By Ben Freda For Abington Journal
CLARKS SUMMIT — During a special meeting on Aug. 25, Clarks Summit reconvened from the council meeting on Aug. 4 to discuss IT bids.
Councilman Josh Mitchell said that a “guiding principle” in choosing an IT service is to not use servers but rather a cloud. He said that council already approved a Watchguard quote of $16,190 for the Clarks Summit Police Department. He said that a second quote is to have a cloud-hosted solution related to the body cameras and in-car cameras.
“The first quote, one of the things it requires is we have to purchase another server to store the video that is coming out of the body cameras,” he said.
Mitchell said that some of the IT vendors included those servers, which would add between $6,000 to $7,500 to the total cost. He said that there are also two annual license and support fees, each of which is $600 per year. He said that this adds both quotes as equal in a five-term cost. He mentioned that the VAAS (Video as a Service) solution fills the need of having an access point in the office.
“So when the body cameras are returned when the officers come back, there needs to be a place for the video to go from the units to a machine before that machine sends them to a cloud,” he said.
Mitchell said that another benefit of the VAAS system is that it has a third-year technology refresh. He said that the representative told him that council can ask for new cameras in the third year. He mentioned that he and Yarns are in favor of the VAAS proposal.
“It makes more servers sense to go with this VAAS proposal rather than the one we already approved,” he said.
Mitchell said that solicitor Kevin Hayes reviewed to ensure that it’s Co-star pricing. He moved on to the IT bids. He said that council received bids from three qualified vendors. He announced that one of the three vendors provides a manage-hosting solution, which means council can use their fallback servers in a separate facility.
He announced that this vendor to be Site 2. He said that all three vendors are proposing council moves their email from Cleverfish to Office 365, and they all recommend having a firewall installed. He said that they all have a services package but in different ways.
He said that one vendor, MBC Solutions, has a cost-effective way to purchase service in 30-hour blocks, which is $90 an hour. He said that the bid from Jeffrey IT Services has a monthly fee, which includes support but has an hourly rate of $105 without a retainer. He mentioned that Site 2 has five hours of service per month at a rate of $85 an hour. He mentioned that Site 2 would be willing to give hours annually. He said that this vendor is more cost-effective than the other two.
He announced that he recommended Site 2 as the vendor who council awards the bid.
Councilman Bob Shiels said that he also listened to all three applicants. He mentioned that Jeffrey IT Services stood out to him. He said that this vendor doesn’t have municipal clients but works for JCC (Jewish Community Center) and the Lackawanna Medical Group as well as corporate clients. He said that the owner, Sean Jeffrey, is a Clarks Summit resident and business owner in his 20’s.
“I think (Jeffrey) is the type of guy who would work hard for us,” he said. Sheils said that the pricing and qualifications are similar to Site 2. Mitchell said that Jeffrey during his proposal recommended maintaining a server. He expressed his opinion of choosing Site 2 since they could get council out of using servers and has municipal experience. Council president Gerrie Carey asked how long Site 2’s contract is. Mitchell replied three years.
“In their quote today, it does say it’s basically five hours a month of support, and that does not carry over,” he said.
Mitchell said that Site 2 can modify that. Kehoe said that whatever decision council makes, it won’t come out of their taxes.
Mitchell said that by the end of the three-year agreement, council will be ready to consider bids again and list requirements, and he made a motion to enter into an agreement with Site 2 to provide IT services on the condition they will carry over the support hours to 60 per year.
Council voted to approve the motion.
Council also voted to accept the reversed quote from Watchguard for their VAAS system.
By Ben Freda For Abington Journal