State Information Technology Services Division
 Customer News - January 2015; Vol. 2, Issue 1




2015 Biennial Report on IT

News from the State CIO

Improved services in Lincoln County

FIM implementation continues

Use of email archive service grows

SITSD working to procure AirWatch contract

New DLI Labor Market Information Site

Five-Year IT Infrastructure Plan

Data Privacy Day is Jan. 28

DOR launches Livestock Reporting Site 

In the Spotlight

New SITSD employees



2015 Biennial Report on IT

Report identifies progress, achievements

BiennialreportDid you know? Montana offers 23 mobile applications that let citizens access a variety of state services via cell phone or tablet, 24-7. You can learn more about these innovative apps, most of which have been deployed since 2012, in the state's 2015 Biennial Report on Information Technology (IT). The report is now available on SITSD's new website.


The 2015 Biennial Report outlines Montana's progress on goals identified in its 2012 IT Strategic Plan. The state has made significant progress in the past two years in enhancing digital services, security of IT systems, and sharing of enterprise IT services and architecture. Specifically, the report identifies:

  • Progress on the 2012 State Strategic Plan for IT (page 9)
  • Progress on individual Agency IT Plans (page 17)
  • Review of current Montana IT environment, including infrastructure, services, performance, legislation and projects (page 36).
Please take time to review Montana's 2015 IT Biennial Report and learn how SITSD and the state's 34 agencies and programs are working together to enhance the IT environment. For additional information, contact Kyle Hilmer.

State employees in Lincoln County see improved service

LincolncountyservicesState employees working in Montana's Lincoln County are enjoying greater bandwidth, improved connectivity and faster Internet speeds thanks to new fiber optic connections in that rural area. The improved service was made possible by an unprecedented partnership between the state, Charter Communications and Vision Net, in conjunction with Montana West and Montana Sky Networks as a result of a fiber build that was part of the BROADBAND USA project. After some delays, the fiber solution was implemented in early December. SITSD serves nine state agencies that house employees in 12 different sites in Lincoln County/Libby area. Historically, this remote area has been a challenge to serve due to limited infrastructure and rough terrain. SITSD previously served its Lincoln County customers through two digital signal (T1) lines, which was significantly less than the overall bandwidth needed. The new fiber connections, at a minimum, double the bandwidth to each location, providing improved connectivity, faster rate speeds, and Quality of Service (QOS) across a Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) network known as SUMMITNET3. These new circuits are considerably more cost effective than the previous T1 circuits, as well as earlier proposed carrier solutions, and provide a long-term solution to meet increasing customer needs in Lincoln County.

Data Privacy Day - learn how to protect your personal information online

DataprivacydayJanuary 28 of each year is Data Privacy Day.  Why should you care about data privacy? After all, what do you have to hide? Plenty! Your personal data, your financial information, your health care records, or even your vacation plans, if shared, can open you up to identity or physical theft as well as fraud or make you a target for scams. For tips on how to protect your privacy, check out this article on the Montana Information Security website.



The Enterprise Technology Services Bureau is completing final migration of data from the enterprise (E) tenant space to the government (G) tenant, reports Bureau Chief Jerry Marks. The division will host at least one G tenant server on premise to meet security requirements. SITSD will spin down the E-tenant space after all data is transferred to the G tenant. Marks says the bureau is beginning to address enterprise policy to support the deployment of Office 365; state agencies may need to develop additional policy when deploying Office 365 to their employees later this year.


NEW SITSD PUBLIC FACING WEBSITE - SITSD launched a new website in DNN in mid-January, The new site is more focused on our customers, highlighting new services, service changes, and SITSD news and initiatives. Later in the year, the division will launch an enhanced service catalog portal. We invite you to take a look!


NEW IT MANAGER AT MPERA - Congratulations to Angela Riley, who comes to Montana Public Employees Retirement Administration (MPERA) from Microsoft. Angela has held a variety of IT positions over the last 21 years.  She assumes the role of IT Manager from the retirement of June Dosier. 



In the past, SITSD created a special e-mail address, virusreports, for customers to report phishing spam and virus infection alerts. Reports were sent to both virusreports and email addresses, which was redundant. Since the SITSD Service Desk processes tickets to assess these reports, the virusreports address was no longer needed and has been removed. Customers should now email all phishing spam and virus reports to and a ticket will be created and sent to the appropriate case group. 


newemployeesSITSD welcomes new employees 

SITSD has recently welcomed and/or promoted employees to new positions. We're glad to have these exceptional individuals on our team!


Hannah Subry, capitol operator, Enterprise Services Bureau.

Suzanne Jackson, computer programmer, Application Technology Services Bureau/Internet Technology Section.

More information technology bills making their way through the 2015 Legislature
     State CIO Ron Baldwin
StateCIOcolumnLast month, I addressed minor changes being proposed to the Montana Information Technology Act (MITA) in the 2015 Legislative Session. A draft of the bill, LC 0519/HB 231, is available online. That bill revises and clarifies the duties of the State Chief Information Officer, and revises the time period over which a state agency is required to report IT project costs and activities. It is tentatively scheduled to be heard in the House State Administration Committee on Thursday, Jan. 29, at 8 a.m. in room 455, State Capitol. There are three additional legislative bills that I want to bring to your attention - Revise Mutual Aide Frequency Laws, LC 0520/HB 296; Repeal electronic government advisory board and transfer duties, LC 1273/SB 220; and Long-Range Information Technology Appropriations, LC 0179/HB 10. These bills were also developed in consultation with SITSD. Read More

FIM implementation continues; pilot in the spring

FIMimplementationThe implementation of Forefront Identity Management (FIM) continues, but at a slower pace than originally projected. Jerry Marks, chief of the Enterprise Technology Services Bureau, reports that SITSD is now processing agencies' requests to provide User Identification (ID) numbers for new employees who need access to state information systems. Previously, some agencies were allowed to directly assign new employee IDs from a group of numbers provided by SITSD, but this process was modified Dec. 1 to increase the security of information on state systems. Nearly all employee IDs are now assigned by SITSD. This effort will position SITSD to auto assign account ID information in the future. The first phase of FIM - to automate the process of establishing an active directory account and Exchange mailbox for new employees by connecting SABHRS employee information directly to the Enterprise Active Directory - has been delayed while SITSD technicians work through some issues. Marks says technicians learned that some SABHRS employee information is private and must be protected, or hidden, in active directory, so technicians are adapting the automation process to meet these requirements. He hopes to work through these issues by March 1 and then move forward on a pilot project. For more information, contact Marks.
Use of email archive service continues to grow
emailarchiveserviceThe Email Archive Service continues to expand across the state enterprise. SITSD recently implemented email archive in the Department of Administration. SITSD employees have been helping DOA employees learn to discontinue their use of creating Outlook data files (.pst files) and instead, store email in a 20 gigabyte archive folder for the long term. Customer Relations Manager Tyler Weingartner reports that the majority of DOA employees are now successfully using email archive. Cheryl Grey, administrator in DOA's State Financial Services Division, said the transition has gone well. "SITSD staff provided onsite office hours, which were a tremendous help for people to ask questions and get immediate assistance. The service was a great example of the exceptional services SITSD provides," she added.
SITSD working to procure contract with AirWatch

mobiledevicemgntudpateSITSD is in final negotiations to procure a contract with AirWatch, the vendor selected through an RFP process in November to provide Mobile Device Management services for the state. After a final contract is signed, the division will "stand up" the application and engage selected agencies to participate in a pilot later this spring, said Jerry Marks, chief of SITSD's Enterprise Technology Services Bureau. AirWatch by VMware offers organizations the ability to deploy, configure, secure, manage and support smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices across multiple mobile platforms and operating systems. The AirWatch platform will enable SITSD to better support the needs of customers who want access to data and applications on mobile devices at remote locations.

DLI launches labor market information website

labormarketwebsiteKudos to the Montana Department of Labor & Industry, which recently launched a new Labor Market Information website in response to private sector demands for resources to drive evidence-based business planning. The website utilizes responsive design to provide users with an interactive and dynamic online experience. This tool provides real-time data analysis functions allowing users to customize reports that meet their unique needs. The Montana Data Portal developed through the Governor's open data initiative powers the new labor market Information data tool; through collaboration with other agencies such as DOA-SITSD, this project saved money by capitalizing on statewide efforts to modernize and bring more transparency to state government.

SITSD developing five-year IT infrastructure plan
infrastructureplanSITSD is developing a five-year plan to strategically manage the development and implementation of the state's enterprise IT infrastructure. Lynne Pizzini, deputy chief Information officer and chief information security officer for SITSD, said a team of employees has been meeting regularly to develop an "Enterprise IT Infrastructure Plan" that will reflect the state's 2014 Strategic Plan for Information Technology. The goal is to create a "roadmap" for the development of state IT infrastructure that supports the strategic vision identified in the state's IT plan. Employees in the areas of network, security, applications and storage are developing the infrastructure plan; it is being managed as a project by the State IT Project Management Office. Pizzini said an infrastructure plan will provide an additional tool for making better decisions regarding state spending on IT projects, and guide the purchase and delivery of new IT services across the enterprise. It will help the state maximize its investment in information technology, she added. A first draft of the plan should be available later this spring. For more information, contact Pizzini.
DOR launches online service to gather livestock information from ranchers
livestockwebsiteCongratulations to the Montana Department of Revenue, which successfully launched a new online service recently that allows livestock owners to report the number of livestock they own. Montana law requires all livestock owners to report by March 1 of each year the number of livestock they owned as of February 1. Livestock owners who use the service this year will be able to pull up their history for next year's report, which will make reporting faster, more efficient, and more accurate. The service was cooperatively developed and supported by DOR, SITSD and Montana Interactive. It is free to use and can be found at

- Information Technology Managers Council - Feb. 4, Wednesday, 8:30-10:30 a.m., DEQ Metcalf Building, Room 111.



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Connecting Information and People.
State Information Technology Services Division, a division of the Montana Department of Administration, provides IT services to more than 100 state, county and city government entities. The division works to ensure that the state's IT infrastructure is robust, secure and cost effective, and supports the business requirements and innovations of government and Montana citizens.