What you need to know about FirstNet

SLED, FirstNet, law enforcement, public safetyHalf of all states have officially signed up to be part of a nationwide broadband network to connect law enforcement and public safety officials. The network is called FirstNet and it’s an important topic we’ll cover at immixGroup’s 4th Annual Government IT Sales Summit on Nov. 16.

Once built, the network promises to improve many aspects of community safety, including connecting responders in rural communities, enhancing situational awareness during emergencies and ensuring coordinated responses to human-made disasters. Getting the network built is the first step and then it will eventually require technologies to improve the situational awareness and responses of those first responders.

So what is FirstNet and what can you expect going forward?

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Here’s when you should be talking to your SLED customers

Rachel EckertSLED, procurement, sales, public sectorBy Rachel Eckert, consultant

The new state, local, and education (SLED) fiscal year kicked off July 1 for most of the market, and with that governments began a new budget (assuming of course that the legislature passed it). A new budget means fresh money and hope for many in the IT industry about new opportunities.

If you’ve worked in the public sector, be that federal or SLED, you know that nothing in government is immediate. Turning opportunities into deals takes time and careful planning. Also, having an understanding of the government’s planning cycle can help ensure that you’re approaching decision makers with proposals at the right time.

Here is a rundown of their planning cycle and what your actions should be during each quarter:

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How you can help cash-strapped states get funding

Rachel EckertSLED, funding grantsBy Rachel Eckert, consultant

Budgets are tight for state and local governments and education (SLED) and there is no relief in sight.

An expanding list of priorities and mandates are competing for funds that don’t seem to be growing at the same rate. With efforts focused on legacy application migration or other mammoth projects, where does SLED find the funds for new and innovative technology? Grants.

Grants and federal assistance can provide those funds to explore new and innovative technology and programs like the internet of things (IoT) and autonomous vehicles. They also provide funds to address major challenges like the opioid crisis. State and local governments and educational institutions can apply for funding that can help to continue efforts to drive innovation in government. And for industry, this means that tight budgets don’t have to push your deals.

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3 ways to be part of smart transportation

Rachel Eckert Rachel Eckert, SLED consultant

Transportation is increasingly becoming more connected as part of ongoing smart cities/states initiatives. States are connecting transit and working on multi-modal systems to facilitate easier and quicker commutes that efficiently move people and goods throughout a region.

This requires a great deal of data, compelling state and local governments to look to the private sector to develop technology that can collect, store, analyze and visualize that data. This information can then be turned into things like mobile applications that allow users to purchase tickets for buses and other transit through one streamlined application.

Here are three ways state and local governments could be utilizing this data:

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Can data analytics help stop the opioid crisis?

data analytics, opioid crisis, big dataRachel EckertBy Rachel Eckert, SLED consultant

As the country grapples with a growing opioid crisis, many state and local governments have been struggling to fight this battle through a myriad of health and law enforcement resources. Some are doing better than others in their attempts to fight this health care disaster.

But there’s more that these jurisdictions, with the help of the IT industry, can do to battle the crisis through the use of technology, specifically, analytics.

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Will cloud finally take off for state & local?

Rachel EckertBy Rachel Eckert, SLED consultant

Doesn’t it seem like every year is declared the year of cloud? But 2017 could actually kick off some serious cloud adoption in state and local governments for the next few years.

The state of Utah recently awarded master agreements to a variety of companies, including immixGroup, to provide cloud solutions through the NASPO ValuePoint multi-state cooperative procurement program. The master agreements are available to all 50 states and cover a full range of cloud solutions.

The contract has the potential to spur significant cloud adoption within states and localities, especially those with smaller budgets or where cloud initiatives haven’t moved as quickly. A few factors are already setting up the contract for success.

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Can data save state and local governments?

Rachel Eckertblog-sledanalyticsBy Rachel Eckert, SLED consultant

While the tumultuous situation in Washington is throwing a wrinkle into state and local politics, governments will continue to face a lack of funding and siloed operations. These two problems aren’t necessarily independent of each other, though. Siloed operations can create financial nightmares in the form of duplicative efforts and inefficient uses of data.

This was among the topics of discussion during last week’s Outlook 2017 event, organized by Governing Magazine.

Duplicative efforts and inefficiencies spell disaster for constrained budgets, which are already struggling to adequately fund education and public safety as Medicaid takes over an ever larger share of their budgets.

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