NSW regional councils extend VMware deal

Council extends contract with VMware

Forty regional NSW councils, led by Queanbeyan City Council, have extended their contracts with VMware as part of a multi-council deal.

The vendor has a customised agreement which gives individual councils the ability to choose the technology that is most relevant to them.

The agreement was brokered by Queanbeyan City Council.

The council has expanded its existing four-year contract with VMware to evaluate the vendor's AirWatch mobile device management (MDM) offering.

Queanbeyan City Council will also work with the vendor to strengthen its disaster recovery strategy. It is trialling vCloud disaster-recovery-as-a-service.

“We are going to put in a third tier of disaster recovery, which will be cloud disaster recovery. We will have the option of a hard recovery or the option of having data up in the cloud as well,” said Queanbeyan City Council manager of IT and business solutions Shawn Raines.

“We can also run in a blade-and-chassis configuration which makes it very simple for disaster recovery or replacement of a server.”

According to Raines, the public wants “easy and seamless access” to information and services.

“We have Twitter and Facebook [profiles] and our website, which is hosted offsite. We have mobile devices such as iPads set up for them [council staff] and we can update the website in a heartbeat.”

The council is in the process of redesigning its website for mobile users due to demand from residents in the area who may not have time to visit the offices to pay bills.

Residents can also use council-built mobile apps to report problems such as potholes.

He added that council employees need to operate as efficiently as possible to have requests met and communities are confident the council is meeting its remit.

“Meeting this challenge requires ongoing investment and innovation in our IT systems, solutions and people,” he said.

“As a cloud-first strategy permeates through all levels of government, it’s essential that challenges such as mobile working, device management, storage and recovery are explored fully,” he said.

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