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Building A New Foundation: Alamo Area Council of Governments

The Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) is a voluntary association of local governments and organizations spanning 13 counties in south-central Texas. Headquartered in San Antonio, AACOG aids in the planning, research, and coordination of activities for its member organizations and the 2.5 million residents they represent. Given the scope of its role, AACOG operates within a strict regulatory environment.

So when an independent security audit revealed significant vulnerabilities within the organization’s IT infrastructure, AACOG’s leadership knew they needed help. Tasked with finding that help was Clifford Herberg, AACOG’s General Counsel and Senior Director. Mr. Herberg initially approached us for a current-state assessment of the organization’s entire IT program.

In addition to identifying a comprehensive list of security vulnerabilities, our assessment revealed other areas of concern within AACOG’s infrastructure. Namely, several core hardware components had reached end of life or end of support status, a factor that could pose a significant problem in maintaining compliance standards.

“Computer Solutions’ assessment articulated AACOG’s needs in a way that anyone could understand,” says Herberg. “The report clearly identified the issues we were experiencing, and revealed other issues we didn’t even know we had.” In light of the significant upgrades needed to adequately protect the organization, AACOG leadership made the decision to pursue an overhaul of its physical and virtual infrastructure. The question now became: Where should they start?

Working alongside the organization, we developed a quote and implementation strategy that prioritized AACOG’s needs by phase and architecture. As is often the case with public sector projects, however, funding would be a challenge. “From an agency standpoint,” Herberg recounts, “we simply did not have the budget necessary to take on a project of this magnitude.”

Leveraging our deep-rooted vendor relationships, we helped AACOG obtain a five-year financing deal that cleared the way for the transition to begin. “Computer Solutions truly went above and beyond to see that everything went smoothly, going so far as to maintain an on-site presence for six months to ensure that we were comfortable using the new system.”

That gesture made an impact on AACOG leadership. Recognizing their need for regular support, the organization enlisted the help of our NetWatch managed services to provide ongoing maintenance and support for the organization’s new infrastructure. And it’s a system that’s worked. AACOG recently signed on for its second year with NetWatch.

“It’s hard to quantify the value of our relationship with Computer Solutions,” Herberg says today. “In addition to helping us reduce our TCO by more than $100,000 annually, Computer Solutions’ broad knowledge base and referrals have helped us in areas totally unrelated to IT. They are more than a business partner, they’re an ally.”