LOGIS Blog

LOGIS as a XaaS

Date Posted:

DESKYou’ve heard the terms:  SaaS (Software as a Service) and “Cloud” service vendors.

LOGIS does provide a private “Cloud” offering SaaS (Utility Billing, Financial, Public Safety and many more software applications) to our members. However, by joining LOGIS for one of our core applications members are not just limited to SaaS; we’re a XaaS offering the industry standard Cloud services of:

  • PaaS – Platform as a Service
  • IaaS -Infrastructure as a Service
  • NaaS -Network as a Service

Along with a series of other services such as:

  • BaaS – Backups as a Service
  • EaaS –Email as a Service
  • MaaS – Monitoring as a Service
  • RaaS – Recovery as a Service
  • TaaS – Telephony as a Service
  • VaaS – Virtualization as a Service

The list goes on, however what sets us apart from Cloud and software vendors which provide phone numbers for support; LOGIS provides people to:

  • Provide on-site administration, management and trouble shooting for the member’s computers, network servers and infrastructure 
  • Install servers and network infrastructure equipment
  • Provide purchasing of equipment along with managing licensing and maintenance contracts
  • Provide hot swap equipment for our members
  • Sit at the member’s elbow to help process a payroll (as one example) among many other on-site application assistance services
  • Locally support and train member staff; one on one or in groups
  • Provide alternate workspaces in case of a city or agency building disaster
  • Create custom reports and applications working locally with members

LOGIS is, in other words, a far different “business model” than what any private sector cloud or software vendor offers. Our Cloud is a local government only data and IT services network meeting federal and PCI security standards.

Overall, LOGIS is a member owned and directed collaborative where members share in the costs of the local staff and many different IT services and facilities which, in many cases, would not be affordable by individual cities and agencies.

Mike Garris, LOGIS Executive Director

MIKESIG

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Category: Director's Report

From the Director’s Desk: LOGIS Expensive? Nope, Service Rich!

Date Posted:

DESKOver the years I’ve heard (and perhaps you have too) someone occasionally comment from a non-LOGIS entity something like: “LOGIS?  – Yeah, I’ve heard they’re good but expensive!” Sound familiar? I’ve even heard similar comments from a department that doesn’t use LOGIS applications, yet they are a LOGIS member none the less.

When we compete for business, especially responding to an RFP, we usually don’t appear to be the cheapest solution. Why is this the case? With the number of members participating in the shared LOGIS applications this certainly reduces the costs each pay. So, shouldn’t this allow us to quote even lower costs to potential new members vs. what vendors quote?

Well, many of you know that LOGIS is a total cost of ownership model. But put another way, LOGIS was structured by its Board of Directors many years ago to be an overall service organization, responsible for ALL aspects of providing application technology to our members.  This means that we don’t just provide the software and hardware. We are structured to handle additional responsibilities such as the network infrastructure, data communications, security, local support, PCI compliance, disaster recovery, a CIP program to replace all hardware and many other services. To do all of this, our costs reflect the provision of these total services. Far beyond what is provided by private sector vendors.

One example mentioned above:  LOGIS must provide a disaster recovery site. This means that most applications have duplicate servers at that facility which are running and ready to be a fail-over environment allowing for business continuity of our applications in the event of a disaster. It also means that all of the data used by most of the LOGIS applications are mirrored simultaneously at both sites. And of course, the data is backed up on a daily basis.

Now if we wanted to undercut the competition, it would be easy!  We’d simply reduce the number of services we provide. Dropping that disaster recovery service; eliminating hardware replacement cycles, assistance with networking issues, unlimited training, etc. would significantly reduce our costs and therefore what we charge. Our members however have made it pretty clear. The reduced service approach is not why they joined LOGIS. They realize that any of those services no longer provided by LOGIS would need to be replaced by each member, sooner or later, along with paying more for that assistance or service.

LOGIS isn’t more expensive when comparing equitable service levels. Because our members share in those services, LOGIS is by far more cost effective than any other entity or vendor, local or national.

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Category: Director's Report,LOGIS News

From the Director’s Desk: LOGIS Stays Ahead of the Curve

Date Posted:

I was fortunate to be able to attend a national Enterprise IT conference this past month. The conference was primarily dedicated to the cutting edge of enterprise-wide communications. The main areas of focus included Unified Communications, video conferencing, Mobility (Mobile device communications), support of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and other key issues. I was particularity struck by some of the statistics a few of the national speakers presented. Among those stats were the fact that only 35% of American industries have converted from their analog PBX/PSTN communications facilities. Also mentioned was that almost 60% of companies were just now considering or planning a move to some form of Unified Communications.

Over the past couple of years, LOGIS and many of its members have converted to our shared IP Telephony systems from their PBX hardware.  As part of the LOGIS IPT offerings, we had installed a unified communications structure which is part of CISCO’s Telepresence environment.  Other key capabilities have also been added such as the WebEx clients for conferences (both audio and video).  It was really good to attend a national conference if for no other reason than to validate what LOGIS is doing and discover that we remain ahead of the IT curve.

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Category: Director's Report

From the Director’s Desk: LOGIS Wins National Collaboration Award

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For the past dozen years, the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) has sponsored the Excellence.gov Awards to recognize outstanding government programs that use information technology in an especially effective and/or innovative manner.  This year’s Awards program considered over 110 nominations from Federal, state and local governments throughout the nation.  I’m very proud to announce that LOGIS was a finalist winner for the Excellence in Governmental Collaboration category.

As Kenneth Allen, Executive Director of the Organization noted:

“A panel of government and industry judges deemed the  LOGIS program to be one of the best in the nation.  This is a tribute to you and your team.  It is also recognition of your organization’s commitment to improving the ability of government to serve citizens more effectively. “

 Teri Takai, the speaker at the Excellence.gov Awards luncheon and Chief Information Officer from the Department of Defense said, “the Excellence.gov Awards recognize our nation’s premier information technology innovations across Federal, state and local government.”  Congratulations upon being in this select group, and thank you for your service to the country.

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Category: Director's Report,LOGIS News

From the Director’s Desk: Going Green Saves Green – The Benefits of Blade Servers

Date Posted:

By Mike Garris
LOGIS Executive Director

I commented at the last LOGIS Board of Director’s meeting that we’ve seen a significant benefit from the replacement of our aging servers with new blade server technology. Here are some of the details of that effort.

In late 2009 and early 2010, as part of a routine server replacement project, Network Services replaced two-thirds of the LOGIS server farm with blade server technology.  Blade servers provide many advantages, including floor space savings and reduced cooling costs.  From a management perspective they offer better standardization, fault tolerance, flexibility and performance.

From a dollars and cents perspective, the new LOGIS blade servers have already proven their worth in reduced energy costs.  A comparison of the November 2008 and November 2009 energy bills showed a cost reduction of nearly 25%.  Network Services reports that server energy usage has been reduced by 37% since the blade servers were installed.

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Category: Director's Report,LOGIS News

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