Paul Russell is the CIO of the town of Enfield, Conn. He and three network operations staff manage the town's recently converged unified communications network, which services all of Enfield's K-12 schools and more than 1,200 town employees. Below are the issues topping Russell's priority list.
1. Build on Our Solid Foundation
Last year, the town approved our plan to significantly upgrade our network infrastructure to support a modern, unified communications plan. We started with our K-12 school system. In three weeks' time, while our school system was on summer vacation, we swapped out 4,000 ports and had an upgraded network that was ready to support IP telephony by the time students returned for the school year.
2. Provide Always-On Data Access
This year, we will continue to implement strategies to support increasing demand for always-on, highly available data and operations-critical applications, as well as the ability to share data among our police, fire and EMS departments.
3. Keep It Secure
With so much data residing on the network, my team must maintain security to protect information without end users being limited in access. We chose a vendor whose networking solution offered us granular visibility and built-in security at every level, rather than bolted-on security after the fact.
4. Do Business Online
The ability for Enfield residents to view their property tax information, apply for a permit or license, or view town meeting minutes is now a reality. We'd like to take it a step beyond these basic services. For example, we'd like to use this new infrastructure for more technology training in the town's education system.
5. Maximize VOIP and Video
Now that we have this new infrastructure, we are exploring the use of multiple modes of communications to cost-effectively manage all the departments. Cutting costs associated with interdepartmental communications will help us address other increased financial constraints beyond our control-such as state budget cuts.