SLG Business Brief: Smart cities, walkie-talkies, and EHRs

This week in SLG business, IBM announced a host of recipients of its Smarter Cities Challenge, first responders in Wisconsin will soon have new walkie-talkies, CSC has made headway on North Carolina’s EHR incentive system, Massachusetts re-ups with its Health Connector IT provider and the streak of ERP wins continues for Tyler Technologies. Also some new products and leaders at Harris Corp. were introduced this week.

IBM’s $50 million initiative to get 100 municipalities worldwide into the computer age reached a milestone this week. 24 cities across the globe will receive “analysis and recommendations to support successful growth, better delivery of municipal services, more citizen engagement, and improved efficiency,” IBM said Wednesday. The US cities named included: Boulder, Co.; Milwaukee, Wis.; New Orleans, La.; Newark, NJ; Philadelphia, Penn.; Providence, R.I.; St. Louis, Mo.; and Syracuse, N.Y. “We selected these cities because of their commitment to the use of data to make better decisions, and for their desire to explore and act on smarter solutions to the their most pressing concerns,” said Stanley S. Litow, IBM vice president of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, and President of IBM’s Foundation. IBM says the approximate value of each Smarter Cities Challenge grant is equivalent to as much as $400,000.

Dell announced that it had been granted a two-year extension on an agreement with the Massachusetts Health Connector Authority to deliver a range of enrollment, billing, website and customer experience services. The agreement spans across the Health Connector program, with a large percentage of work focused on “Commonwealth Care” – the low or no-cost health insurance option for qualifying residents to receive comprehensive benefits and a choice of health plans – the company said this week. No dollar amounts were disclosed in the press release.

The North Carolina Medicaid Incentive Payment System (NC-MIPS) has successfully completed phase one of its development, CSC announced Thursday. Under phase one, providers who registered with CMS to indicate that they were adopting, implementing or upgrading a system for electronic health records can use the NC-MIPS system’s portal. Providers can now attest to Medicaid participation rules as defined by CMS. State officials are hopeful that this on-schedule implementation will help the state recover its share of funds on time for achieving meaningful use in EHRs.

According to a Harris Corp. announcement, Dane County, Wisconsin has signed a $15 million contract to modernize its county’s public safety communication system with a Harris P25IP (Project 25 to the power of Internet Protocol) solution. Also this week, Harris named Walt Paskowski vice president of North American Sales and Geno Viviano director of Indirect Channels for its Public Safety and Professional Communications business. And finally, the company announced that it had added a communications protocol to OpenSky radio system to help utilities improve process automation by linking remote data-collection devices. The additional protocol, “means that the dedicated data radio can directly interface with the multitude of devices on today and tomorrow’s electrical grids,” George Helm, vice president and general manager, Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications.

And, as is becoming customary on SLG Business Brief, Tyler Tech announced a $1.2 million ERP contract – this time, with Columbia County, N.Y. Columbia County has invested in a wide range of Munis applications, the company said, including financial management, human capital management and content management. Munis will be hosted and administered at Tyler’s data center in Falmouth, Maine.

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