Non-industry related Handel news

RiteTrack

RiteTrack for Tribal Treatment and Wellness Programs

You can view a recording of our webinar that examined how RiteTrack is used for Tribal Treatment and Wellness Programs here.

The Treatment Services module is used by counseling, substance abuse, mental health, and similar tribal programs. During this recording you can see the functionality available for treatment and recovery support services.

This module was built with direction from recognized mental health best practices and offers a wealth of standard functionality. Handel also allows for extensive configuration options to ensure the system reflects the Tribe’s cultural values for mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Functionality illustrated in the recording includes:

These modules can be paired with other RiteTrack modules to incorporate the directives of Tribal Healing to Wellness Programs.

Handel Information Technologies, Inc. Celebrates 20 Years in Business

In an era when software companies come and go, Handel Information Technologies has achieved two decades of innovation and growth.

Handel began operating in 1997 as a general IT consulting company. In 1998 Handel landed a contract to develop a software solution for a juvenile assessment center in Colorado. Shortly after this solution was implemented other counties started calling for similar solutions.

Recognizing the opportunity, Even Brande, the company’s founder and President, saw an unmet need in the market for juvenile justice software solutions and created the first version of RiteTrack. Through subsequent generations RiteTrack has grown into a robust, web-based, off-the-shelf solution for juvenile justice programs and tribal social service.

The early success of the custom-developed RiteTrack system indicated there was a need for reliable database solutions to manage and report on case and client information. Over the years, Handel secured contracts with juvenile detention centers and Native American Tribal governments, and through close partnership, developers recognized that each group had common information and reporting needs.

This led the company to begin developing a standard solution that could be sold out-of-the-box, but we also realized juvenile programs and Tribes often had data needs unique to their programs as well. So, the current version of RiteTrack offers standard functionality with the option to tailor or customize some data points to fit an organization’s specific needs.

Handel found its niche and thrives on serving the organizations and employees in these fields who provide support to their clients or members.

Currently Handel has remote offices in every time zone in the continental U.S. with its headquarters in Laramie, Wyo.

Being part of the close-knit community of Laramie, Brande gives back to the community in many ways. He and his wife Anne Brande remodeled and restored the building at 200 S. 3rd St.

Brande also gives generously to organizations and clubs in the community and has been or currently sits on many boards including the UW College of Business Advisory Board, the UW Computer Science Advisory Board, and the Leadership Wyoming Advisory Board.

He and Anne have served as Campaign Co-Chair of Albany County United Way, and Handel adopted a stretch of the Laramie Greenbelt that Brande and employees help keep clean.

Handel’s employees also volunteer their time in the community for various organizations that help improve the quality of life for everyone in Laramie, Albany County, and Wyoming.

Handel will commemorate the occasion with a Business After Hours event on October 12, 2017 at the headquarters in Laramie, Wyo. The public is welcome to attend.

Tracking Tribal TANF Outcomes in RiteTrack Webinar Recording Available

Our recent webinar demonstrating ways RiteTrack tracks and reports on TANF outcomes was very popular. If you missed it, a now available as a recording, click here to access. 

During this short but information filled session we explored how RiteTrack provides insight on

  • Education goals
  • Employment goals
  • Changes in employment and income
  • Pregnancy statistics
  • One- and two-parent households

Access to the recording is free, and if you would like to find out how RiteTrack can improve your service delivery and outcome tracking please contact Handel Information Technologies for further information or to schedule a discussion or personal online demonstration.

Handel at 20 -Technology Evolution Over the Past 2 Decades

Note: This is one in a series of stories written at the 20th anniversary of Handel Information Technologies.

In the history of mankind, 20 years is merely a blink of an eye. In the history of information technology, 20 years represents an eternity. As Handel is turning 20 I find myself in a reflective mood. Going back to July 1997, the month Handel was incorporated, the world was in many ways not that different from what it is today. Yet, when it comes to technology, it would be difficult for a human being time-traveling from 1997 to 2017 to recognize our world today.

Here are a few examples of some technologies we take for granted today that were non-existent in 1997:
  • Always-on Internet access in all but the most rural areas
  • Super computers that you can carry in your pockets (which among other things also happens be a phone, a camera, a video conferencing system, and a music player)
  • Instant access to all information ever created including movies, TV shows, music, and books.
  • Ability to broadcast yourself to the world at the click of a button
  • The ability to buy anything from your phone and have it show up at your door the next day

These are but a few of the things we take for granted today that would have been foreign to a human being, ca. 1997. Oh, did I mention self-driving cars?

In the mid- to late 1990s I remember technology leaders of the era (including Bill Gates who later admitted he and Microsoft were late to recognize the significance of the Internet) predicting how the Internet would change how we live. I don’t think most of us from that era could have predicted where we would be today. It wasn’t just the Internet that enabled the radical transformation we experience today. It was a combination of several factors. Continuously faster and cheaper processing power making computing power increasingly more affordable. The evolution of extremely compact computers moving from the desktop into our pockets. The evolution of wireless networks allowing you to be connected from anywhere. The development of social networking, enabling information sharing in a completely different ways than we have seen before. Software moving from desktop to the web.

In the late 1990s, before most people had broadband internet and little government data were available online, we published annual property assessment databases on CD ROMs which made it much easier for realtors to look up  property values. 

The result is that the majority of human beings in the industrialized world now owns a smartphone and is always connected to the Internet. Compare this to 1997 when according to the U.S. Census,  36% of US housholds owned a computer and 18% were connected to the Internet. Of note, 1997 appears to be the first year the Census Bureau measured the latter statistic. Thinking back to the summer of 1997, I was starting Handel in my basement, my wife and I owned one desktop computer and a laptop. We accessed the Internet with a dial-up modem, which gave us just enough speed to read news, check e-mail, and check mostly text-based websites. This week I installed a new wireless network in my house. I was surprised when I counted the number of unique IP addresses in my home. As mentioned, in 1997 I had two computers in my house. Apparently, our family now has 28 electronic devices each with a unique IP address. That may seem high, but when you think about a) our family has grown to include 3 more individuals that it had in ’97, each individual has their own computer, tablet, and phone, there are devices like printers and scanners that connect wirelessly, there are other devices like Amazon Echo’s, Apple TVs, Raspberry Pies, Kindles, media players. etc. Forward this another 10 years and I believe every electronic device in our home from lightbulbs, thermostats, applicances, vehicles, to other devices yet to be invented, will all be connected to the web.

This transformation that we have seen in the past 20 years I would argue is as revolutionary as when humans developed the first language some 100,000 years and when Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1440. What distinguishes us humans from other mammals is the way we can communicate with each other and thereby share knowledge. Each new human being born, inherits all this knowledge from all humans that lived before. The changes we have seen these past 20 years simply accelerates this information sharing to a new level.

What has Handel’s impact been for our customers and our industry over these past 20 years? Starting out, we were really just a consulting company, developing custom solutions wherever we could find work. It wasn’t until 2001 that we focused on making RiteTrack and government social services our primary focus. In 2008 we developed the first web-based version of RiteTrack and the next year we started experimenting with web-hosting. Today, the vast majority of our clients are on a web version of RiteTrack, and about 50% is being hosted in our data center. We expect to continue to see our clients moving their data into cloud infrastructure. While slower to change than consumers and business clients, government is recognizing the efficiencies gained from web-based technologies in a hosted environment. While government resources are often limited, demands for services continues to grow. As such, our customers have to find ways to do more with less. We believe that one of the keys to doing less with more is by more intelligent deployment of technical solutions. RiteTrack is well positioned to help our clients and future customers in accomplishing this goal. Ultimately, our job is to give our customers better tools so that they can provide better services to the clients that they serve. Regardless of technology evolution, RiteTrack is ultimately about helping those in need and that is what I expect we will still do 20 years from now.

Embracing Technology in the Juvenile Justice Field

Many organizations and those working in them feel anxious when starting to evaluate or implement a technology project. This anxiety may center around implementing the new technology and ensuring that the day-to-day users will accept and use the technology. Technology should be selected and implemented to ultimately help improve services and efficiency for the organization.

I hosted a webinar during which I examined common issues that arise when implementing new technology and pointed out four main aspects that every organization should address when trying to help users or organizations embrace technology. It’s an important topic to evaluate when considering a new system.

The webinar provided valuable information that administrators can use to help alleviate any resistance they face. One of the most important points to remember is to involve the users, line staff, data entry specialists, or other integral parties in the implementation process. If administrators can get the staff to buy in and embrace the new technology, then the likelihood of a successful implementation and a positive experience is higher.

I am reminded of a saying “junk in will equal junk out.” Meaning if staff are not entering information into the system as it is designed, then the outcomes will not be what is expected. During the webcast, I provided practical steps every agency can use to overcome resistance to embracing technology and highlighted the benefits of incorporating technology into operations.

Please view the recorded webinar here to learn some practical steps and points that will assist you in embracing and successfully implementing technology in your organization.

Handel has Opening for Junior Software Developer

Handel has an opening for a Junior Software Developer. Click here for more details: http://www.handelit.com/about/job-openings/junior-software-engineer/