CitySmart Blog

Thursday, May 15, 2014
Dave Mims, CEO

Dawsonville, incorporated as a city in 1859, is the county seat of Dawson County in Georgia. Steeped in Southern history, Dawsonville is speeding quickly into the future. While still small at 2,536 residents, the city experienced a population increase of 139% between 2000 and 2010. That’s probably because of its high quality of life. Dawsonville hosts a number of festivals and events, including The Mountain Moonshine Festival that features cars, arts and crafts displays, clogging, and other entertainment.

Challenge

For many years, the city mostly worked with a basic set of technologies: some servers, computers, and a website. The servers and computers were repaired or replaced as needed, and they were even used for data backup. Trying to get employees to regularly back up their data onto a server introduced uncertainty, especially when the servers ran out of disk space.

The city’s lack of technology strategy indicated a variety of deeper problems and missed opportunities to serve citizens. The city also had an outdated website that made it difficult to communicate with citizens, and no real document management system that digitized and securely stored paper documents to mitigate the risk of data loss at City Hall.

Despite wanting to be proactive in dealing with its technology issues, the city found that the potential high cost of upgrading its technology prevented city leaders from moving forward.

Solution

Dawsonville solved these challenges by using the Georgia Municipal Association’s “IT in a Box” service. Powered by Sophicity, “IT in a Box” is a complete IT solution for cities and local governments. The service includes a website, data backup, offsite storage, email, document management, Microsoft Office for desktops, server and desktop management, vendor management, and a seven-day a week helpdesk.

Results

“IT in a Box” helped Dawsonville:

  • Mitigate the risk of data loss with onsite and offsite backups.
  • Launch a high quality, user-friendly website.
  • Ensure a highly available and dependable email system.
  • Eliminate or upgrade much of the city’s hardware, and move most of the city’s data into the cloud to increase quality of service and reduce overall costs.
  • Support its city staff through ongoing monitoring and maintenance of servers and workstations, coupled with 7 days a week helpdesk support.

Dawsonville also saved $26,868 (or 58%) of the costs typically spent modernizing a city network of their environment and size. “IT in a Box” also helped Dawsonville establish a strong technology foundation and create a predictable IT budget.

Sophicity came to our attention at the perfect time. Their ability to analyze our systems and guide us in establishing what works for us, and not just provide a stamped out package, was amazing. Great people, great systems, and great teamwork—all working together. It’s indicative of the same teamwork GMA provides in bringing us new and better ways to improve our cities. - W. James Grogan, Mayor
If you're interested in learning more, contact us about IT in a Box.

Print-friendly version of the Dawsonville, Georgia IT in a Box case study.

About Sophicity

Sophicity is an IT products and services company providing technology solutions to city governments and municipal leagues. Among the services Sophicity delivers in “IT in a Box” are a website, data backup, offsite data storage, email, document management, Microsoft Office for desktops, server, desktop, and mobile management, vendor management and a seven-day a week helpdesk. Read more about IT in a Box.

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