December 5, 2022


Everything You Value

Municipal Utility Looks to Modernize Information Management System

This story is limited to Industry Insider — California members.

This story is limited to Industry Insider — California members. Login below to read this story or learn about membership.

The nation’s largest municipal utility is seeking responses from IT companies to assist it in a key information management modernization.

In a request for proposal (RFP) issued Friday, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is calling for vendors capable of helping it achieve a “Laboratory Information Management System Replacement,” in a seven-figure, multiyear contract. The more than a century-old utility serves more than 4 million residents and has 733,900 active water service connections. Among the takeaways:

  • The department seeks a contract to provide its Water Quality Laboratory with laboratory information management system (LIMS) software and implementation services that will replace the Water Quality Division’s existing LIMS with a “modern, holistic LIMS solution.” The goal, generally, is to improve “laboratory and sample workflows,” and provide new capabilities to the division which has as its mission monitoring and maintaining water quality in the city of Los Angeles. LADWP Water Quality (WQ) staffers use a LIMS that’s an Oracle-based application developed by LABWORKS and implemented in 1999. They need to modernize their water quality laboratory software to better support the “administrative, analytical, and operational requirements of the department staff,” according to the RFP, which states: “Today, custom (Microsoft) Excel plug-ins, manual workarounds, and disconnected processes result in difficulty meeting laboratory data reporting demands, accommodating higher sample volumes, and ensuring regulatory compliance. Given the age of its current LIMS solution and the number of manual processes still vital to its operations, the WQ should move towards a digitally enabled, automated, easily connected, and holistic solution.” The LIMS’ main users include lab scientists, technicians and supervisors as well as its Chain of Custody group, sample collection specialists and supervisors, and the Customer Care group. LIMS data is consumed by these users and also the Regulatory Assurance and Consumer Protection (RACP) group, the Water Quality Control group, Groundwater and Source Protection group, and federal and state regulatory agencies.
  • As for its existing technical environment, LADWP operates and maintains “a variety of information technologies.” It has a 100-gigabit-speed Ethernet enterprise network connecting its facilities. Most of its desktops are (Microsoft Windows-Intel) Wintel devices that run Microsoft Windows and Office, with Windows 10 being the standard OS. LADWP has standardized active directory for “internal authentication, external authentication, identity and access control, and servers for print queues.” It uses both Windows and Linux OS on its application servers; the server environment is highly virtualized. The utility uses hyperconverged infrastructure for virtual machine storage and CIFS/NFS exports. Its supported database environments include Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and IBM’s DB2 and IMS/DB for the mainframe. LADWP is currently running LABWORKS Desktop Build LADWP uses the eRespond app for outage and incident management via its water system (Water OMS).
  • The new system must support regulatory compliance and laboratory certifications per the California Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program and other federal regulatory standards; must support divisionwide scientific needs, uphold data quality and integrity, be compatible with IT standards and promote user friendliness for the plethora of users. The implementation will have seven project stages: system design, master data design, system installation, configuration, and customization; system integration, data migration, system testing, training, deployment planning and support; and post-implementation maintenance and support.
  • In oral presentations, companies are invited to discuss their experience working with utilities, specifically water quality testing labs. They’re also asked to share their product’s ability to integrate with other systems and how they would integrate with active directory or other single sign-on solutions. In writing, respondent should describe similar services performed by their company during the last five years (three to five projects) – and projects or services delivered in “highly urbanized” areas like Los Angeles may be credited more highly. Respondent must demonstrate their solution can meet the RFP’s functional and technical requirements and describe how they’ll ensure it integrates into the environment. Proposer must also comprehensively detail their approach to securitizing customers’ systems and data, and offer evidence they meet LADWP’s IT security requirements.
  • This will be a three-year contract with the budget range of $2.4 million to $3.6 million, and LADWP “intends to award one agreement.” LADWP uses Regional Alliance Marketplace for Procurement (RAMP) to post bids and RFPs. Find all documents and proposer instructions related to the RFP on Questions are due by 2 p.m. May 27; responses will come June 2. Notices of intent to submit a proposal are due June 10. Proposals are due by 2 p.m. June 20. Software demonstration period will be July 11-14; proposal review completion will take place in July. Clarification/negotiation will happen in August, and a notice of intent to award is expected in September. A recommendation of award to LADWP’s board of commissioners is expected in October.