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Latest Information on MORE Nutmeg Network Demonstration Projects

NEW! Municipalities have been chosen for the Human Resources Portal and Electronic Document Management projects.  More information is below in the EDMS and Human Resources Portal sections.

Please contact Jennifer March-Wackers (jwackers@crcog.org) with any questions.

Overview of the M.O.R.E. Commission and the Nutmeg Network Demonstration Projects

The Municipal Opportunities for Regional Efficiencies (M.O.R.E.) Commission functions to take new approaches in Connecticut state and local governments to increase cost efficiency through regional collaboration.

The M.O.R.E. Regional Entities Back Office subcommittee was convened in 2013 to develop a Back Office savings strategy for local governments. Chaired by local government officials and in partnership with committee members from local government, the state legislature, state agencies and other interested parties, the goal of the Back Office group is to remove barriers, provide opportunities, and create incentives to transform the delivery of state and local government services through technology. In addition, this group works to develop best practices and models to enhance productivity, maintain information security, and reduce cost for local and regional government service delivery.

Using a collaborative approach with state and local leaders, the Regional Entities group of M.O.R.E. developed a Back Office savings strategy in 2013 to leverage Information Technology at the local level. That strategy resulted in legislation mandating a statewide roll-out plan of broadband fiber connections and state grants to connect town halls to the state’s Nutmeg Network (a previously restricted resource for schools and libraries) that is currently underway.

In 2014, the Regional Entities Back Office group prioritized several “demonstration projects” to showcase the value of the Nutmeg Network and encourage secure, on-network sharing of software and IT services. Those demonstration projects have been funded through legislation for $1.3 million in FY 2014-15, carried out by the Capitol Region Council of Governments in partnership with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology.

Information Technology Status in Connecticut Municipalities

While some Connecticut municipalities have embraced technology at the local level, many more have been hesitant to adopt Information Technology (IT) for fear of not adopting the “right” system at a high cost or not being able to keep up with trends and falling behind the technology curve. The advent of everyday use of sophisticated technology in our society demands that Connecticut local government not only streamline their internal operations, but use IT as a strategic outreach mechanism to involve residents. There is a need to “level the playing field” between those municipalities with the resources to invest in IT and those who have yet to take the plunge.

The Capitol Region Council of Governments has been actively working to create a regional resource of local government services in IT that benefits all sizes and levels of IT sophistication. This comprehensive approach involves setting up an infrastructure for sharing (Nutmeg Network connections and Data Hubs) as well as pursuing cooperative purchasing and service sharing opportunities that provide benefit for any municipality.

M.O.R.E. Projects Timeline
The timeline for participation varies depending on the project and progress once the process of implementation has begun. However, a rough estimate is as follows, and can change based on funding availability from OPM:

Fall 2015
Conclude work on VOIP, Streaming Video, and Hosting Services projects

October 2015
Briefing for interested municipalities for the EDMS and HR Portal projects at the October 20, 2015 CCM Annual Convention.  Applications are due November 20, 2015. 

January 2016

Begin work on the EDMS and HR Portal projects with pilot municipalities.

Project Descriptions : VOIP

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP)

Demonstration Project

A demonstration project enabling municipalities to have Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telecommunication capability.  VOIP is the provision of phone calls that are carried over the Nutmeg Network vs. traditional phone lines.  This also enables other types of advanced communications such as web and video conferencing.

The funds defray the cost of hardware and services to setup VOIP in participating municipalities. Phone/handset costs, POE switches, and ongoing costs such as data storage/administrative fees from CRCOG and CCAT will be borne by the individual town.  There are operational savings for individual towns through VOIP versus traditional land line systems that are ongoing through the life of the service.

Please go to the CRCOG IT Services Cooperative page for information on how to participate this service.

Project Descriptions : Streaming Video

Streaming Video

Demonstration Project

This demonstration project provides live video streaming of Council, Board of Selectmen and Committee meetings over the internet, enhancing public information and education for municipalities.  This can be a less expensive and more mobile alternative (extensive recording equipment not needed) for towns to use. 

The funds provide software and space in the CRCOG Data Center for storage (hardware) and defraying of recording equipment costs.  Ongoing costs include software maintenance fees, hardware life cycle costs, and data storage/administrative fees from CRCOG and CCAT to be borne by the participating towns.

Please go to the CRCOG IT Services Cooperative page for information on how to participate this service.

Project Descriptions : Hosting Services / Shared Core Infrastructure

Hosting Services / Shared Core Infrastructure

Demonstration Project

A pilot program enabling municipalities to have customized, hosted solutions based on their needs.  The funds would provide space in the Data Hub and Back-Up System (CRCOG Data Center) to host software solutions and a virtual environment to host servers and store data.

In addition, the Data Hub and Back-up System would provide the ability for participating municipalities to either house virtual servers or back up their data to a redundant and secure system through the Nutmeg Network.  Such a system also forms the basis for future shared software applications and application sharing.   Transmitting data over the Nutmeg Network allows for fast, reliable and secure data management for municipalities and this infrastructure takes full advantage of that network and speed.

Please go to the CRCOG IT Services Cooperative page for information on how to participate this service.

Project Descriptions : Electronic Document Management

Electronic Document Management

Demonstration Project

This demonstration project will provide a pilot program for participating municipalities to develop and have access to a cooperatively purchased Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) and service support to routinely digitize, route and archive municipal data. This will provide not only ready access for Freedom of Information requests, but also lays the groundwork for daily operational efficiencies of local government. An EDMS housed on CRCOG Data Center servers connected to the Nutmeg Network allows for economies of scale for data storage costs as well as the future potential to share software and staff to carry out collaborative services such as assessment field work.

Funds for this project will pay for an EDMS base system software suite, storage in the CRCOG Data Center, and the first two years of maintenance/licensing fees for up to six municipalities.

Municipal Technology Requirements
To be a successful participant in this demonstration project, your municipality should have the following in place:

  • Connection to the Nutmeg Network (or pending connection completed no later than 6/30/16)
  • Local Area Network (LAN) present

EDMS Demonstration Project Costs (participation in the pilot)

  • Town staff time to express needs and develop local protocols for participation
  • Purchase of updated switches and wiring (if needed)
  • Purchase of equipment (scanners, etc) necessary for document archiving (if desired by town)
  • Project Management
  • Technical Assistance and Consulting Services
  • Software Purchase/Licensing Fees

Ongoing Costs (annual)

  • CEN Network Fees (Transport from CMC (CT Municipal Cloud))
  • Program Administration Fees
  • Software Maintenance Fees

Implementation Details

  • Up to 18 month demonstration phase
  • 12 month implementation (estimated)

Pilot Municipalities

  • Bolton
  • Essex
  • New Britain
  • Newtown
  • Norwalk
  • Putnam
  • Waterford
 
Project Descriptions : Human Resources Portal

Human Resources Portal

Demonstration Project


This demonstration project will provide an on-line resource for local governments featuring classification and compensation information and other human resources tools and templates. HR is an often overlooked area of municipal operations and any size town can benefit from basic online information sharing. The project will specifically focus on leveraging best practices and developing tools to automate HR processes in support of increasing operating efficiencies at the local level.

The funds provide for: the initial design/construction of the web-based portal; the purchase of off-the-shelf or custom bolt-on tools to automate various HR processes; retention of professional HR consulting services; Data Center hosting fees; and project management costs.

Municipal Technology Requirements
To be a successful participant in this demonstration project, your municipality should have the following in place:

  • Connection to the Nutmeg Network (or pending connection completed no later than 6/30/16)

HR Portal Demonstration Project Costs (participation in the pilot)

  • Town staff time to express needs, participate in related procurements and develop local use protocols
  • Project Management
  • Technical Assistance and Consulting Services
  • Data Charges
  • Software Purchase/Licensing Fees

Ongoing Costs (annual)

  • CEN Network Fees (Transport from CMC (CT Municipal Cloud))
  • Program Administration Fees
  • Software Maintenance Fees (if any)

Implementation Details

  • Up to 18 month demonstration project

Pilot Project Materials

Pilot Municipalities

  • Columbia
  • Danbury
  • Hebron
  • Manchester
  • Milford
  • Prospect
  • South Windsor
  • Southington
  • Windsor Locks
 

 

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For more information on the Nutmeg Network Demonstration Projects, please contact Jennifer March-Wackers, Municipal Services Manager, at (860) 522-2217 ext. 239 or email jwackers@crcog.org.




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