One of Ohio’s regional Information Technology Centers (ITC) has cut operational costs while maintaining high availability to its customers by moving its network services to a centralized location in Columbus.
The Hamilton Clermont Cooperative (HCC) worked for eight months with the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet) to move its network operations to the State of Ohio Computer Center (SOCC), a project that was completed in June 2016.
HCC is the first ITC in Ohio to move all of its facilities to the SOCC. The SOCC provides HCC with a disaster recovery site, redundancy and secure data storage. HCC Director of IT Services Adam Blevins said the SOCC’s recent power and redundancy upgrades, as well as its proximity to other state agencies, were contributors to the decision to move.
“It just makes sense,” Blevins said. “Public agencies serving other public agencies … the public dollar just works more efficiently.”
HCC uses OARnet as its main internet provider as well as for connectivity to provide INFOhio services. The cooperative also uses Voice-over-IP through the state of Ohio’s VOIP contract. The cooperative provides services for more than 100 school districts in Hamilton and Clermont counties as well as non-profits and local government agencies. Blevins said HCC kept its customers informed throughout the entire process, and the feedback from them regarding the speed and efficiency of the project has been overwhelmingly positive.
“By moving to the SOCC, we no longer have the need to focus on facilities for physical security of the equipment, power, and cooling,” Blevins said. “It just allows us to focus more on our customers and our services we are providing to those customers.”
Moving forward, HCC will work with OARnet on a core upgrade to accommodate its customers’ current and future bandwidth needs. This will be an increase from the current four, 10-gigabit circuits.
“OARnet is positioned to provide our clients with the most efficient, cost-effective solutions possible,” said Paul Schopis, OARnet interim executive director. “In partnership with the SOCC, we can provide clients with secure, reliable services that meet multiple needs.”
Formerly known as the Hamilton Clermont Cooperative Association, HCC was created by the Ohio legislature. HCC has been providing worry-free technology services to public school districts, nonpublic schools, governmental entities, and nonprofits throughout SW Ohio since 1980. The majority of our clients have been with us since our inception.
The Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet), a member of the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s Ohio Technology Consortium, provides technology solutions for Ohio's education, public broadcasting, health care and government communities. Since 1987, OARnet has identified and deployed shared services that reduce costs, deliver quality programs, increase productivity and improve customer service. Communities voluntarily participate in the OARnet consortium because they value these benefits and services. Ultimately, OARnet promotes community and economic development by expanding access to affordable technology. For more: www.oar.net. Follow OARnet on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.