Tech News For May 2

Department of Technology to Become Internet Service Provider to Sacramento

The Department of Technology in April agreed to extend the department’s fiber ring to the city of Sacramento in an arrangement that the department says will save the city and the state money over the long term.”This agreement will replace leased, vendor provided, critical network FRS circuits with city fiber, saving CDT approximately $20,000 per month. Although CDT was required to initially spend approximately $117,000 to build out seven sites, the cost will be recouped in less than 6 months once the CDT vendor fiber contracts are terminated. In return, CDT will become the Internet Service Provider for the City of Sacramento, allowing the city to eliminate costly vendor-provided ISP services,” the Department of Technology announced on its blog April 28.

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State Plans $10M IT System Modernization for County Welfare Claims

The California Department of Social Services is preparing to procure a $10.5 million administrative system for processing counties’ claims.Called the County Expense Claim Reporting Information System (CECRIS), the IT modernization was originally approved in 2007, but was put on hold in 2014 to allow the Department of Social Services to reevaluate the project. The new system will replace two existing legacy systems, the County Expense Claim (CEC) and County Assistance Claim (CA 800) systems.”It is billions of dollars that go through these two systems. It is really critical we replace them because of all those hand operations that are done outside, and that will allow us to actually do a much better job of monitoring these accounts and spending, and providing the federal government with the assurances that they need that we’re claiming appropriately,” a Department of Social Services official told a legislative budget committee on April 28.

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California Dept. of Tech, Sacramento agree to share fiber network

The city of Sacramento and the California Department of Technology agreed earlier this month to share fiber optic internet networks, a move that the state says will save $240,000 annually.

The agreement, signed April 18, will extend California Department of Technology’s Fiber Ring Service, or FRS, into Sacramento’s fiber network, replacing “leased, vendor provided, critical network FRS circuits.” All sites should be connected and functional by summer 2016, according to a blog post from CDT. The shared fiber infrastructure will support city government networks as well as state government building networks located within the city limits.

Under the agreement, CDT will take over as the city’s internet service provider, eliminating the need for an ISP services vendor.

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California Explores Replacement of Legacy Travel Expense Reporting System

The State Controller’s Office says it needs to begin exploring alternatives that could eventually replace the system which processes travel expense reimbursements for state employees.The California Automated Travel Expense Reimbursement System (CalATERS) went live in 2000 and was designed and built by IBM. It’s used by 94 agencies and 93,000 users. The State Controller’s Office recoups the cost of operating the system by charging a $4.46 a per-transaction fee to agencies.The company recently informed the state of California it will end support of the current system in 2016, according to state documents. IBM has offered to continue “transitional” support for CalATERS through 2020 for $2.9 million as the state considers how to build a new system.

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Governor’s Health Data Proposal Moves Forward

An Assembly budget subcommittee has given its approval to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to add $10 million to precision medicine research, siding with advocates who say the state should support advances in medicine that could improve the lives of Californians.

The 3-1 vote came after the Legislative Analyst’s Office raised questions in March about whether the growing field of precision medicine could draw money elsewhere, including the private sector and federal government.

Precision medicine involves gathering and using multiple data sets such as electronic health records, genetic data, environmental and behavioral data that could help doctors improve health care and find individualized treatments, Dr. Elizabeth Baca, senior health advisor at the governor’s Office of Planning and Research, told the Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration.

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California nonprofit, libraries team up to use federal funds to expand broadband service

A telehealth nonprofit is now hoping to use a unique partnership with several public libraries to bring high-speed internet to a Southern California community in desperate need of better broadband service.

The California Telehealth Network is currently reviewing proposals from companies hoping to help them expand high-speed internet access for nine health care facilities and three libraries in the Kern River Valley, a rural region of roughly 15,000 people just outside Bakersfield.

The project’s architects believe the effort is the first of its kind in the way it uses federal funding from two different sources. Here at the School, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition’s annual conference Thursday, leaders with the telehealth network and its partners detailed how the libraries plan to secure funds from the Federal Communication Commission’s E-Rate program for the project to supplement the network’s federal dollars from the FCC’s “Healthcare Connect Fund.”

“What we’re trying to do here in California is use the Kern River Valley as a template for the other 41 communities we know are broadband unserved around the state,” said Eric Brown, president and CEO of the telehealth network, which works with hundreds of healthcare providers around the state on broadband access issues.

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City IoT Networks to Launch Across the Country

Dedicated machine-to-machine (M2M) networks capable of supporting Internet of Things (IoT) connections might just be commonplace by this time next year.

Ingenu, a company with proprietary technology for M2M connectivity, has launched such networks in two cities as it gets ready to set up in more than 30 citiesthrough 2016 and 2017. The networks will be open to public- and private-sector users as a means for connecting devices without forcing them to compete with more “noisy” technologies like cell phones.

The company has already launched in Riverside, Calif., and Dallas, and plans to expand to the rest of the country soon. In some places, the company is already working with local governments — in Riverside, for example, the public power utility is setting up an array of nine sensors along its electricity infrastructure that should help it fix power outages more quickly.

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It’s the Year 2020… How’s Your Cybersecurity?

Imagining possible futures can help us plan a secure information technology environment for the years to come.

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Amazon web services City on a Cloud

Amazon Web Services is luring potential government customers again this year with its AWS City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge.

The contest awards $250,000 in cloud service credits to eight government and company customers that exemplify excellence in the categories of “Best Practices,” “Partners in Innovation,” and “Dream Big” — a category extolling the virtues of ambitious innovation. While a play to enhance innovation and modern methods in the public sector, the contest also doubles as a strategic move by the Seattle juggernaut to create enticing use cases it can transform into selling points to draw new public-sector customers.

Microsoft, Google and IBM have long employed similar tactics with their own programs. Marketplace motives notwithstanding, governments may find the awards incentivizing if their current IT strategies and projects can double as compatible submissions.

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Your guide to top tech conferences

IBM InterConnect, Code/Media, SXSW, Google Next, Microsoft WPC, Dreamforce ’16, Adobe Summit…international conferences you may have only dreamed of attending! So many technology conferences, so little time (or money).

Maybe you’re looking to stay on top of emerging trends in your industry, or get a read on what your customers are excited about. Perhaps you’re actively networking for customers, vendors or even a new job. Or you might simply be looking to mingle with your peers in more informal surroundings.

Regardless of your intent, there’s never a bad reason to maintain a solid network of professionals and experts in your vertical or other fields.

We also know it’s hard to keep track of all the great technology conferences you might want to attend in any given month, quarter or year.

That’s why we developed this sortable (and searchable) list, which we’ll update regularly to include the most relevant tech events.

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