Intelligent CIO North America Issue 25 - Page 57


Leon County is home to Florida ’ s capital , Tallahassee , serving approximately 275,000 citizens with up to 800 employees working across various offices including public library services , public safety , human resources , public works , tourism and administration .

The County ’ s IT team is unique in that it serves not only these various offices , led by the Board of County Commissioners , but also governmental partners including the Sheriff , Court Administration , Clerk of Courts , Supervisor of Elections , State Attorney , Public Defender , Tax Collector and Property Appraiser .
Another organization using the County ’ s Avaya system is the joint county-city Consolidated Dispatch Agency that fields calls for the Leon County Sheriff , Tallahassee Police , Tallahassee Fire Department , and County Emergency Medical Services as well as the Emergency Operations Center .
For Michelle Taylor , CIO at Leon County Government , this creates a wide-ranging set of IT needs from 24 / 7 support for governmental partners to scalable communications for planned and unexpected spikes in call volume .
Each constitutional office has its own smaller IT resources for department-specific application support , with Taylor and her team providing enterprise services such as network infrastructure , cloud computing , and the desktop application suite including email , Internet and telephony services .
The County ’ s mission statement is simple but powerful : ‘ People focused , performance driven .’
This is evidenced by the hundreds of citizen ideas the County has implemented in recent years to improve the programs and services it offers . For example , adding a ‘ button ’ to translate the County ’ s emergency information portal website to keep citizens of any language proficiency informed during a disaster or creating a ‘ Help My Pet ’ sticker to assist first responders in contacting a pet caretaker when the owner cannot be reached .
For over 15 years , Leon County has been using an Avaya phone system to handle its various communication needs with great success .
“ Frankly , we just wouldn ’ t be able to do it without the Avaya phone system ,” Taylor said . In 2005 , the County realized it needed to consolidate its multiple standalone phone systems ( in the range of 40 units total ). The Avaya system transformed voice communications .
Yet much has changed since the County installed the original Avaya system , especially in recent years due to the global pandemic . The County embraced the cloud to improve citizen-facing services and lay a better foundation for growth and innovation . As a long-term , satisfied customer , the County knew Avaya would rise to the occasion to help meet and exceed its needs .
Flexibility to meet rapidly changing circumstances
Agility has emerged as the number one need for the rigid government sector which was accelerated by COVID-19 . To become more adaptive and responsive , government institutions need flexible solutions that allow them to deploy ‘ on the fly ’ to meet quick and changing circumstances .
For Leon County , this meant everything from standing up new contact centers to field specific calls
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