Information Technology Advisory Committee - Jul 18th, 2019

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The town has experienced a few instances of ransomware infections, which required machines to be restored from backup. Only a few computers were affected, and the backups were sufficient to get things back to normal. The IT department plans to do more security education for town staff.

The VoIP rollout continues to move along. Approximately 13--14 of 22 town buildings have gotten VoIP installed. Old cabling has proven to be one of the biggest challenges. The Bishop School, Stratton School, and Fire Stations are the next ones schedule for VoIP.

515 Kindergarten students have been registered via online registration.

The town recently had a kickoff meeting with the new water meter vendor. We plan to do a 40 home pilot with the new system. The new equipment has a fifteen year warranty. Framingham is doing a similar project with the same vendor, and we plan to ask them about their experiences. The new system may allow us to go from five collection points to two. We're also forming a utility billing project team for Munis.

The Central School Renovation will be delayed until the first of the year. On the IT side of the renovation, the communications wiring is a real mess. The existing wiring was installed piecemeal by whatever tenant happened to be in the space at the time. Tearing it all out and starting over may be the best solution.

More town employees are opting into to direct deposit and Munis employee self service.

Network infrastructure relocation plans continue, for the DPW and AHS rebuilds.

Members of the IT department are working with HR to update the listings of preferred technology skills for various town positions. We're also trying to identify technical training needs.

The school district replaced 1000 chromebooks in the third through fifth grades.

In our efforts to move to a paperless town meeting, we did a survey of town meeting members, to get a sense of how well the wireless access worked for them. We may need to form a committee with the town moderator. There are a number of logistical issues to work through. For example, capabilities of different devices (e.g., navigating the town budget on a smart phone), limited space for TMMs to hold devices on their laps, and battery life.

More students are taking the online version of MCAS this year. To accommodate this, the town is upgrading each school to a pair of 3 GB/s internet connections (6 GB/s total). The online MCAS test requires a lot of bandwidth.