The city of Washington is increasing the monthly hours that an IT technician will be on site to minimize response time for computer and Internet issues.
The city council Monday voted to increase the monthly fee paid to NOC Techinolgy, LLC, from $9,000 to $12,000 for an additional 50 hours per month. The increase is from 100 hours to 150 hours.
According to Mary Sprung, finance director, under the new agreement, NOC Technology, formerly known as Wash PC, decreased the monthly hourly rate charged to the city from $90 to $80 per month.
Sprung noted that there will be an NOC technician at city hall whenever the building is open, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“In addition, having a tech on site at all times will help to minimize city downtimes, lower response times, and thereby effectively increasing city efficiency,” Sprung said.
She added that any hours not used in a month will be able to be rolled over and will not expire for 90 days. There will be no additional charge for hours outside of normal operating hours or for emergency hours.
Greg Johnson, NOC owner, stated that there will be a team cross trained to handle Washington IT systems.
“We will have a dedicated person onsite and have three people crossed trained,” he said. “It is not just one person running ragged.”
Previously, there had been a NOC staff member on site about three days each week.
The city began working with Johnston’s company in May 2016 to address a decrease in staffing in the IT department.
Under an agreement, NOC provides all IT support services to the entire city. Immediate service is provided to eliminate bottlenecks in the current system.
The company also provides support of projects, consultation and overall needs of the IT department and city.
According to Darren Lamb, city administrator, the city opted to contract services to increase response time to handle issues and the changes in the IT market.
“There’s a tipping point as to how much you contract out and having somebody on staff — we feel that we have better resources to have a team of people with NOC as opposed to contracting this out individually,” Lamb said.
“It is a tough market and rather than fight that fight, I think we are better served in this capacity,” he added.
Councilman Joe Holtmeier asked if the new agreement also provides IT service to the Washington Public Library Board.
In July, the city entered into an agreement with NOC Technology to upgrade the library’s computers.
Sprung noted that once the library computer upgrade project is completed, the library will be covered under the city’s new agreement with NOC.