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PTC stays on track with tech review

The $32,000 spent on a technology assessment for Peachtree City departments was money well-spent in terms of divining a “way forward” for the city computer-wise, says the City Council.

VC3 brought a team of 15 on-site technicians to evaluate the city’s existing information technology infrastructure. The team developed a report with recommendations for future upgrades and various technologies to adopt including thin client computing, which stores most data on a server instead of on a computer hard drive itself.

The survey noted that the city had some 20-plus custom-made programs authored by information technology director Matt Robinson, who recently resigned after taking a job in the private sector.

Robinson was lauded by several members of the city council for “using chewing gum and band aids” to keep the city’s technology running.

Councilman Eric Imker noted that Robinson elected to stay on board until after the detailed VC3 survey was completed. Robinson’s input was so valuable as a city employee that the city is currently contracting with VC3 for the expertise of several people just to fill the void Robinson left, Imker added.

Imker also said that the $32,000 expenditure, while he agreed to it, was significant and he hopes it will pay in future dividends.

In fact, the study was seen as so crucial that the city halted its initial plans to purchase new computers and other related equipment this year until after the survey was completed, officials said. City Manager Jim Pennington said this was done to make absolutely sure the city was headed in the right direction with its future
technology investments.

“It’s going to save us a lot of money probably from the stand point of additional equipment purchases,” Pennington told council last week.

The city’s technology infrastructure runs the gamut from desktop computers in nearly every city office to the desktop machines at the city library and mobile units deployed by the city’s police and fire departments.

The city also operates several servers and in recent months had to replace its email server after it crashed and could not be resuscitated.



Starting on page 76, you can read the City management's recommendation for the future of IT.

Interesting reading - apparently the "expertise" this company provides costs $18K PER MONTH....

And the council is going to approve that without any competition? Aren't there local companies that can do this?

What is that?

Bubble replacement? No competition there. Rush, rush, rush to buy one so one winter didn't go by without SCAT $$$ rolling in. And how much were the cost overruns on that one? Still no money budgeted for a storage building for it. Just take a crane and put a three quarter of a million dollar piece of custom made fabric somewhere till that gets figured out.

Oh, by the way, SCAT membership is down 23%? So, much for that revenue to pay for the 10 year loan on the bubble, as promised by the budget guru on council.

See how much of the cost this company wants up front before they even hook up a wire? $472,909. contract...$71,249. due at contract signing for "services"....$330,410. hardware and maintenance invoiced at contract signing. Don't know when "invoiced" amt. is due, but sure sounds like it's up front along with 50% of the "services". Remaining $71K due upon completion. Man, how's that for incentives? This is all in addition to the 32K VC3 was paid to do the review already.

And these are just phase one costs. Phases 2 & 3 are not part of these figures. As the city manager glibly pointed out, "It' never hurts to do a review." Nothing but the best.

NUK_1's picture

..they totally bought into the VC3 BS that a lot of governments found several years ago to be a ridiculous waste of money and lackluster performance.

"Thin client computing" had been thoroughly discredited years ago due to the simple fact that thin clients workstations were extremely overpriced and Citrix technology(along with Micro$oft's version and others) were woefully poor in performance in many environments, but VC3 saw a great opportunity in government to keep the dream alive. Then along came "cloud computing" to confuse those who don't know what the hell that means to make it all work again, despite the fact that in many situations the entity is going to pay FAR more than having in-house IT staff, along with having unhappy end-users because of the latency and bandwidth issues inherent to this model.

Thin client computing can work in some situations and indeed be cost-effective. When you have PTC gov that is already connected by fiber(and has been for over a decade) between all their buildings, this is a really dumb idea that is not cost-effective whatsoever when there are many better alternatives.

PTC has had Newnan Utils' fiber connecting all the city buildings together for more than 10 years. You can pay a helluva lot less than the proposed expenditures to have it managed by in-house staff, even including the dreaded gov't benefits. You also have one point of contact when "things go wrong" instead of having to call overpriced and useless consultants on retainer and committing yourself to thin-client computing and virtualized servers and really wasting the resources of a fiber WAN the city already has.

Just because they made Matt Robinson do everything with band-aids or whatever doesn't mean you don't hire some replacements. They weren't paying him anywhere close to 18K/month(LMAO) and also could always get someone else if they weren't happy. Th efact is....PTC has always gone ultra-cheap on technology in the past, but that doesn't mean you wed yourself to an IT model from a company that makes its living off of government, and for good reason. This isn't a model that is being widely adopted by big business despite the vast promise of cloud computing.

One can only wonder about the timing of this - are they saying the environment just can't survive any longer? I have my doubts that all the due diligence has been performed to know if this company is truly the best fit for the just smells funny.

And they may have the money this year, but will they have the $200K next year, and the year after? How many police officers or firefighters could we get for that?

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