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Bureau of Information Technology partnering with companies to streamline government's data system [The Virgin Islands Daily News, St. Thomas]
[September 20, 2013]

Bureau of Information Technology partnering with companies to streamline government's data system [The Virgin Islands Daily News, St. Thomas]

(Virgin Islands Daily News (St. Thomas) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 19--ST. THOMAS -- The V.I. Information Technology Bureau hosted a summit Wednesday to brainstorm the best ways to proceed with a long overdue, streamlined data system for the V.I. government.

The bureau hosted talks with a half-dozen companies, all of which are partnering with the bureau to provide a number of services that will be served to all of the territorial government by early next year, according to IT Bureau officials.

The services all will be made available via a "computing cloud," which essentially is a secure virtual server that will be funded by the bureau for $14,000 monthly with an initial $100,000 down payment.

The services will not all be provided by one company, as seven companies -- including Evertec, Avaya, Cisco, Fortinet, VMware, VCE and Microsoft -- all will work together to provide the combination of services needed.

Currently, different government agencies seek out services on their own, which makes for a hodge-podge of providers, and also means each of the entities has to foot its own cost, according to Information Technology Bureau Director Reuben Molloy.

"We will increase the efficiency and decrease the cost," Molloy said.

On Wednesday, representatives from each of the companies discussed aspects of consolidating and securing information technology, including efficiency and security of information technology.

"Each of them has a different expertise," Molloy said.

The data that is stored and shared under the cloud also will be more secure.

A redundancy of the information in the territory will be copied to a data storage center in Puerto Rico that will operate in real time, which means that any information in the original system will automatically be present in the copy.

It is standard for data to be copied and stored elsewhere, according to Miguel Arocho, senior vice president and manager of business solutions sales for Evertec, which is consulting with the bureau on how to make the transition to the new system.

"They are on the right track," Arocho said. "The most challenging part of the process is for the users." The Information Technology Bureau is gradually adjusting employees to the changes that will be affecting them, according to Molloy. In October 2012, the bureau enabled the employees to use video conferencing as a new communication tool between offices, departments and islands.

In January, the Information Technology Bureau put into place a new telephone system, in which employees could make calls to other offices, departments and islands just using extensions within the system.

The final part of the process likely will be the most complicated, according to Molloy, because it will require educating employees more extensively about new services of the system.

The new system is hoped to be completely installed by December this year or January next year, according to Molloy.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email

___ (c)2013 The Virgin Islands Daily News (St. Thomas, VIR) Visit The Virgin Islands Daily News (St. Thomas, VIR) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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