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Last year, Cumberland County, Pa. -- population 232,000 -- extended the life cycle of employee computers from four years to five with significant savings, and server virtualization is under way. Here are some additional highlights of the county's improvements and changes which garnered a top finish in the 2010 Digital Counties Survey:

  • Wireless networking implemented on one floor of the new courthouse with plans to expand.
  • Office of Aging and Community Services was first to migrate to VoIP. VoIP will eventually replace the county's PBX, which has already enabled a signifcant savings.
  • Integration of Lawson payroll and Kronos timekeeping systems to provide a seamless and consistent business system.
  • Siemens physical security system was installed which allowed the county to leverage 911 center staff to provide off-hours support to county buildings, using motion detection and video surveillance systems.
  • GIS was integrated with the county's 911 computer aided dispatch.
  • GPS and automatic vehicle location enhancements were added to the county's 800 MHz radios, which enabled the county to achieve FCC Phase II wireless compliance.

Bill Finnerty, Cumberland's assistant director of information and technology, told Digital Communities that replacing the county's WAN is expected to save up to a million dollars over the next decade. "Previously we leased the WAN from CenturyLink," said Finnerty. "Its replacement is a microwave solution from Dargon Wave that is owned by us."