Osceola county commissioners hear phone, IT updates

REED CITY — The increasing need to have the latest technology available for day-to-day operations in Osceola County departments has become a major focus for officials.

On Tuesday, the Osceola County Committee of the Whole heard from Technology Director J.T. Burgess, as he discussed the ongoing the installation of the Voice over Internet Protocol phone system, the process to set up guest Wi-Fi at the courthouse and annex buildings and the utilization of I.T. Right for the increased need for IT support.

Burgess said the installation of the new phone system through Jive Communications is nearly complete.

“We are still waiting for some numbers to be ported over,” he said. “The main numbers were ported over, others have stalled a slight bit.”

Burgess said the current provider, AT&T, has to create new account numbers in order to port it over to the county’s new phone system.

“Some departments are over on the new system,” he said.

Burgess said not everything has gone smoothly with the transition.

“Not everything with the phones have been ready,” he said. “There’s been some hiccups along the way. All the equipment is ready to go.”

Burgess also wanted clarification from commissioners about their approval of the creation of a secured guest Wi-Fi in May. Officials want to have Wi-Fi connection available at the courthouse and annex buildings.

“I will need to know who you want to be able to access it, how do you want them to access it, where do you want it set up,” he said. “Something like this takes time, as it’s going to have to be its own network.”

Commissioner Larry Emig said he envisioned guest Wi-Fi being available for attorneys and others who have business specifically at the two buildings, rather than allowing members of the public to utilize non-related usage.

“We need to do it right without compromising anything else,” he said.

Commissioners hoped to have Wi-Fi set up as soon as possible; however, Burgess said it will take some time. An update on the installation of the network is expected at the beginning of November.

While hoping to ease the added stress and workload for Burgess, with the phone system and other things, commissioners previously approved technical support from I.T. Right, and hinted at possibly hiring a part-time technology employee.

Burgess said while he likes to have control over what’s going on, the support provided by I.T. Right and the process for which technology issues are handled through a new ticket system is going well.

“We are so much bigger technology-wise than we used to be,” he said. “If I can’t come in one day because I’m sick, all the information that we have generated, from spare parts or other issues, is available to them. If they need a spare monitor and they are on-site, they know where to get it.

“The system also tracks all the calls for those situations but can alleviate new situations that are identical to previous ones,” he said. “They can see the history that I did this to fix this problem and they can look and see what they can do.”