Leslie Chaney, New Hanover County information technology director, said in last year the county had problems with its email system and sought an upgrade for it and their Internet and intranet (SharePoint) system. Chaney said her department evaluated keeping in house service or converting to a cloud-based service, but decided to move to a hosted environment.
“The most important was our need to have email and Internet available even if our data center was off line. One of the other factors was the increasing demand for storage of email. We are required to archive county email for eDiscovery and public records requests, and our current storage and backup solutions were not adequate to meet the demand. We are also moving file storage to SharePoint, and our existing installation could not handle the almost 4 terabytes of data that we currently have in file stores,” Chaney said in an email. “Rather than try to create the redundancy of a second data center or increase the capacity of our storage and backup solutions, we chose to go to a hosted solution.”
Working through their partnership with Microsoft and Genisys’s partnership with Microsoft, the county was able to create a remote data center and got dedicated servers. She said the county now has “more redundancy and capacity in these critical services than we have ever had” and the contract is more than just email and website hosting. The county also has the ability to integrate with the existing telephone system.
Chaney said formal bidding is not required on service contracts.
“They were the only vendor (others were State of NC, Google, and Microsoft BPOS) that we evaluated able to meet all of our requirements including integration with the County’s active directory in real time, external SharePoint web site hosting and multi-site SharePoint intranet hosting. They were able to meet all of our security requirements (FISMA, HIPAA, and CJIS), storage requirements, and retention requirements,” Chaney said. “We were able to eliminate some capital funding requirements for additional storage, servers, and backup capacity by moving to a hosted environment, and since Genisys manages the systems, we do not have to devote personnel resources to the management of these servers. We also get anti-spam and archival services which were eliminated from the IT budget in lieu of the new contract with Genisys.”
Date posted: June 13, 2011
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