Challenges

  • High Availability
  • Shrinking Budgets
  • Law Enforcement Security Concerns
  • Public Records Requests
  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Solution

Protected Trust provided an outsourced e-mail messaging solution which was able to substantially reduce cost while also providing a public records retrieval solution and alleviating disaster recovery and reliability concerns.

Bruce WIlliams,
IT Manager
City of Bradenton

Protecting the Communication Lifeline of the City of Bradenton

Organization: City of Bradenton
Industry: Local Government and Law Enforcement
Location: Bradenton, FL, US

The City of Bradenton is the largest city in Manatee County, located on Florida’s West Coast, south of Tampa. It is surrounded by both fresh and saltwater waterways and boasts more than 20 miles of beautiful beaches and a vibrant downtown of small businesses, art galleries, and gardens.

The Challenge

The City of Bradenton government needed an efficient and reliable email solution to connect all of its systems, law enforcement, fire departments, community development, and utilities. If email doesn’t work properly, business comes to a halt. The city had an overburdened email system with operational risks that needed to be solved.

Secure Communication

The city researched and discovered by outsourcing it’s email communications to Protected Trust it alleviated business continuity and disaster recovery risks, added protection to sensitive information, and improved the efficiency with public records requests. In addition received a level of support that is comprehensive, responsive, and documented.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

The city’s offices are located next to the Manatee River. They felt it was important to retain access to email if they had to evacuate in the event of some type of threat or disaster. By outsourcing to Protected Trust, the city retains business continuity and alleviates disaster recovery concerns. With Protected Trust, a copy of every email is simultaneously stored in six different environments on high availability systems in geographically redundant industry-certified data centers.

Protected Sensitive Information

One of the challenges for both the city’s IT department and Protected Trust was to alleviate the police department’s concerns related to protecting sensitive information contained in their emails. Protected Trust’s experience in working with national security clients and the department of defense provided the police department with the confidence it needed to address these concerns.

Efficiency and Public Records Requests

The city’s email efficiency improved greatly with Protected Trust. Employees have email access from any computer, from home, or from their smart phones.

Outsourcing also freed up the city’s IT staff who had been previously tasked with retrieving emails to satisfy public records requests. Protected Trust provided an affordable archiving solution to relieve this time-consuming process. Instead of IT having to search various backup sources and filter through records, Protected Trust developed a method of sending the city a DVD every month containing all the archived emails. The city’s IT department can then search the archives as needed.

The city’s policy is to keep emails for 3 years, after which they are deleted. This ensures that the in-house archives are always current, and eliminates overburdening the system.

Protected Trust’s solution saved the city from having to invest in a separate archiving solution, which could have cost as much or more than the email service itself.

Service and Support

The level of customer support also extends to user issues that can’t be handled in- house. Protected Trust’s support team, located in central Florida, immediately assigns a case number for tracking and begins working on a resolution. If needed, Protected Trustcan remotely access an end user’s computer in order to solve problems. After an issue has been handled, Protected Trust updates the city’s IT department with details and an explanation of how it was resolved. In describing their experience with Protected Trust, Bruce Williams, IT manager for the City of Bradenton, says, “I would say it’s excellent. We’ve never had any problems. All the techs are easy to work with.”

Conclusion

When the City of Bradenton initially considered outsourcing its email, about 5 years ago, the process was still a new concept. They looked at some other companies, but felt that Protected Trust was the right choice and would value their business.

According to Williams, Protected Trust has set the bar for them to outsource other systems. “I don’t think that we probably would have looked at outsourcing other things if we had not had such a great experience the first time doing email. It’s just been wonderful.”