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Strategy 1.1 – Enhance Capabilities of the Shared Infrastructure 

State agencies have accomplished many successful IT initiatives during this past biennium. Selected agency projects are highlighted below for the shared infrastructure categories of Data Center Services, Communications Technology Services, and Statewide Portal.

Agency Spotlights: Data Center Services Infrastructure

Agency

Initiative

Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners

ECPTOTE is a member of the Health Professions Council (HPC). HPC services include

  • Network administration
  • Desktop administration
  • Hardware support
  • Email administration
  • IT purchase consulting
  • Imaging system administration
  • IT project management

ECPTOTE currently contracts with a third-party vendor for web hosting services, but will begin using the web hosting services that HPC offers in the future. The agency currently employs an independent consultant to maintain its database system, but eventually plans to participate in the recently implemented HPC-managed database system.

Health and Human Services Commission

HHSC’s Texas Electronic Benefit Transfer (TxEBT) system, which delivers services to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families clients, is currently operating on unsupported database software and very old hardware. This project will migrate TxEBT to new hardware running on a UNIX platform and move data center operations from DIR’s Network and Security Operations Center to the new Austin Data Center operated by Team for Texas.

Health Professions Council

HPC led the effort to deploy and manage the Shared Regulatory Database System with six participating agencies:

  • Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying
  • Texas Optometry Board
  • Texas State Board of Dental Examiners
  • Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists Texas
  • State Board of Pharmacy
  • Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners

The purpose of this project was to transition database systems from the legacy end-of-life hardware in the Austin Disaster Recovery and Operations Center (ADROC) to DIR’s Austin Data Center. For the first time, the participating agencies have access to modern database technology with a secure and encrypted web front-end that allows all divisions within each agency to efficiently and effectively manage licensee data. This project was undertaken under the auspices of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that documents the collaboration of the six independent licensing agencies. The agencies selected the software company Iron Data (formerly Versa Systems) to configure and install their regulatory licensing software. The new system has been available for use since August 2010.

Railroad Commission

The Commission (RRC) will consolidate statewide software and hardware platforms through its participation in the DCS contract with DIR. Participation with other agencies in this agreement, which includes data center consolidation, will allow the state to fully leverage its data center mainframe and server technology. Additionally, the DCS agreement will enable RRC IT staff to focus on improving and expanding IT services to meet staff and customer needs while reducing the focus on day-to-day data center operations. The state’s data center services program leverages statewide resources to provide improved security and disaster recovery services. Additionally, outdated data center equipment will be replaced by current technology. This will improve the current and future performance, stability and reliability of data center services.

University of North Texas System

The UNT System has established a Shared Services Council that is exploring a business service center and leveraging of system IT system resources for delivering shared services within the UNT system.

University of Texas at Austin

UT-Austin upgraded and consolidated disparate data and network services across campus into a centralized data center that provides enhanced security, redundancy, and cost savings. The new data center replaces an aging center and frees up space across campus for educational purposes. The new center meets the growing demands of the university by offering shared capacity and centralized servers for campus-wide applications.

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Agency Spotlights: Communications Technology Services Infrastructure

Agency

Initiative

Health and Human Services Commission

HHSC has implemented a modern call center with interactive voice response (IVR). The agency will continue to expand features such as call monitoring and recording capabilities in the future. HHSC has leveraged call center functionality to support multi-channel client access to the Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System (TIERS) application.

Office of the Attorney General

In FY 2010, the OAG Child Support Division entered in a managed service agreement with DIR to design, implement and operate the OAG data and voice network which will connect the OAG mainframe with nine Child Support Regional Customer Service Centers and 63 field offices.

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission

TABC has standardized its telecommunications system statewide:

  • All TABC field offices use the same electronic key telephone system
  • Headquarters uses a PBX phone system
  • The devices used in the field are the same devices used in Headquarters
  • All facilities use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • All facilities have been converted to four-digit dialing (not requiring the area code and prefix to contact a TABC facility.

Future upgrades include software releases and patches to enhanced features such as unified messaging and six-way conference calling. TABC has seven sites remaining for statewide cable modem standardization. After standardization, the agency plans to upgrade bandwidth as necessary.

Texas Department of Insurance

TDI utilizes several Tex-AN and other ICT Cooperative Contracts services, including webinar, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The agency’s use of VoIP has resulted in a reduction of long distance costs.

TDI’s recently acquired telephone system provides the capability of conducting telephone surveys and forwarding the responses to TDI’s email system as a voice mail attachment. This capability will enable TDI’s customer service areas to respond more completely to issues and complaints.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

TPWD is expanding its WiFi Internet services to remote parks, wildlife management areas, and other public lands under its management.

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Agency Spotlights: State Portal Infrastructure

Agency

Initiative

Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts

The CPA continues to leverage the services provided by the new Texas.gov website. The agency is modifying its payment systems to move all online credit card transaction functionality through the statewide portal. In addition, the TxSmartBuy system, used for statewide contract orders, was developed through the statewide portal agreement and will have further enhancements developed by the portal vendor in the future.

Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission

TABC is in the process of implementing public access to online license applications and renewal and fee payment via Texas.gov. This system allows applicants to submit applications for original licenses, renew existing licenses, request changes for address or trade name, and pay fees. Other e government related initiatives that are planned for the Texas.gov infrastructure include

  • Seller Server Training Database – includes purchasing, assigning, and tracking certificates; trainer eligibility; and school approvals.
  • Label Approval – includes online payment and approval of labels within the State of Texas.
  • TABC Storefront – includes an online catalog of TABC services and products including Club Cards, Seller Server Certificates, and TABC collateral material; and would replace the current Miscellaneous Order Management System.
  • MyTexasBiz – TABC participated in the development of MyTexasBiz, a Governor’s Office Initiative for one-stop shopping to open a restaurant.
  • Intranet – Texas.gov will soon be deploying an intranet standard for interested agencies. Because TABC already has the Enterprise license for SharePoint, TABC will be able to participate with very low costs. Texas.gov has developed the SharePoint governance, policies, and templates. TABC would manage agency content.

Texas Board of Nursing

The Texas Board of Nursing is working with Texas.gov to expand the hosting of interactive courses and payment processing. The agency has implemented workflow processes utilizing Texas.gov, Image Systems, and Agency Database.

Texas Board of Professional Engineers

TBPE utilizes the payment processing system setup through Texas.gov for all online payments. Recently, in order to meet more stringent PCI compliance requirements, TBPE changed the payment processing methodology to be a redirect rather than an information pass-through. In addition, TBPC was one of the first agencies to switch to the recently developed common payment gateway.

Texas Commission on Fire Protection

TCFP’s database rebuild process will be enhanced by creating a web-based interface to data, so that the data will be able to reside in any physical location and be accessible through any current browser instead of being tied to a central network infrastructure and a proprietary front end. Additionally, the database rebuild is being structured so that the system will interface with the Texas.gov payment processing engine to allow agency customers, from individuals to government entities, to make payments online.

Texas Department of Insurance

TDI is enhancing its Insurance Licensing Search and Renewal and Web-Enabled Attorney Fee Processing System on Texas.gov. The agency indicates that additional TDI programs are seeking a presence on the portal, including State Fire Marshal’s Office Fireworks Licensing, and Property and Casualty’s Amusement Ride Certifications.

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    © Department of Information Resources 2012