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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What you need to do to sell IoT security to state and local

Lloyd McCoy Jr.IoT, cybersecurity, SLEDBy Lloyd McCoy Jr., DOD manager

State and local governments are becoming more proactive in their approach to IT and cybersecurity, together spending more than the federal government. They will invest $101.3 billion on IT this year, with counties and states increasing their budget by about 1.5 percent annually, according to e.Republic.

It’s safe to say a good portion of their budgets will be spent on cybersecurity, a push triggered by the internet of things (IoT) and how it’s being used for smart cities projects. State IT executives are more aware of IoT cybersecurity implications than at the federal level because they’re dealing with certain functions only at the municipal level like industrial systems and facilities HVAC.

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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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