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2024 Managed IT Services Cost & Pricing Guide

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City of Sumter Partnered with VC3 to Improve Services with Extension of Fiber Network

Industry: Municipality
Industry: Municipality
Location: Sumter, SC
Location: Sumter, SC
Population: 43,000
Population: 43,000

The City of Sumter, South Carolina had a fiber network that encircled the core of the city connecting their downtown offices. It didn’t, however, extend to several outlying facilities, like fire departments, water plants, and community centers that were outside that core area.  

When the COVID-19 pandemic happened in 2020, the stress on the City of Sumter’s network skyrocketed as families that didn’t have internet at home looked to the city’s public internet system for access to online school. 

Mark Partin, Organizational Improvement Director for the City of Sumter, oversees IT. He and IT consultant, Karl McCollester, came up with a plan to extend the city’s fiber network to not only meet the pressing need for public internet access but also allow the municipality to connect to their outlying facilities. 

VC3 Designed the Plan and Installed Equipment 

There were two main parts to the plan. The first was to install the fiber cable and the second was to make everything functional. Before any of this could happen, they needed a design, so they turned to their long-time IT partner, VC3. 

“VC3 stepped in and helped us plan the design,” said Karl. “They already knew how we operated; where our physical locations were; and the challenges that came with all of those different locations. They quickly understood our goal.” 

Designing the system wasn’t VC3’s only role in the project. They also did the installation, configuration, and procurement of all the network equipment that went into each building. 

Obtaining computing equipment at a time when the supply chain was struggling was a challenge that threatened the timeline for completion. The City of Sumter’s Strategic Advisor at VC3, Clark C., was instrumental in overcoming the supply chain issues. Clark and the VC3 team worked with vendors to deliver what was needed and kept the project moving forward. 

“Supply chain issues were frustrating but outside our control,” said Mark. “Once we realized the new reality of the time frames, I think everything went reasonably well.” 

Investment in Relationships 

Both Mark and Karl appreciate the investment that VC3 makes in nurturing relationships with clients by providing them with a Strategic Advisor who knows them and their organization. 

This relationship enables them to arrive at solutions faster and work as a team. Even when there are wrinkles to iron out, like supply chain bottlenecks, they can be honest with each other and have the hard conversations that are necessary to move work forward. 

Mark also recognizes that their organization receives value from the experiences that their Strategic Advisor and the VC3 team have outside of their work together. 

“Something I value that our Strategic Advisor brings to the table are the different experiences he has with so many other different clients,” explained Mark. 

Value of Technology Demonstrated in Outcomes  

Value is a central theme when Mark and Karl talk about technology. They are convinced that with the right approach, IT enables them to do more with less funds and significantly improves the way the municipality serves the public. The extension of the city’s private fiber network demonstrates this conviction through the outcomes they’ve already experienced.  

 These outcomes include:  

  • Wireless Access in Community Centers: Improved wireless connectivity in community centers provided vital internet access during the pandemic enabling children and families to continue their education and access essential services, regardless of their home internet situation.  
  • Enhanced Video Surveillance for Public Safety: By extending connectivity to parks and improving video capabilities, public safety has been significantly strengthened. Key areas are monitored via video feeds directly connected to community center hotspots. This allows the police department to effectively oversee and ensure safety while helping citizens feel more comfortable using the areas. 
  • Streamlined Data Management for Police Mobility: The first pilot site for law enforcement to remotely upload in-car and body camera video footage is operational. By utilizing high-bandwidth fiber connections at strategic locations, officers can now securely upload data without returning to the station, significantly reducing travel time, and enhancing operational efficiency.   

IT Improvements Ahead for the City of Sumter  

As they look ahead, the municipality intends to leverage the expansion of its fiber network as a catalyst for more IT improvements, including the deployment of additional data management sites for law enforcement. Plans are also being formulated to refine the way the city assesses network utilization and performance through comprehensive data collection and analysis across all connected sites and devices.  

"IT is becoming more vital each day because when it’s done well, it brings efficiencies,” said Mark. “We have to find different ways to do just as much if not more, to serve the public, and IT plays into that tremendously.”  

Over the past two decades, the City of Sumter and VC3 have navigated the fast-paced evolution of technology together, to address immediate needs and lay the groundwork for the future. This long-standing collaboration has been vital to the city’s efforts to successfully implement digital advancements and has significantly influenced how services are delivered.  
The municipality can move into the future knowing they have a trusted IT partner by their side to help them successfully leverage the right opportunities and overcome challenges as they utilize technology to better serve their residents.  

About The City of Sumter

Beyond outdoor recreation and cultural experiences, Sumter boasts a thriving business community, with a wide range of industries including aerospace, manufacturing, healthcare, and education. The city is home to several major employers, including Shaw Air Force Base, Tuomey Healthcare System, and Morris College.

Sumter also offers a variety of educational options, from top-rated public schools to private and charter schools, as well as a campus of the University of South Carolina. The city’s commitment to education extends beyond the classroom, with numerous programs and initiatives aimed at promoting lifelong learning and skill-building.

Mark Partin, Organizational Improvement Director

City of Sumter, South Carolina

Something I value that our Strategic Advisor brings to the table are the different experiences he has with so many other different clients.

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