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Monday, December 3, 2012

TECHNOLOGY – When a $20,000.00 service totals $0.00 in budget impact

As part of my announcing my platform and opening a dialog with the electorate I will be discussing my positions and of course countering all the FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) that the other camp is disseminating.

In the end you the voter will have a point and counterpoint to review and that is perfectly fine with me; I want an educated voter to step “into the booth” in November to make the choices they feel are the best for Wallingford for the present and which puts us on the right pathway for the next 20 years and beyond.

So in this posting I am going to deal with the costs of paying for the service I am proposing.

In an upcoming post I will deal with all the supposed wasted time that is going to occur from all our employees when they have access to the internet (which is not unfettered, unmetered nor universally accessible).

So what do I mean when I say “When a $20,000.00 service totals $0.00 in budget impact”?

It means creative thinking, outside the box, to commit the departments to the service and not have it cause an expansion to current budget allocations.

I am a Democrat so therefore I am blanket labeled as “tax and spend”. Not much I can do about that out of mouths of the immediate dissenters except prove them wrong at as many turns as I can make.

Anyway – the intention is to make it mandatory for each department to assign email and internet access to the department head and at least one second in command. This is not to be two individuals logging in to the same account but their own accounts. They can have as many additional accounts as they want to tie to their budget.

Their budgets will not be increased for the cost of the service to their department.

If the service costs $7.00 per month per user and they have three users, that will be a charge they will have to pay ($21.00 per month) over the 12 months.

In this scenario, the demand against their budget goes up $252.00; they will not get a budget increase to offset the service cost.

The department is responsible for the difference. They can cut fuel purchases, paper, toner, envelopes, office supplies, etc. and pay for the service in that manner and that is easily done sending more email and printing less.

So now I am sure the pundits that supposedly know more than I do on technology are going to say “what about tech support that we have to hire and the servers and equipment that goes along with it”?


We have IT people that can handle the user end of this effort; the systems that are out there in use already should be able to be easily converted to get online. We set them up with the accounts and the access and they are good to go.

The service we may use is a lot like this one from Microsoft called Office365 for Government but there are others that can be looked at as well.

As you can see, you get quite a bit for $7.00 a month (which again as a reminder from the above is ZERO budget increase to the departments).

When you look at the $17.00 per person package ($10.00 more per person) look what it includes:

--  Voicemail
--  Office Professional Plus 2010 desktop version subscription (for up to 5 devices per user)

I am willing to bet you we pay more for the Office software licensing costs alone on the PCs in use in Town Hall already over the course of the year but even if that is not the case, when coupled with something else we need in over half the departments still – VOICEMAIL – it really is simple to see the net savings by combining service offerings.

At this point let’s just stick with the original item – the $7.00 per month per user email service. At the end of the day it is no more extravagant than your GMAIL or HOTMAIL email accounts and most people have those or something from their Internet Service Provider (ISP).

You don’t have a HOTMAIL or GMAIL server in your basement that an IT person has to work on. Your email services, servers and support are all “cloud” based – they are available on demand over the internet.

The professional services for governments and corporations are just the same; they are isolated from others (we would not see North Branford’s mail systems any more than they could see ours) and they are available on demand.

The service itself it is just like your TV / internet service at home; once it is set up and configured it is up and running and it works. If the service goes down you place a call to fix the service as that is part of your service agreement with them.

You have no special contracts with the provider at your home, no employees to hire; if the service goes down you get it fixed.

If the service does go down work doesn’t stop either; people keep working on what they need to do. When service is restored they can then do whatever they needed to do online once the service is back up.

I started this blog post on the lower tracks of Grand Central where there is no service; when I got clear and could catch a data connection I uploaded the post for you to read.

Not a minute wasted and a completely efficient use of “down time.”

So in closing I feel confident that I have explained that this new service, which will generate more openness and serviceability of government to its people, will not be introduced as part of an effort to spend more money and raise people’s taxes.

In fact, with proper execution, service levels should increase and department costs should go down.

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