March 2014

In This Issue

  • 2014 Annual Conference
  • The "Spotlight"

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."
-John Quincy Adams 


User Groups

Local user groups extend the benefits of TAGITM membership, increase our knowledge base, and build lasting friendships. Join or start one today! For more information on user groups in your area contact 
Keith Macedo at 
membership@tagitm.org.

Current list of user groups


News Feed Provides Easy Access to Tech News

The TAGITM home page has several technology news feeds on the latest in technology news. Visit www.tagitm.org to find the latest technology stories to help stay current with breaking stories. If you know of a great news feed we can incorporate into the website, please let us know by emailing info@tagitm.org

 

 


 


 

Educational and Networking Opportunities abound at our Annual TAGITM Conference in Austin at the Sheraton at the Capital April, 28th through May 1st.

For the second year in a row, we will be offering extended pre-conference education.  This year’s topic will be Microsoft Licensing for Public Sector presented by Microsoft licensing specialists who will review the different licensing options and answer questions.  In order to make this session as valuable as possible for the attendees, a survey has been created to get feedback on the content. If you are planning on attending, please take a few minutes to complete the survey.  The 3 hour licensing session begins at 2:30 PM on Monday, April 28th so make plans to come in early.  

New for this year, we will have three breakout education sessions.  The presentation submissions were so good, that the education committee didn’t want to restrict it to just two.  There will be Strategic, Tactical and General tracks.  You may want to consider bringing extra staff so that you can take advantage of all the opportunities.  For  a summary all of the educational offerings, check out Sessions at a Glance

For those of you that track hours for certifications such as the CGCIO program or track ongoing training for your agency, documentation of CEUs will be provided this year.

Another new twist will be the addition of an extended general session on Wednesday afternoon where DPS Audit and Training Supervisor Susanne Dial-Herrera will review the CJIS requirements and answer questions.  This a great opportunity to get the facts about CJIS compliance direct from DPS.

On the fun side, Monday, April 28th prior to the Microsoft licensing session, there will be a networking/team building activity at Top Golf in Austin.  This is a really fun activity even if you are not a traditional golfer.  On Wednesday, April 30th, we have dinner and entertainment scheduled at the Austin icon Esther’s Follies.  

The education sessions and exhibit hall will be onsite at the hotel this year.   Transportation will be provided for Top Golf, and at less than ½ a mile from the hotel, Esther’s Follies is within walking distance. If you are flying to Austin, a rental car may not be necessary. 

This year’s conference agenda is packed through Thursday, May 1st at 11:30 PM so be certain to plan to stay till the end.  Registration is now open. Be sure to register and make your travel arrangements so you don’t miss a thing.

See you all in Austin!

Beth Ann Unger

Please note: The TAGITM government block of rooms at the Sheraton Austin is sold out. TAGITM will be covering the difference between the government rate of $120 and the vendor rate of $169 for our government attendees. If you need the government rate, please book your room in the vendor block and then email our hotel contact Sabrina Phelps at sphelps@sheratonaustinhotel.com  with your confirmation number so she can adjust your rate. This offer will be good until the April 7 cutoff date.  


Organization in The Spotlight


Organization Name:
Odessa, Texas. Located in the Permian Basin of West Texas, Population: 106,000


Number of IT Workers in the Organization:
 19


Significant Technology Achievements: Extensive 10Gb I-SCSI VMWare implementation with Equalogic 48TB SAN and Dell Appasure backup software has really allowed us to eliminate a large number of physical servers and backup software, reclaiming space and energy costs. It has also allowed us to stand up server resources very quickly improving are ability and flexibility in system implementations. I can count $30,000 of physical server boxes we would have had to buy this year for software projects. At this rate, we will pay back our investment in four years.


Plans for Future Technology Initiatives: We are implementing a 5 year Strategic IT Plan that we are currently on year 2. Next year we will be looking at replacing our 15 year HTE System and AS400 hardware. Year 4 we will be looking at installing a municipal operations system, and in Year 5 we plan to implement VoIP and consolidate and improve our telecommunications. 


Most Challenging Project: 
We have an aging Motorola Arc 4000 server that is the core controller for City communications as well as the core for a 17 county interoperable p25 radio network.  It has aged to the point of replacement.  It has been difficult making improvements to our communication network here at the City as we have to make legacy downgrades in state of the art components to continue working with the server. It is also difficult to make decisions to replace the server because it would require that equipment that works in concert with it in all of the other counties would also be forced to upgrade their components. We are currently wrestling with the best way to either break away solo or encourage the counties and the regional planning commission to help with paying for an upgrade. We have big and tough decisions ahead of us.  


Most Rewarding Project:
We are replacing our decade old Tiburon Oracle based CAD/RMS system with a Motorola PremierOne CAD/RMS system. This could also be placed in the most challenging category as well, but the ultimate operational value to our public safety departments in collaboration of criminal justice information as well as to the IT staff as we support them will be tremendous and well worth the tough transition. We go live the end of March.


What is Most Valuable About Being a TAGITM Member:
 I’m enjoying the wealth of truly valuable information that we are able to share with each other over the various formats from conferences, the listserve, website and several social media outlets.  It’s wonderful to be able to share challenges and successes with each other to keep from having to reinvent that wheel again.  We are in IT together!  


Texas Association of Governmental Information Technology Managers
P. O. Box 200363, Austin, Texas 78720