Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) Update


AnchorVolume 10, Issue No. 2                                                                                               Mar-Apr, 2018   


GETS procurement progresses on strength of collaboration   

The mainframe procurement we completed last year was important. So was the print to mail services contract awarded to Xerox at the start of this year. These were the first two segments of our GETS IT infrastructure services re-procurement that also includes end user computing (EUC) services and server services components.

Now we've built even more momentum by awarding at the outset of February a contract to a new EUC provider, NTT DATA. EUC is big. And how important is our collaboration with GETS agencies in this big progress? Essential. As we re-procure GETS computing services to replace an expiring contract with IBM, it's no overstatement to say we couldn't do it single-handedly. Atos is in place as new mainframe services provider. Transition is under way to Xerox for print to mail, targeting a June 1 service commencement. And now, we've started EUC transition too. 
 
For the past 15 months, team members from GTA and from state agencies have invested countless hours in the rigorous process, from gathering requirements and developing the EUC segment of the RFP, to poring over proposals and weathering multiple rounds of evaluations. And while these folks may not be new to the demands of a procurement, it's quite an addition to their "day job."
 
I'm confident though the effort will pay off for all. The new EUC services will include tiers with varying support response times, offering greater choice for agencies. We also expect enhanced management of hardware assets and stronger security and protection. We've targeted July 1 for transition to NTT DATA as EUC service provider.
 
We sought involvement in this EUC procurement from GETS agencies, and we got it. This was no quick focus group meeting, and you're finished either. Instead, we had the privilege of extended engagement from GETS agency team members. Contributors are a credit to their agencies, and they're due appreciation from all of us. They certainly have my most sincere thanks for exhibiting the kind of collaborative spirit that fuels the good health of Georgia's shared IT services program.
 
Transitioning EUC services to NTT DATA coincides with transition of print to mail services to Xerox. And the server services re-procurement continues too. (Most GETS managed network services, by the way, were most recently re-procured and awarded to AT&T in 2015.) With the continued support we've seen already from GETS agencies in these cycles, I'm confident all of the work will not just proceed, but succeed. And GETS agencies will benefit.
 
GTA makes it a top priority to ensure state agencies have access to the IT services they need. We're ever aware you're counting on us. We're able to offer new providers and improved services because of our well-honed procurement process, the flexibility of our GETS shared services platform, plain hard work of dedicated team members, and collaboration across a GETS community committed to strengthening the GETS program.
   
Thank you for your ongoing support. 
 

Calvin Rhodes
State Chief Information Officer
GTA Executive Director
 
Submission deadline nears for 2018 Technology Showcase  
 
Georgia's state and local government agencies have through March 9 to submit entries to the GTA-sponsored 2018 Technology Innovation Showcase. For the seventh consecutive year the showcase recognizes innovative uses of technology to meet constituent expectations for services and information, improve operating efficiency, and conserve tax dollars. It's also an opportunity to share ideas, experiences and lessons learned.
 
Projects selected for the 2018 showcase will be honored at the Georgia Digital Government Summit this fall. Honorees will also be included in the Annual State IT Report published by GTA. Plus, they will be considered for submission to NASCIO's State IT Recognition Awards, the Technology Association of Georgia's Excalibur Awards, and others.
 
Using the online submission form, you can submit projects completed by December 31, 2017, in any of 10 categories:
 
  • Cross-boundary Collaboration and Partnerships
  • Cybersecurity
  • Digital Government - Government to Business
  • Digital Government - Government to Citizen
  • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
  • Emerging and Innovative Technologies
  • Enterprise IT Management Initiatives
  • Improving State or Local Government Operations
  • Information Communications Technology Innovations
  • Open Government and Data, Information, and Knowledge Management
 
The showcase continues to affirm Georgia's place as a leader in the use of technology to make government more responsive, efficient and accountable. Three showcase projects went on to earn NASCIO recognition in 2017, including a coveted first place award for the Division of Child Support Services within the Georgia Department of Human Services. Projects from the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Department of Revenue were finalists in NASCIO's awards program.
 
Email showcase questions to gtainfo@gta.ga.gov .  
 
   
 
Serving more agencies with more IT services, more ways  
 
The IT environment isn't static. The state's IT needs aren't static. No surprise then that the state's central IT authority cannot be static in its approach. From its work with the Georgia Cyber Center, to creation of the Georgia Office of Digital Services, to continuous improvements in the GETS IT services program, GTA addresses evolving agency needs.
 
Add to those steps introduction of a new GETS Ready program. Already several state of Georgia entities (Fulton County, the Atlanta Airport, the University of Georgia and the Atlanta Housing Authority) are capitalizing on this new path to IT services. And they're drawn to the program for reasons likely to appeal broadly to state entities.
 
Why consider GETS Ready IT services?
Ease of procurement may top the list. The GETS Ready program provides a path to à la carte IT services through existing contracts, with providers GTA has qualified via GETS procurements. That can save a state entity the time, energy and expense of what might prove a complex, lengthy or even contentious procurement of its own.
 
A sample scenario: An agency is pressured to upgrade wi-fi service in public spaces of one of its facilities. They can't afford delays. They learn of an expedited route via GETS Ready allowing them to purchase needed services through an existing contract with a pre-qualified service provider. (AT&T is the GETS Ready network services provider, for example.) Work can move ahead promptly.
 
A second benefit is the opportunity to capitalize on the state's purchasing power. State entities can secure contracted pricing that may be more favorable than they could get on their own. That can't be guaranteed in every case, but even the rigorous vetting alone that GTA does to qualify vendors for program participation can help customers.
 
The GETS Ready program stands to serve a broader audience, extending IT services to Georgia agencies, local government, colleges and universities, and boards of education statewide - entities not currently served by the core GETS program. At the same time, the state gets more mileage out of the work done in GETS to forge relationships with IT vendors. The two programs complement each other.
 
See GETS Ready information on the GTA website about telecommunication services, in particular. Details of other IT services (e.g., managed security services, mainframe and end user computing, among others) will be added in the coming weeks and months. Email questions to GTA's Mark Albright .
 
  
 
A barn raising planned for new GeorgiaGov digital platform    

When you face a task carrying community impact, you bring the community together and tackle it together. That's what GTA's Digital Services Georgia (DSGa) team has in mind as it mobilizes state agency experts into working groups to partner in architecting, designing and developing the next version of the GeorgiaGov web platform. Together they'll transform it into a digital platform, an effort expected to span the next two years. 
 
The DSGa team will use Drupal 8, an open-source platform for building digital experiences, and will work with Georgia agencies to migrate existing websites. More than a simple upgrade, this will bring improvements for both agency content managers and citizens, and more broadly it will update state digital standards and guidelines to ensure agencies serve the public effectively with their digital presence. The new platform will offer citizens seeking information and services an omni-channel experience, giving them consistency and multiple ways to connect.  
 
The team has initiated a Digital Center of Excellence (DCoE) comprising working groups that will provide leadership, share best practices, and establish standards and guidelines across six focus areas: technical, user experience/user interface, accessibility, data, content strategy and social media . They will have input directly to DSGa to ensure the new platform addresses anticipated needs of agencies and those they serve .
 
The user experience/user interface group, for instance, will  cultivate best practices on issues including r esponsive interface design, u ser research and testing, c ustomizing user journeys, component- based design, and more. Each group will dig into distinct but interrelated considerations, all promoting an even more serviceable new digital platform for Georgia.
 
Working group members will not only influence development of the new Drupal 8 platform, they will also get an early preview of the digital platform by performing Beta testing before go-live to ensure agencies' needs are met. Each group will meet as warranted through 2018, with staggered s tart dates over the coming weeks.
 
Who should join the Digital Center of Excellence groups? Agency representatives knowledgeable in the focus areas named above. And it's not too late to participate. (See working group details on the Digital Services Georgia website.) For a ny Georgia agency wanting it s ideas clearly heard during the development of enterprise-wide digital standards, this is a prime opportunity. Groups will include agency representatives as well as industry experts, and will be guided by DSGa staff.
 
   
 
 
Briefly...


  • The Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training is taking shape in the real world, and in the virtual world. Dedicated to cybersecurity preparedness and cyber workforce development in Georgia, the facility is under construction in Augusta on the strength of a state investment now exceeding $100 million. Now, a  Cyber Center website, cybercenter.georgia.gov, is live. You can also follow the latest center news on Twitter and Facebook at @GACyberCenter. The Cyber Center puts the state in the forefront of this critical IT concern facing not just government, but private enterprise worldwide.

    Georgia Cyber Ctr logo
     
 
 
  • This year's GTA-sponsored Technology Summit is slated for July 11. Please mark your calendars and watch for additional details to be announced soon. The 2018 summit will be held in Augusta at the new Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training and will come on the heels of the facility's grand opening planned for July 10.
   
  • GTA recently published the Annual State IT Report and has made it available online at gta.georgia.gov/annualreport, The report highlights a broad range of Georgia IT accomplishments in FY 2017. It addresses everything from the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training, to the Georgia Cybersecurity Workforce Academy, to the state's IT expenditures, to key agency projects aimed at providing innovative services, to GETS program enhancements, and much in between.

 
 
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