Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) Update

AnchorVolume 7, Issue No. 2                                                                                               Mar-Apr, 2015 

More flexible, responsive and nimble service delivery

Improving technology services for state of Georgia agencies remains one of GTA's top goals.  This week we've made a key step in that direction.


We awarded a contract to Capgemini America Inc., which becomes the multisourcing service integrator (MSI) for the GETS program.  They will coordinate and oversee integration of services by multiple IT service providers.  That integration can bring not just improved service, but greater readiness to capitalize on technology innovation through GETS.


It's a towering milestone for the GETS program.  Through an open and competitive bidding process, we chose a respected, experienced company, with the know-how to help us manage the complexities of a multi-provider delivery model for IT services,


Capgemini operates in more than 40 countries and provides consulting, outsourcing and professional services.  I know their team is eager to make a positive difference for Georgia agencies.


As the service integrator, Capgemini will provide service management processes and systems, including billing, service desk, service catalog and request management, risk and security management, among other services. Those services were previously provided through existing contracts, which have been adjusted to accommodate the addition of a service integrator without an increase in overall spending. The state continues its contract relationship with IBM for infrastructure services and AT&T for managed network services.  While Capgemini will provide integration services for all GETS service providers, GTA continues to be responsible for service provider oversight, management and governance.


We've been gearing up for naming an MSI vendor for some time, and we're ready now to get to the mechanics of adding  it to our more flexible, adaptable service delivery platform.  The next several months we will have our hands full.


We plan to keep agencies engaged in the transition to an MSI model.  At a kickoff meeting on March 31st, we will explain the model, introduce Capgemini  and highlight benefits you can expect.  We'll also begin at the kickoff to enlist agency representatives to provide feedback as we validate specifics of the services the MSI will offer.  Invitations are being sent this week.  Then in mid-April we'll convene key agency subject matter experts for another engagement / feedback session to help ensure GETS services meet agencies' evolving business needs.  More details to come.


My thanks again to those whose diligence has gotten us to this point with an MSI.  That includes invaluable involvement from GETS agencies.  All that effort is about to be rewarded.  And, my appreciation to all of you in advance for your cooperation and collaboration as we bring this key piece of service integration to life.


The selection of a service integrator is one component of GTA's Services Integration program.  You'll recall that program also includes the re-procurement of managed network services.  GTA is progressing with competitive procurements for wide area network, local area network, voice network, conferencing, and cabling and wiring services.

Good things lie ahead for GETS and agencies served. 

I'm glad to be a part of it and glad to have you as partners.


Thank you for your ongoing support.


Calvin Rhodes

State Chief Information Officer

GTA Executive Director


Event eyes coordination across agencies for cyber security   


The Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security, the Georgia Department of Defense and the Georgia Technology Authority will partner to hold a cyber security tabletop exercise named Cyber Defender on April 8-9, 2015.

The exercise - a first for Georgia - will foster coordination across entities to enhance the state's cyber preparedness.  It aims to mature processes, strengthen relationships and identify points of contact for escalation.  Federal partners will join state agency participants and observers and will include groups such as the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Cyber Command, the FBI and others.

A documented plan of response for cyber security events is essential, and there's nothing like a "live" situation - in a simulated event - to identify gaps and areas for improvement.  Cyber Defender will provide that opportunity.

This exercise, being held at the Georgia Tech Research Institute in Atlanta, will be especially worthwhile for an agency's chief information officer (CIO), information security officer (ISO), and disaster recovery/business continuity staff.  It will raise awareness and strengthen the state's ability to respond, coordinate and recover from a major cyber incident.

Email GTA's Walter Tong for more information.



Submit IT projects for recognition among state's best


Georgia's state and local government agencies are accomplishing great things with technology.  They're making it easier for constituents to access services and information.  They're streamlining business processes and avoiding unnecessary expense.  They're making employees more mobile so less time is spent in the office and more in the field. Online courses are redefining our approach to education at state colleges and universities.

These accomplishments should be recognized, and the most noteworthy are through the annual Technology Innovation Showcase.  For the fourth consecutive year, GTA is sponsoring the Showcase and encouraging submissions from government agencies at all levels.

Submissions are being accepted for the 2015 Showcase through March 20.  (If you need a little extra time to prepare your submission, please email  Projects need to have been completed no later than December 1, 2014, and agencies can make submissions online in nine categories. Complete details - including descriptions of project categories, online submission form and overviews of last year's projects - are available on the Showcase webpage.

Projects selected for the 2015 Showcase will be honored at the Georgia Digital Government Summit on September 22 in Atlanta.  They will also be considered for inclusion in Georgia's State IT Annual Report and for submission to the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) for its 2015 State IT Recognition Awards.

Three projects from previous years went on to receive honors from NASCIO.  Last year a new learning management system implemented by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia placed first nationwide in the category of Enterprise IT Management Initiatives.  That's the level of innovation taking place in Georgia government.


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GTA to host fourth annual Technology Summit in May


GTA invites you to its fourth annual Technology Summit, scheduled for Monday, May 11th.  This year's event will key on new ways to share information to advance citizen services.


Speakers will discuss new citizen service opportunities made possible by technology. Sought-after presenter Scott Klososky of Future Point of View consultants is scheduled to make remarks.  Scott specializes in looking beyond the horizon of how technology is reshaping our world.


The summit will be of interest to business and financial staff, and not solely IT professionals, as they consider how to effectively provide expanded services to Georgians.


This full-day session follows in the style of last year's digital enterprise Technology Summit.  The 2015 event is again offered at no charge for Georgia public sector staff.  It is slated for:


Monday, May 11, 2015

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Georgia Tech Global Learning Center

Midtown Atlanta


Stay tuned for more details, including registration information.




State IT spending tops $616M in 2014, IT Annual Report says 


Georgia state agencies invested more than $616 million in information technology in FY 2014, according to the latest Annual State IT Report from the Georgia Technology Authority.  The largest chunk of that ($364 million) was spent on applications, with another $176 million going to IT infrastructure and $63 million to network operations.

According to the report, the state's IT application inventory included 644 applications in FY 2014, 74 more than FY 2013. In addition, the state's IT project portfolio in FY 2014 tracked projects valued at $425 million, an increase of $90 million from FY 2013 due largely to healthcare projects.

The report provides the most comprehensive view of state IT expenditures available.  Note, however, not all state entities are required to submit their IT expenditures here.  The legislative and judicial branches and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, for example, are not included.

Agency investments in technology are only part of the report. It highlights focus areas for the state's IT strategy through 2020, including mobility, citizen access to services, innovation, technology as a service, managing data as an asset, and refining the state's IT funding and business model.

Additional topics include: 

  • Current state of the IT enterprise
  • How state agencies use technology to improve their business operations
  • IT governance
  • Technology and business trends
  • IT strategic planning
  • Information security
  • IT financial management

The report can be viewed on the State IT Annual Report website.



New contact center service helps agencies help Georgians


More than a dozen Georgia agencies and divisions started 2015 with new, up-to-date hosted contact center (HCC) systems for their call centers.  That's a critical link in their ability to serve Georgians.

The HCC stream of GTA's Services Integration Initiative (SII) led to signing agreements last year with six hosted contact center service providers, opening a path for state agencies to contract with them.  A number of agencies and divisions facing a December 31, 2014, expiration of their HCC service jumped right in.  They prepared for migrations to new contact center service, and on a condensed timeline.

Beginning in September 2014, those dozen or so agencies signed agreements for new service with HCC providers including Mitel, Platform 28, NexxPhase and others.  Next came the tricky business of readying for a switch to a new HCC platform, and then making the switch.  All before year's end, and without disrupting affected agencies' business.

It came together thanks to close coordination among new providers, existing GETS service providers AT&T and IBM, and multiple agencies.  GTA integrated the efforts of those several parties.  In some cases different divisions within the same agency contracted with different providers, introducing new needs for integration.

Weekly meetings of agency HCC focals proved pivotal and have created an active forum where agencies learn from each other about their call center operations.  That forum lives on and will continue to pay dividends.

Another handful of agencies migrating to new HCC service over the next several months will follow suit with the same successful transition tactics.



More reliable file servers just part of payoff from project

It feels good to be able to say a challenging project is finished, and that's certainly true of the file services component of the GETS transformation program.

This project has centered on updating file servers for GETS full-service agencies at nearly 450 agency sites across the state.  New file servers (the project team refers to them as "R2-D2"s for a likeness to a Star Wars character) have been placed at agency locations and are backed up to the state's North Atlanta Data Center.

Wrapped up in January, the project means more than just new, more reliable servers for file storage.  It also makes possible more strategic management by agencies of their file storage and backups.  Backup routines become more streamlined and efficient.  Charges are based on usage.  This is exactly the kind of visibility into IT service consumption and control over that consumption agencies need.  That capability is a central benefit to transformation, and even to GETS overall.



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  • Some 10 agencies and 21,000 staff to date have been transitioned to Office 365 cloud email, giving those agencies a more reliable, robust GETS email service.  Those numbers include the nearly 10,000 team members at Department of Human Services who upgraded in recent weeks from the GroupWise email system to Outlook in Office 365.  Additional moves are happening almost weekly at other GETS agencies.


  • The GETS server consolidation team continues its transformation work of transitioning agency application servers into the state's highly secure North Atlanta Data Center.  In March the team migrated a set of DHS servers that support the SHINES application (the case management tool used by Division of Family and Children Services).  Given the importance of SHINES, this ambitious server consolidation needed to go to script and it did, to the team's credit.  SCON work carries on in the coming weeks with additional server moves planned at DHS, Department of Public Health and Department of Administrative Services.




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