Technology changes underway at courthouse
The Falls County Commissioners have been toying with the idea of updating the technology in the courthouse since it was brought up by Falls County Judge Jay Elliot in an early January meeting.
The idea is to update all of the computers in the many offices that fall under county authority. This includes the offices within the Falls County Courthouse, the Falls County Road and Bridge Office, and the Falls County Sheriff's Office.
The County purchased a server from Engineer Austin to help better secure the the files held on county computers. According to Lynn Haag, President of Engineer Austin, the work began the week of Feb. 17 and the transition is going smoothly.
It was funded by county “Judicial Technology” account.
After extensive debate over the course of the previous meetings, the Falls County Commissioners voted to also purchase all 27 new computers from Engineer Austin as well. Along with those 27 computers will come 3 laptop upgrades, support with data migration from all old computers, and Microsoft Office 365 licenses for the new computers.
They did an extensive comparison with Dell to see if it would be worthwhile to buy the systems elsewhere, but Dell came up short due to support.
“Dell uses all proprietary parts that we can't replace if we have any problems with them.” Haag explained to commissioners.
“With ours, we have parts in stock all the time,” the engineer continued” “in case there are in any problems.”
Engineer Austin would be providing the migration support whether the computers were bought through them or not. They also have a standing contract with the County for technological support.
There was also discussion about whether new monitors and keyboards were essential in this process.
Precinct 2 Commissioner F.A. Green questioned whether the monitors currently being used would be compatible with the new computers.
“Would it be better to go ahead to get a monitor with the computer as opposed to just upgrading the computer by itself?” he questioned the engineer.
Haag immediately responded, “I recommended the monitors as an option because I know some of the monitors are failing or getting worse.”
Green felt that engineer had better expertise than county staff at accessing the needs of each monitor.
When the motion was made by Commissioner Green to engage in the contract with Engineer Austin, the stipulation was added that there was room to add monitors where deemed necessary by the technological engineer. It was seconded by Jason Willberg and passed unanimously when taken to a vote.