EAST HARTFORD, CT, Feb. 23, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sixteen towns have been selected to participate in two new pilot projects to test statewide digital services as part of the Connecticut Municipal Opportunities for Regional Efficiencies (MORE) Commission's Nutmeg Network Demonstration Projects. The new pilots are a human resources portal and an electronic document management system.
The demonstration projects are broken into five pilots to show how using the state's high-speed data fiber Nutmeg Network can impact municipal efficiency and narrow the technology gap that exists between Connecticut towns.
The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. (CCAT) and the Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) are leading the projects. CCAT provides direction and guidance in evaluating technologies and vetting the technology readiness of towns.
Under the first three projects, which began in 2015, 17 towns gained accessibility to cost-effective technology for video streaming, voice over the internet phones (VoIP), and IT infrastructure hosting services.
"As a result of the work of the MORE Commission, the Nutmeg Network is helping to set the stage for further cost-saving, regional cooperation among our towns," said Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden), who founded the MORE Commission. "Access to the Nutmeg Network gives the tools to our towns that will help them better meet their budget challenges and provide improved services to residents."
Led by House Chair Jonathan Steinberg (D-136th District) and Senate Chair Tim Larson (D-3rd District), the state MORE Commission continues to ensure funding for the effort that is now entering its second phase.
"The MORE Commission is eager to aid our cities and towns by offering additional broadband-based services via the state's high-speed Nutmeg Network," said Steinberg. "We're seeing success with the initial three demonstration projects and are confident that the two new IT projects will increase efficiencies at municipalities through this collaborative, regional approach."
"The Nutmeg Network Demonstration Projects are proving how to provide cost-effective digital resources for cities and towns," said Larson. "With state support, these projects provide a platform that can deliver opportunities for municipalities to increase operational efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve financial stability."
"The cumulative effect of addressing the delivery of these services clearly impacts overall government efficiency and effectiveness," said CCAT President and CEO Elliot Ginsberg.
The technology systems created and tested under the initial MORE projects are now available to towns and schools across the state. A cloud-based IT platform, created by CCAT and CRCOG for the demonstration projects, will continue to be used for developing and testing new municipal services.
"Towns are pleased with the flexibility in the systems, lower costs and enhancement of services they are experiencing using the technologies and services provided under the first three projects," said CRCOG Executive Director Lyle D. Wray. "We're encouraged by the early results and are looking forward to continued success with the next two pilots."
CCAT, CROCG and the participating towns have already met to initiate the human resources portal and electronic document management pilots. Needs assessments are underway with each of the 16 towns participating in the two new projects.
As with the preliminary projects, services will be implemented by CRCOG, CCAT and a third party vendor. Requests for proposals will be developed to solicit solutions from service providers. CRCOG and the towns will choose the final providers.
Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. (CCAT) is a nonprofit organization, headquartered in East Hartford, Conn., that advances innovation in applied technologies, IT strategies, STEM education, career development, and energy solutions. By creating and leading state, regional, and national partnerships, CCAT inspires and helps manufacturers, academia, government and nonprofit organizations to succeed. Learn more at www.ccat.us, or follow CCAT on Twitter - @CCATInc
Towns in Phase 1
Barkhamsted, Bethany, Bloomfield, Columbia, Coventry, Enfield, Hebron, Killingly, Mansfield, Marlborough, New Fairfield, Putnam, Simsbury, Somers, Southbury, Suffield, Windsor Locks
Towns in Phase 2
Bolton, Columbia, Danbury, Essex, Hebron, Manchester, Milford, New Britain, Newtown, Norwalk, Prospect, Putnam, South Windsor, Southington, Waterford, Windsor Locks
CONTACT: Karen Jarmon firstname.lastname@example.org 860-282-4211Source:Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc.