Key to the City

The City of Mt. Dora trusts Verteks for comprehensive IT planning, implementation and support services.

Technology has changed dramatically the way local governments operate. Like any business, local governments utilize technology to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively. And, as more and more citizen-customers become accustomed to communicating and doing business online, local governments must keep up-to-speed with private sector counterparts.

That said, local governments face many of the same constraints as businesses when it comes to planning, deploying and managing technology, along with a wide array of regulatory requirements. The City of Mt. Dora, Fla., has a four-person IT staff that must support nearly 200 end-users and a wide-area network serving nine facilities. To help fill any gaps, the city turns to Verteks Consulting.

“We rely heavily on the Verteks staff for advice and support,” said Johnna Shamblin, IT Manager for the City of Mt. Dora. “We turn to them for help with just about everything we do here, from network management, to desktop management, to applications. Many times we just get them on the phone and they give us 10 to 15 minutes out of their day to be a sounding board. Things like that are invaluable.”

The Verteks Difference

Shamblin found Verteks when she began searching for a vendor to support the city’s Voice over IP (VoIP) phone system. Headquartered in nearby Ocala, Fla., Verteks has extensive experience in IP telephony solutions, and the customer- focused approach Shamblin was looking for.

“Seven or eight years ago we moved to a 3Com VoIP solution, which we purchased from a different vendor. Before long, most of that vendor’s technicians had left the company, and I lost confidence in them as a partner. So I went on a search for a vendor who could provide the kind of support we needed,” she said.

I always know that no matter what the situation or what time of day it is, Verteks is there for us. I have complete confi dence that I can pick up the phone, call them, and they will take care of whatever it is we need.”

“After interviewing a couple of different 3Com support providers, I came across Verteks. I toured their facilities and met with their staff and quickly decided that they were the type of company we wanted to do business with. They’ve been supporting our phone system ever since.”

When Shamblin first began working with Verteks, Network Administrator Mike Andrews had not yet joined the city’s IT team. Verteks handled several server upgrades, made network switch recommendations and helped troubleshoot fiber connectivity problems. Now Andrews handles many of those kinds of projects, but the city still relies on Verteks for advice and hands-on support.

“The ability to handle deployments and troubleshoot problems is, of course, very important. But what sets Verteks apart is their willingness to help. I can call them and say, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about doing this, what do you think?’ And they’ll take the time to share their ideas and what they’ve learned on similar projects,” Andrews said. “A lot of vendors will rush to get you off the phone, then send you an invoice. Verteks has a completely different attitude.”

A Matter of Trust

Verteks has helped the City of Mt. Dora boost its network security through state-of-theart firewall and anti-virus solutions. Verteks has deployed four WatchGuard firewalls for the city, including one for the network core, one for the WiFi network in City Hall, one for the public works telemetry system and one for the police department’s connection to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement system. The network core firewall features WatchGuard’s robust unified threat management technology, which combines a powerful application proxy firewall, VPN, intrusion prevention and more in a comprehensive and easy-to-manage security solution.

Verteks also implemented a Trend Micro solution for server and desktop malware protection.

“We had been using a different vendor for anti- virus and were having a lot of problems,” said Andrews. “Verteks had run across the same thing with other clients and recommended Trend Micro as a solution. We take Verteks’ recommendations seriously. When we looked at Trend Micro we knew immediately that it was the way to go.”

“Both of these solutions have been wonderful. They solved a number of problems for us, and are easy to manage and effective,” said Shamblin.

Like most local governments, the City of Mt. Dora relies on IT for its day-to-day operations. The city must also keep pace with technology changes to ensure that its network infrastructure continues to improve efficiency, meet regulatory requirements and provide accessible and cost-effective services to the public. The city trusts Verteks Consulting for sound advice, expert support and top-notch customer service.

“We’ve been using Verteks’ services for six or seven years, and I just can’t say enough good about their service. They do network support and support our phone system. They make recommendations and implement solutions for us. They’ve never steered us wrong,” Shamblin said. “And I always know that no matter what the situation or what time of day it is, Verteks is there for us. I have complete confidence that I can pick up the phone, call them, and they will take care of whatever it is we need.”

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