The City of Pittsfield was awarded a $40,000 Community Compact Information Technology grant by Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito in May. The city of was one of 47 cities and towns across the Commonwealth which received grants through this initiative totaling $2 million.
“The Community Compact Cabinet is instrumental in strengthening our partnerships with cities and towns across the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Baker in a statement. “The cabinet’s IT grant program allows the state to support critical investments in technology projects and upgrades for municipalities seeking to streamline and improve their local services.”
“The Community Compact Cabinet’s three grant programs – Best Practices, Efficiency and Regionalization, and IT – are engines for improving local services in all 351 cities and towns across Massachusetts,” said Lt. Gov. Polito.
IT Manager Mike Steben said the city applied for this competitive grant in early 2017, and was excited to know that funds will help to support the city’s transition toward a network-based telephone system, commonly known as voice over IP, or VOIP. The upgrade is necessary as the city’s existing telephone system features components that warrant ongoing repair or replacement.
“Voice over IP telephone systems are being implemented worldwide as they offer substantial cost savings to organizations in comparison to older circuit-switched telephone systems,” Steben said.
With VOIP, the city will be able to better control costs as the phone system will be managed by the IT Department. Additionally, rates for both local and long distance calls are substantially less than what the city is currently paying. Combined with the increased productivity that a new phone system will provide to city employees, the upgrade to VOIP is a winning strategy for the City of Pittsfield.”
The system upgrade is set to begin fall 2017. For more information, please contact Steben at 413-499-9356.