4-page Case Study
Posted: 6/7/2012
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San Bernardino County County Promotes Superior Service, Reduces Cost through Smart Technology Decisions

San Bernardino County wanted to deliver more and better services to constituents while reducing costs. The County decided to modernize its technology infrastructure to streamline interdepartmental communication and collaboration, improve efficiency, and work more closely with local municipalities and community groups. It adopted technologies such as Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and Microsoft Lync Server 2010, minimizing costs by consolidating departmental purchasing and signing a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement with the Enterprise Client Access License Suite option. As a result, the County minimizes duplication of effort and serves constituents better while saving taxpayer money. It now has easy-to-use solutions, such as automated workflow processes and video conferencing, which promote productivity, collaboration, and smart use of resources.

Situation
San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States in terms of land area. In fact, the southern California County is larger than several states. The County government serves more than 2 million residents and aims to provide them a community where they can find ample educational and job opportunities and successfully build and sustain businesses.

The County, like others in the United States, faces challenges. San Bernardino County is responsible for providing a rich set of services, such as education, housing, the arts, landscaping, public safety, and infrastructure. And it must do so with smaller budgets. “Everything in government needs to include a focus on saving money these days,” says Jake Cordova, Division Chief of the San Bernardino County Information Services Department. “But San Bernardino County does not want our constituents to have to make do with less—instead, we want to do more with less.”

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* We’ve positioned ISD to help the County overcome its siloed departments, create a more open government …, improve collaboration, and reduce costs without diminishing service quality. *

Joel Golub
Chief Information Officer, San Bernardino County

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In 2011, San Bernardino County began working collaboratively with constituents, local municipalities, and community groups to develop a shared initiative called the Countywide Vision, which includes County departments collaborating more closely to promote the area as a positive place to live and work. One of the ways in which San Bernardino County seeks to fulfill the Countywide Vision is through the effective use of technology and working closely with technology partners.

The County’s Information Services Department (ISD) provides the technology building blocks and solutions that help County employees deliver a variety of services to residents. Historically, the County’s departments functioned separately, with each department handling its own technology licensing agreements, but ISD wanted to change that. “We were determined to help identify areas where costs and effort were being duplicated and could instead be consolidated so that the County could increase efficiency and minimize costs,” says Joel Golub, Chief Information Officer at San Bernardino County.

ISD also plans on working with municipalities in the county to extend services beyond the walls of County government so that multiple organizations can take advantage of available economies of scale. “San Bernardino County sees ISD as a critical component in achieving our vision for the entire region, because inclusion, collaboration, efficiency, and consolidation can all be improved through the use of key technology solutions,” says Golub.

Solution
The County decided to improve access to up-to-date technology tools for all departments so that it could streamline communication and collaboration, minimize IT management, and better serve the public. Although the County has products from multiple vendors, it focused on Microsoft solutions because they are compatible with so much of the County’s technology environment. County employees also are quicker to adopt solutions from Microsoft because they are already familiar with Microsoft products.

To foster more efficient operations for the whole county, San Bernardino County signed a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and opted for the Enterprise Client Access License (CAL) Suite, which includes the most current Microsoft products for compliance, real-time collaboration, security, communication, and desktop PC management. “The Enterprise CAL Suite is a great example of how the County of San Bernardino is taking advantage of technology to successfully support the Countywide Vision’s long-term collaboration, efficiency, and resource objectives,” says Golub. “We’ve positioned ISD to help the County overcome its siloed departments, create a more open government with more individuals and organizations involved, improve collaboration, and reduce costs without diminishing service quality.”

The County does not mandate that its departments work through ISD, but many choose to because it removes the burden of managing technologies themselves. ISD relies on the products that are readily available through the Enterprise CAL Suite to develop platforms and solutions to meet business needs throughout the County. “We offer all County departments the opportunity to benefit from the cost and productivity efficiencies available through ISD and our Enterprise CAL Suite,” continues Cordova.

Upgraded Messaging Infrastructure
As of March 2012, ISD is upgrading the entire County’s messaging system from Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. “We’ve made a significant investment in Exchange Server products since the days of Exchange Server 5.5,” says Cordova. “We appreciate the way Exchange Server 2010 can support not only our 14,000 mailboxes, but also the line-of-business applications that we have built to work with Exchange Server 2010 for multiple departments.”

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* We offer all County departments the opportunity to benefit from the cost and productivity efficiencies available through ISD and our Enterprise CAL Suite. *

Jake Cordova
Division Chief, Information Services Department, San Bernardino County

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ISD itself relies on Exchange Server 2010 for calendaring, workflow processes, and software update notifications for both Microsoft-based and third-party solutions. “We are able to easily connect Exchange Server 2010 with other technologies, which gives San Bernardino employees the benefit of shared calendars across departments and presence availability information,” says Michael Mouser, Division Manager of the San Bernardino County Information Services Department. In addition, ISD is replacing the third-party product it uses for archiving in Exchange Server 2007 with the built-in archiving capabilities in Exchange 2010 and is investigating the newer product’s e-discovery capabilities.

Use of Workflow Processes
Departments throughout the County are replacing paper-based, manual procedures with automated workflow processes using Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. ISD automated its software update procedure using SharePoint Server 2010. Before, when vendors released software updates each month, members of ISD’s Core Solutions and Security Division had to attend multiple in-person meetings to review, research, discuss, and eventually approve the updates.

“Now, when the updates come in, our workflow process in SharePoint Server 2010 automatically sends them to everyone involved, and we fit the research into our individual schedules, share our findings electronically with each other, provide feedback using the workflow process, and ultimately use it to approve the final updates—all without a single meeting,” says Cordova.

Expanded Communication and Cross-Group Collaboration Capabilities
ISD uses other features in SharePoint Server 2010 to increase cross-group communication and collaboration. To support the County’s objectives, ISD is establishing an effective way for San Bernardino County employees to use SharePoint Server 2010 to easily work—both inside and outside the County firewall—on projects that involve multiple disciplines, departments, and organizations. Those projects may also include outside vendor companies, such as those working on capital improvement projects.

“We use SharePoint sites to give outside public- and private-sector entities the ability to share documents and data with County departments without causing extra work or worries on either side,” says Mouser. “This solution removes much of the need for in-person meetings and the hassle of maintaining project address lists, eliminates concerns about document-version control, and accommodates even long-term multiparty projects, without extra costs.”

ISD also uses features in SharePoint Server 2010 to offer communications options to County employees. For instance, Golub regularly uses the blog feature in SharePoint Server 2010 to connect with employees throughout the County, keep them informed of technology-related services and opportunities, and gather feedback, needs, and ideas from them.

In addition, the County adopted Microsoft Lync Server 2010, which employees use for instant messaging (IM) and presence information. The solution reduces the number of email messages that employees send to set up meetings or exchange specific pieces of timely information.

“Not only does presence save employees a lot of time trying to locate the right colleague or find the right answer, but the combination of presence and IM offloads some of the burden from our Exchange Server system and support team,” says Mouser. “Fewer employees send email messages now that they can see whether or not someone is available, and quick conversations are more likely to take place using IM.”

Security and System Management
To help protect the County’s systems, ISD uses several products for security and system management, such as Microsoft Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server to provide antivirus email protection and Microsoft Forefront Protection 2010 for SharePoint to safeguard its SharePoint Server environment. The County also uses Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway for accessing internal resources securely.

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* We use SharePoint sites to give outside public- and private-sector entities the ability to share documents and data with County departments without causing extra work or worries on either side. *

Michael Mouser
Division Manager, Information Services Department, San Bernardino County

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ISD staff members also use a range of IT management tools, including Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, and System Center Configuration Manager 2007, which replaced several products it had used to manage its infrastructure. “With System Center Configuration Manager, we have a single point of entry for management, rather than multiple systems to log on to and dashboards or consoles to use,” says Cordova. “That centralized management saves us time and gives us the information we need—all in one place.”

Extension of Services
ISD is considered a services organization whose staff members act as business-process enablers for all County departments. “We use the technologies available through the Enterprise CAL Suite to build the infrastructure and provide versatile capabilities to every organization we support,” explains Mouser.

ISD staffers do not sit and wait for County departments to come to them for solutions. The group works to educate decision makers about the useful solutions, features, and functionalities that now are available within the County infrastructure. For instance, ISD sends a monthly email dispatch that highlights a technical innovation, with links for those interested in learning more. In addition, the application development department within ISD holds technology expos and hosts web sessions to demonstrate possible solutions, such as showing administrators how their departments can use SharePoint Server 2010 to organize information, make it easily sharable, and increase collaboration.

“We proactively approach department heads, administrative staff, IT managers in other departments, and anyone else with a stake in improving business processes and tell them about the full range of solutions available to them using the technologies the County has already licensed,” says Mouser. “We want departments to take advantage of the services we can offer, so we make an effort to help them identify and solve their problems.”

Adds Golub, “We also are talking with municipalities about services and collaboration on our infrastructures to reduce overall cost. We have an IT environment that includes the right software building blocks, that can be managed centrally, and that does not require additional staff to handle additional demand."

Benefits
San Bernardino County employees are improving their level of public service and achieving County objectives thanks in part to smart use of technology. “Having an Enterprise CAL Suite is helping us find and implement ways to fulfill the Countywide Vision,” says Golub. “With it, we can make our service more seamless, reduce our costs, and support County departments and others in their efforts to work together to better serve the area’s residents.”

Improved Solution Flexibility and Value
One of the most favorable outcomes for San Bernardino County in choosing the Enterprise CAL Suite is the high degree of flexibility that the County now has to manage IT as part of its business.

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* We’re able to show department managers the substantial cost savings available through the Enterprise CAL Suite. *

Michael Mouser
Division Manager, Information Services Department, San Bernardino County

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“The more we position ourselves with readily available options in our environment, the faster and easier it is to help the County’s departments serve constituents with useful, cost-effective solutions,” says Golub. “Thanks to the Enterprise CAL Suite, we’ve got familiar technologies already integrated into the County infrastructure, so we don’t have to research and license solutions each time we receive a request.”

For example, when departments asked for real-time communications capabilities, including video conferencing directly from employees’ desks, ISD provided them with Lync Server 2010 capabilities right away.

By establishing an environment with technologies that interoperate, ISD can provide employees with expanded capabilities without spending extra time to get products to work together. “We’ve made sure that the systems we provide and choose to include in our environment work well with each other,” says Cordova.

Adds Golub, “Using Microsoft technologies in our infrastructure lets us choose from a lot of easy-to-integrate third-party software to deliver really good combined software solutions to County employees. For instance, we would not be able to use identity management solutions from Quest Software if the technologies were not so complementary or if the County’s departments all still functioned in separate siloes.”

Greater Staff Efficiency
The County found that implementing technology solutions that aid in communication and automation can boost productivity. “For one thing, employees Countywide are familiar with the look and feel of Microsoft technologies, which removes a lot of barriers to user adoption,” says Cordova.

Employees have become accustomed to the small time savers that their technology environment makes possible. “They may only be incremental savings, but looking up contact information with the Exchange Server global address list instead of searching through multiple other sources, using presence information rather than email to determine a colleague’s availability, and posting a spreadsheet on a SharePoint site as opposed to sending it through email to 20 different colleagues—all of these pieces add up to a more productive workday for employees throughout the County,” notes Mouser.

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* We’re using a blend of technologies … to augment County employees’ mobile capabilities so that they can respond faster to each other and, ultimately, to the needs of the residents of San Bernardino County. *

Jake Cordova
Division Chief, Information Services Department, San Bernardino County

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For example, County employees stationed at opposite ends of the county had to drive three hours one-way to attend weekly one-hour staff meetings. “Giving departments effective video-conferencing capabilities through Lync Server 2010 can result in a gain of six hours of productivity per employee per week because now they can easily participate remotely,” says Cordova.

Employees are experiencing significant productivity gains from the County’s automated workflow processes, which help employees reduce their paper use, simplify business procedures, and improve their individual levels of efficiency. “County departments, including ISD, establish more effective work practices when they have useful technologies such as SharePoint Server 2010 available to them,” says Cordova. “In addition to automating our software update procedure, ISD has improved procurement tracking and the provision of technology services, and we also increased IT management efficiency by using Microsoft System Center tools to better manage employee user configurations and keep our environment healthy.”

“With good tools at our disposal, we’re able to offer more services to other areas of the County—and beyond—without adding to our support staff,” continues Cordova. “Our systems are reliable, healthy, and secure, which means we don’t have to worry about turning away departments seeking services or experiencing delays in delivering the services that the County and our constituents need.”

Cost Savings
San Bernardino County is successfully expanding its capabilities while reducing costs. “We’ve done some cost analyses and found that we are saving money each year in licensing costs, and we also are seeing some efficiency-related savings,” says Cordova. For example, County employees used file servers for years to store all of the data that they generated. “Since employees have begun storing documents in SharePoint Server 2010, they’re more productive and better able to work together, and the County saves on storage and backup costs for all that data.”

ISD staffers occasionally present cost-benefit analyses to County departments to illustrate how much can be saved by moving away from acquiring and managing individual software licenses in favor of consolidation with ISD. “We’re able to show department managers the substantial cost savings available through the Enterprise CAL Suite,” says Mouser. “Not only do their employees get upgraded to the latest product and feature sets at a fraction of the cost, but the benefits that come from streamlining their business processes get passed on to the County’s constituents without a high licensing price tag.”

Better Service to Constituents
Implementing technologies that it can use to streamline operations means that San Bernardino County can act quickly whenever it identifies an opportunity to improve its level of public service. “Economic realities make it challenging—but not impossible—to enhance the level of service that San Bernardino County provides to residents,” says Cordova. “We’re always looking to reinvent our approach to service delivery, both internally to departments and externally from those departments to the county at large. For instance, improving mobility is one of our primary objectives. We’re using a blend of technologies, including Lync Server 2010 and Exchange Server 2010, to augment County employees’ mobile capabilities so that they can respond faster to each other and, ultimately, to the needs of the residents of San Bernardino County.”

Enhanced Business Relationship
For San Bernardino County, investing in the Enterprise CAL Suite has as much to do with having a committed technology partner as it does with the solutions themselves. The County and Microsoft work together to cultivate opportunities for continued improvement. For example, Golub met with the County’s major software vendors and asked how technology solutions could help improve the economic environment in San Bernardino County. “We received an offer from Microsoft to help us provide portable computers, software, and broadband Internet access to San Bernardino County students to enrich their educational experience,” says Golub. “With that help, we’re able to move forward with a program that can potentially achieve substantial returns on the investment over the life of these school children—another perfect example of how technology support can change the economics of a region and enhance the lives of constituents, young and old.”

Microsoft Infrastructure Optimization
With infrastructure optimization, you can build a secure, well-managed, and dynamic core IT infrastructure that can reduce overall IT costs, make better use of resources, and become a strategic asset for the business. The Infrastructure Optimization model—with basic, standardized, rationalized, and dynamic levels—was developed by Microsoft using industry best practices and Microsoft’s own experiences with enterprise customers. The Infrastructure Optimization model provides a maturity framework that is flexible and easily used as a benchmark for technical capability and business value.

For more information about Microsoft infrastructure optimization, go to:
www.microsoft.com/businessproductivity

For More Information
For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
www.microsoft.com

For more information about San Bernardino County products and services, call (909) 387-2020 or visit the website at:
www.sbcounty.gov

Solution Overview



Organization Size: 19000 employees

Organization Profile

San Bernardino County government, located in southern California, employs more than 18,000 people and serves the public in areas such as transportation, public health, libraries, and parks.


Business Situation

The County wanted to streamline operations, conserve costs, increase services, and encourage collaboration within the County government and with constituents and outside municipalities.


Solution

It signed a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and chose the Enterprise Client Access License Suite to help it cost-effectively boost productivity, increase communication and collaboration, and improve efficiency.


Benefits

  • Improved solution flexibility
  • Greater staff efficiency
  • Cost savings
  • Better service to constituents
  • Enhanced business relationship


Software and Services
  • Microsoft Enterprise CAL Suite
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2010
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007
  • Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2
  • Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Forefront Protection 2010 For Exchange Server
  • Microsoft Forefront Protection 2010 For Sharepoint
  • Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway
  • Microsoft Forefront

Vertical Industries
State and Regional Government Agencies

Country/Region
United States

Business Need
  • Business Intelligence and Reporting
  • Cost Containment
  • Business Critical

Languages
English

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