Video Transcript: Passaic County partners with SHI to solve what's next
When I think of shi I immediately think of functioning effective efficient solutions.
My name is Micah Hassinger, I'm the I.T director for the county Passaic in northern New Jersey and I handle the oversight of the day-to-day I.T operations of the county. Some might be surprised at one of the similarities in particular between corporate I.T and government I.T in that we have a lot of the same pains. Even though government I.T functions at sometimes a different speed, a different speed of adaptation as was said before than corporate I.T does, things like staffing issues are common throughout the space and as a result I.T directors need to find ways to continue their operation with less people. No one likes increasing taxes in the government space but that goes hand in hand with corporate wanting to continue to make money. we have six people that support County Administration and then we have three people dedicated to Preakness Healthcare Center that we support as well. The resources we have through our partnership with SHI we've been able to purchase Advanced Training for our staff so that we can keep our staff as up to date on technology that's available to us as possible.
One of the most interesting initiatives I've ever had in my entire career happened at the start of the COVID pandemic when I was told that commissioner meetings would no longer happen in the commissioner meeting room but would need to happen online. And we all scratched our head, what are we going to do, we didn't have any WebEx licensing teams wasn't really much of a thing at that time. So we were able to contact John over at SHI and ask John what do we do and at the time Cisco was offering free WebEx licenses for government. We were able to sign up for that and it made a huge impact because suddenly in a matter of weeks, which doesn't happen in government. We were able to provide a solution that the Commissioners could have their meetings, could remain healthy, could remain safe, and the public could view the meeting at the same time. As a huge initiative that I've never seen government move this this quickly but it was it was just awesome to see. Now that is an expectation that constituents have. Five years ago you might have expected to have to come out to our meeting to address us. Now having been virtual having been entirely online for a couple of years there's this real expectation that we will be available in a two-way communication on online on video.
When I first came to Passaic County, I was very hard to get a hold of for poor John from SHI. And he tried, he was very persistent, over and over and over again, trying. It was finally, look okay, I'll give John the time and then we talked and John made it very clear that he had the County's best interest in mind and my best interests in mind. As a result of that meeting, the relationship that I have with John from SHI is better than any relationship that I've had with a a vendor in my entire career. It's far more personal, John came to the county fair this year and to sit and have a beer with John and and his boss was great but that's not something I'd want to do with just anybody. I choose the people I associate with very carefully and John is in that group. When I found out the Solve What's Next tagline was coming it was huge to me and it brought an example to my mind immediately as to a way John saw what's next and helped us. There was an order coming down from the governor's office that certain companies could no longer have software on state-owned mobile devices. I didn't know this was coming, I wasn't ready for it but I was able to sit in a meeting with our County Administrator and speak intelligently on this the day it came out because John had loaded me with the information. John also was able to provide us with a solution that we thought would work to handle this order at the county level. So he saw what's next and he solved what was next before I even knew about it. I would tell all my peers in counties throughout the state in counties throughout the country really to try to manifest a relationship like what we have with SHI.
SHI has stood by us has helped us through the pandemic, through everything that we've needed, through the highs and the lows. One thing I would like SHI to know is to continue down this road, to continue having staff that helps us like John does because the relationship is something that I value.
Passaic County is a large county within New Jersey, supporting 16 municipalities.
SHI helped a government entity continue operations with an all-encompassing web collaboration solution.
Virtual meeting platform
SHI helped the customer securely connect online with collaboration solution.
Commissioner meetings were able to go completely virtual, maintaining healthy and safe working conditions.
SHI has fostered a working relationship with the customer to allow for continuous technological growth.
SHI helps government customer stay connected and maintain productivity after initial shockwave of COVID-19 pandemic.
Passaic County, New Jersey’s IT department was already struggling with staffing issues when the pandemic struck. The need to quickly adapt to the changing technology landscape was evident, but with limited resources the county’s IT Director, Micah Hassinger, was on a mission to find a way to continue operations with a limited number of employees.
There was an immediate need to continue commissioner meetings, but since they were historically held in person, it was time to figure out how to go virtual. Luckily for Micah, SHI Account Executive John Turba was there to answer the question, “what do we do?”
SHI began by having the customer utilize Cisco’s free WebEx licenses offered to government entities at the start of the pandemic. Within a matter of weeks, Passaic County was able to get commissioner meetings 100% virtual to allow for employees to remain healthy and safe at home. These licenses also allowed for the public to view meetings from the comfort of their couches.
“Five years ago, you might have expected to have to come out to our meeting to address us,” says John W. Bartlett, County Commissioner, “now, having been virtual, there’s this real expectation that we will be available in a two-way communication online.”
By opening lines of communication, the county was able to continue growing their relationship with SHI and pivot quickly when another issue arose.
After an order from the governor’s office stated certain companies could no longer have specific software on state-owned mobile devices, the customer turned to us for advice and SHI was able to provide a solution to handle the mandate at the county level.
“I was able to sit in a meeting with our county administrator and speak intelligently on this the day it came out because John had loaded me with information,” says Micah Hassinger.
John Turba and SHI saw what’s next and helped the customer stay ahead of changing technology and government orders.
John and SHI continue to support Micah as he and his team navigate the challenges of technology transformation in a post-pandemic world.
Micah expresses, “I would tell all my peers to try and manifest a relationship like what we have with SHI.”
“When I think of SHI, I immediately think of functioning, effective, efficient solutions.”
- Micah Hassinger, IT Director