CitySmart Blog

Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Dave Mims, CEO
Dave MimsAML helps city launch new website, stabilize network infrastructure, and establish a technology partner.

Incorporated in 1967, the city of Bethel Heights, Arkansas has recently experienced rapid population growth. Increasing from 714 people in 2000 to 2,373 people in 2010, such quick growth changed Bethel Heights’s classification in Arkansas to a second-class city. That shift in growth means more citizens needing and demanding important services. And like many cities, Bethel Heights found itself needing to modernize its technology to keep pace with this higher demand and stress upon city staff.

Challenge

Unfortunately, Bethel Heights struggled to find reliable IT support to meet the service demands of a rapidly growing population. The city’s previous IT vendor did not always respond to requests for help and frequently missed project deadlines. This situation left the city with quite a few problems and challenges.

  • Outdated equipment. Despite investing in new server hardware, that new hardware sat unused for months while the city’s previous vendor missed deadline after deadline to set it up. That meant the city kept using outdated equipment and wasted its investments in new equipment.
  • Unstable, unreliable wireless network. The city became highly dependent on an unreliable wireless connection shared between city hall and the police department. Despite both buildings located across the street from each other, both facilities stopped working when one side’s wireless connection went down.
  • Outdated, unreliable website. Because of an outdated website that often failed to work, the city lost major opportunities to communicate with citizens and promote Bethel Heights.
  • Uncertainty related to onsite and offsite data backup. The city could not be sure of recovering its data in case of a server failure or larger disaster such as a tornado.
  • Reduced ability to satisfy Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to email. The city ran email software on a server that had significant storage limitations. This limited technology severely restricted the city’s ability to satisfy FOIA requests.

Solution

Bethel Heights solved these challenges and modernized its technology by using the Arkansas Municipal League’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 data backup storage
  • Email
  • Document management
  • Vendor management
  • Microsoft Office for desktops
  • 24x7 helpdesk and support
  • Server, desktop, and mobile management

Results

“IT in a Box” helped Bethel Heights:

  • Implement rock solid, reliable 24x7 IT support.
  • Maximize its investment of already purchased new equipment.
  • Stabilize its network infrastructure to reduce downtime.
  • Launch a new, modern city website.
  • Set up comprehensive onsite and offsite data backup and disaster recovery.
  • Migrate email to a reliable, searchable cloud platform to help with FOIA requests.
  • Create a predictable IT budget.
We are so amazed with the services that Sophicity has provided for Bethel Heights. We thought our systems were secure until we became infected with a virus. We then discovered we also had many more issues that needed immediate attention. Sophicity was the only IT company that could provide every service the city needed. Sophicity was excellent in guiding me through my many questions. We have new computers, offsite backup, a reliable wireless network, and 24/7 help. We receive prompt service from a friendly, professional staff. Sophicity transformed our old website from a “lump of coal” to a shiny new diamond! Since we acquired Sophicity’s services every need has been met with complete satisfaction. - Cynthia Black, Mayor
If you're interested in learning more, contact us about IT in a Box.

Print-friendly version of the Bethel Heights, Arkansas 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 backup 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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