A Multisource Service Integration Approach Prepares the City of Fort Wayne and Allen County for Next Generation Technology
Local government presents unique modernization and IT management challenges. Specialized solutions and skills are needed for systems that maintain and operate multiple departments to deliver utilities, provide public safety, record and issue permits, manage animal services, supervise parks and recreation, and myriad other responsibilities.
In the past, city and county IT organizations often outsourced their tower services (help desk, desktop, applications, servers and storage, network, and cybersecurity) to a single managed services provider. But because technology changes rapidly, this inhibits their ability to access specialty skills that didn’t exist within the provider’s portfolio at the time of the contract, negatively impacting service quality and user experience.
The City of Fort Wayne and Allen County (CFW-AC) needed a robust IT managed services partner to support the technology backbone for critical departments that serve over 500,000 constituents. CFW-AC needed a solution that would not only address their challenges but present the most efficient and effective use of public resources.
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CFW-AC needed a robust IT managed services partner to support their technology infrastructure, applications, system interoperability, data integration, and cybersecurity—the technology backbone for critical departments that serve over 500,000 constituents. Specific support functions include help desk, desktop administration, application development and maintenance, asset management, website management, GIS services, database administration, server and storage network services, and cybersecurity.
A critical element of the city’s service delivery, CFW-AC Utility oversees the production of the only product that every single citizen depends on: water. The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Administration (CISA) recognizes water utility as critical infrastructure. Today, the biggest threat to successful delivery of safe water is a cyberattack. Not only did CFW-AC need a provider to manage all the other IT aspects, but computers that control the machines filtering and distributing water are vulnerable points in the system that need best-in-class cybersecurity. It couldn’t simply be an afterthought.
Additionally, getting a great solution at a fair market price was important to citizens and the officials who serve them. CFW-AC is deeply committed to their constituents and wanted a solution that would not only address their challenges but represent the most efficient and effective use of public resources.
In today’s highly competitive market, no single company can offer all the skills required to run specialized government operations. A multisource service integration technical approach (MSI) provides access to best-in-class vendors with a single point of oversight and a structure of end-to-end accountability for service delivery. A critical factor in CFW- AC’s decision to partner with Resultant was our ability to deliver MSI for all departments and agencies.
This cross-functional digital service delivery platform allows CFW-AC to benefit from specialized service providers to meet their technology needs without having to coordinate them. Resultant manages all providers and ensures they work together seamlessly with a focus on customer experience, analytics, automation, security, data integration, service quality, and cloud solutions. “Resultant’s new MSI model is specifically designed to enable state and local governments, higher education, and mid-market enterprises to be more nimble and to secure specialized technology services as soon as the need arises,” said Mike Vance, vice president of technology services at Resultant.
When we partner with others for an MSI solution, we select the very best in each particular specialty. Partners like Corsica Technologies, who bring together the brightest minds in security to develop innovative solutions to improve government outcomes; Netfor, a user-experience-centered help desk solutions provider with a strong knowledge management program; and Daniels Associates, Inc., a WBE-certified applications provider with over 30 years’ experience as a trusted partner in government technology solutions.
CFW-AC wanted the freedom within any solution to make necessary decisions, take actions, and minimize vendor lock-in agreements. The MSI approach facilitates vendor and technology independence. CFW-AC can choose exactly what’s in the best interest of citizens, including insourcing at the end of the contract and changing vendors who underperform. Meanwhile, Resultant drives service delivery around a common set of processes and serves as the single party responsible for providing integration, visibility, and control back to CFW-AC.
Service quality in this type of approach improves through an infusion of specialized skills and the streamlined service management processes and tools that provide
CFW-AC officials were extremely invested in knowing who would be part of their solutions team, having had suboptimal results in the past when teams were changed out after proposal acceptance. Our standard practice— having the actual project leads present any proposed solution to clients—alleviates this concern, giving clients a good sense of what working with these team members will be like, their qualifications, and how the team fits their organization.
Resultant is a leader in applying data analytics to solve government problems, uniquely situated to help CFW-AC make smarter decisions about how to improve planning and operations to provide better outcomes for their citizens.
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Transitioning to Resultant presented unique culture-change challenges—both in how IT personnel were perceived by other employees, and within IT as new standards of service were implemented. With a focus on end-user service, we have reestablished trust in IT for CFW-AC.
Help desk visibility and responsiveness have leapt forward. Diligence in updating knowledge base articles has created a new asset deeply appreciated by employees seeking quick answers. After eight months, the Resultant team has addressed literally thousands of backlogged help desk tickets. The day-to-day relationship with IT now is one of open, responsive communication, according to Welch: “The channels of communication are exactly as I would want.”
Improving the efficiency and transparency of government services increases the frequency of interaction between citizens and government and improves perceptions of quality and trust in government. CFW-AC can now experience the benefits of providing citizens more transparent, accessible, and responsive services to constituents.
Led by Resultant, multisource service integration delivers automated IT monitoring and management, providing CFW-AC a single view across servers, operating systems, network equipment, and applications. That means cost savings and service delivery that better serves stakeholders. CFW-AC has reduced statewide costs for services while increasing security and disaster recovery capabilities. Resultant is also helping to modernize aging IT infrastructure and facilitate data access that will improve both the citizen experience and public safety.