Government Technology

Michigan County Uses Managed Hosting Services to Increase Revenue


Main Attraction
Main Attraction

September 28, 2009 By

The last few years have been rough for Wayne County, Mich., on the economic front. In June, County Executive Robert Ficano proposed about 500 layoffs in his 2009-2010 budget because of a looming $105 million shortfall -- obviously bad news for county employees.

The county is home to Detroit, the famous pillar of the American auto industry. According to a study by the Center for Automotive Research, auto-related jobs accounted for one out of every 10 U.S. jobs in 2003. Two large domestic automakers have since gone bankrupt. General Motors filed for bankruptcy protection in June, and President Barack Obama forced Chrysler into federal bankruptcy protection in April so the company could merge with Italian automaker Fiat.

"The bottom line is: There is no money. Our revenue comes from taxes. People are moving out, and businesses are folding. There's no money," said Tahir Kazmi, the county's CIO.

Something had to be done to keep business in the region and improve the economy. Wayne County leaders had the foresight to partner with the private sector in an endeavor to attract new business and lighten the local government's IT burden.

"We were thinking, 'What can we do here that will lead into at least a starting point for a technology hub?'" Kazmi said.

Wayne County began working in 2008 with Secure-24, a company that provides managed hosting services, to enhance the area's technology infrastructure. The partnership resulted in the Technology Resource Center, a data center located within the county in Plymouth, Mich. It's designed to handle the gamut of IT resources for willing customers -- disaster recovery, business continuity, data storage and application housing. In fact, Wayne County plans to house all county services inside the data center and will reach out to other governments and private-sector companies so they can do the same. Secure-24 announced the data center's opening in spring 2009.

"We partnered with Wayne County in providing what we refer to as critical-application hosting services, which means that we're running some of the more important government-focused ERPs for them," said Matt Wenzler, Secure-24's global sales and marketing team leader.

These applications are crucial to county business. "If they go down for a few minutes, it has a significant impact on the county's ability to continue to run and process business."

The relationship between Secure-24 and Wayne County began in summer 2008. The two set the goal of building a state-of-the-art shared Tier 4 data center in Michigan. Tier 4 facilities don't have to shut down for maintenance because they have multiple power and distribution paths. Secure-24 invested an initial $5 million in the project and expects the total investment to exceed $10 million over several years.

"We began developing our relationship with the county, specifically with their CIO Tahir Kazmi, and then also other members of the management team and executive team -- with the county in coming up with a concept and bringing it to fruition," Wenzler said. The public-private partnership between the county and Secure-24 was born.

The Big Draw

The data center is housed in a 20,000-square-foot facility that's built for action. It's a one-story concrete and steel building that can handle external stressors, but likely won't have to. Michigan isn't prone to hurricanes, wildfires or earthquakes. The facility also has a 24-inch raised floor that delivers conditioned air from below and 28-foot-high ceilings with air returns that ensure a homogeneous temperature.

The plan is for cities and other government jurisdictions


| More

Comments

Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Redefining Citizen Engagement in a Mobile-First World
Today’s consumers are embracing the ease and convenience of anytime, anywhere access to the Internet from their mobile devices. In order for government and public sector organizations to fully engage with their citizens and provide similar service quality as their consumer counterparts, the time is now to shift to mobile citizen engagement. Learn more
McAfee Enterprise Security Manager and Threat Intelligence Exchange
As a part of the Intel® Security product offering, McAfee® Enterprise Security Manager and McAfee Threat Intelligence Exchange work together to provide organizations with exactly what they need to fight advanced threats. You get the situational awareness, actionable intelligence, and instantaneous speed to immediately identify, respond to, and proactively neutralize threats in just milliseconds.
Better security. Better government.
Powering security at all levels of government with simpler, more connected IT.
View All

Featured Papers