Expanding Mobility - AT&T

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Expanding Mobility - AT&T

Case Study

Expanding Mobility

The County of San Diego improves its mobile

work force with persistent connectivity.

San Diego is well known for ocean

views, palm trees and California

sunshine. But the County of San

Diego reaches far beyond the city. At

4,200 square miles, the county is larger

than Delaware and Rhode Island. The

eastern part of the county is home to

impressive mountains, deep valleys and

desert. Agriculture flourishes in many

areas within the county.

The diverse topography creates a

challenge for the county’s mobile workers,

who need strong connections

back to the network in order to do their

jobs. Hundreds of the county’s mobile

workers file reports from the field using

laptops and tablet PCs.

Until recently, the topography

caused workers to lose their connections.

Their applications would crash,

and they’d lose all the data they’d

entered. It was a frustrating process

that mobile workers would endure several

times each day.

“They would get disconnected frequently,”

said Harold Tuck, CIO for the

county. “They would have to attempt

to log back in five or six times a day,

which included going through our

authentication and security. It would be

30-45 minutes per day, per user, of lost

productivity.”

That was not acceptable to the

county, which brought in a solution from

AT&T — a mobility virtual private network

(VPN). The mobility VPN provides

a persistent network connection. Workers

no longer lose their applications

or data. They don’t have to log back

in several times a day, and they don’t

need to re-enter data that’s been lost.

Now, workers are more productive, with

greater job satisfaction, because they’re

able to serve more citizens each day.

Commitment to Productivity

With the new solution, if there’s ever a

disconnect, the tool saves the application

and data — and automatically finds

the best connection when available.

Users simply keep working, and don’t

lose any work or time. The experience

is seamless.

The county’s Land Use and Environment

Group (LUEG) sends inspectors

out to agricultural and other remote

areas. It has about 100 users on the

mobility VPN. LUEG participated in a

90-day pilot project involving about

30 users. Field workers were excited

about the performance of the new tool

from the outset. In the pilot, workers

were 31 percent more productive, as

they were able to do more inspections

per day. With increased productivity

and less need for office space and

landlines, LUEG realized $130,000 in

cost savings.

The county’s Health and Human Services

Agency (HHSA) was so impressed


Harold Tuck

CIO, County of San Diego

with the pilot, that it too implemented the solution. Now the

HHSA has about 500 child welfare workers and 100 public

health nurses using AT&T mobility VPN. These field workers

are experiencing the same positive results, and are no longer

dealing with the frustration of disconnects. They have more

time to spend with clients — and need to put less time into

doing paperwork in the office.

In all, the county supports more than 1,000 workers on the

mobility VPN, with many more planned for the future. Even

employees who aren’t strictly field workers benefit from the

new tool. LUEG alone has more than 50 facilities and the

mobility VPN enables many types of workers to stay connected

as they move between those various sites.

The county’s commitment to greater productivity for mobile

workers is part of its Government Without Walls (GWOW) initiative.

The GWOW approach aims to increase productivity

in order to serve the county’s 3 million residents more cost

effectively. The mobility VPN has the potential to further reduce

paperwork, serve more citizens where they live and work, and

bring greater value to taxpayers and the County of San Diego.

“We have GWOW because we recognize that within these

4,200 square miles where we deliver services, we have

employees all over the place,” said Tuck. “To do service delivery

the way we want and need to, we need to go where the

people are.” GWOW strives to give mobile workers all the

tools they need to work from anywhere.

Innovation Council

Another factor in the improvement of mobile technology is

the county’s Innovation Council, which is made up of government

employees and private-sector tech companies. “With

the Innovation Council, we ask ‘What innovation can we bring

into the county, using technology, to solve a business problem

that will make our employees more effective at what they

Presented by

The county’s mountains and valleys are a big challenge

for mobile connectivity.

Christopher Roy

VP, Public Sector Western Region, AT&T

do?’ The Innovation Council decided that one of our very first

areas to focus on was work force effectiveness,” Tuck said.

Better mobility was a good fit for that. The Innovation Council

set up a vendor day for mobile technology, and it was there

that the county learned more about the mobility VPN.

The solution is based on a monthly, per-user fee, as part of

AT&T’s contract with the county, so it’s an operational expense.

AT&T also helped with long-term planning. “The infrastructure

is being put in by AT&T to allow us to grow,” Tuck said. “So

we do have the flexibility we need for the future.” The mobility

VPN solution is enterprisewide, so all five of the county’s large

business groups will be using it.

“We can go out and solve for a specific need — or we can

solve for a specific enterprise, over time,” said Christopher

Roy, vice president of Public Sector, Western Region for AT&T.

“And that’s really where we focus for the County of San Diego.

They had immediate needs for today that we were able to

solve for. But we also put in a mechanism and a system that

allows the county to solve for future issues as well.”

Roy believes other government agencies could learn from

the county’s experience with the mobility VPN. “In the County

of San Diego, you find a county that is not necessarily unique

in its problems. But it is unique in the way it solves them,” said

Roy. “They’re an early adopter in the technology world, and

in solving their problems with technology. I think if you looked

across the country, you’d find other counties and municipalities

that have similar issues. And I think they’ll follow in the

footsteps of the County of San Diego, and will solve their

problems in a similar fashion.”

Tuck believes this is a good example of public and private

sector working together for the common good. “It’s the willingness

of the private sector to partner with the public sector

to get the best benefit and the best value for the taxpayer

dollars,” he said.

For more information, please visit www.att.com/stateandlocal.

This e.Republic custom publication is sponsored by AT&T. © 2011 e.Republic. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.

AT&T and the AT&T logo are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property

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