ll be able to ‘test drive’ those modules as they become available,” Hoffmann said. “That means you can switch back and forth between your current user interface and the Cirrus user interface. Springbrook isn’t making you lock in. That means Cirrus is low risk to your agency in terms of training and adoption.”

Cirrus will offer users home page personalization and notifications in an effort to help users find what they need more quickly. Embedded into the application is data analytics powered by Tableau — for example, one feature presents the user with a list of their checks and allows them to select the ones they’re interested. At the top of the screen, Cirrus gives the user a sum of the check amounts and projects their ending account balance after factoring in those checks.

As of today, the application pulls data from a reporting database that updates hourly from the user’s live data. But the company is considering giving users a way to connect live, giving them data as soon as it changes.

“We do have a … read-only data access API that we’re looking at rolling out as sort of an add-on or an optional offering that would give you true real-time read access to actually all data in the Springbrook instance,” Hoffmann said.

The broader idea behind Cirrus is to make it easier for customers to come to the cloud, avoiding more complicated setups.

“Over the past couple of years we have worked really, really hard to take as many of those customizations as we can and turn them into configurations. So configurable imports and exports are a great example, more options in the application versus things that might’ve been customized,” he said. “While we haven’t addressed all those areas of customization yet, we do have a really, really significant effort underway to do so. So if you were previously told by Springbrook, ‘Hey, it looks like there’s a lot of custom here, we don’t think we can find a path for you to the cloud,’ I would really encourage you to reach out to your account manager and just re-engage on that topic.”

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.