In April, New Jersey Government Information Sciences (NJ-GMIS), an association of government IT leaders, held its annual conference at The Palace at Somerset Park. In addition to a talk on generational hiring by Libby Spears, an educator and management consultant, the participants could choose from a full roster of breakout sessions. We covered one such session here. One of the highlights of the event was the bustling show floor, where attendees were able to meet vendors who sell to the New Jersey municipal, county and educational tech ecosystem. As in Part One, we highlight some of the vendors we spoke to there.
Sunrise Systems (Edison) is an IT systems and services outfit that’s been in business for 26 years. “We do a lot of work in the state of New Jersey, with state, county and municipal agencies,” said Jay Ruparel, director of project services.
"Our specialization in the government space is around records management, workflow and online e-government services and solutions, to allow general businesses and the public to transact with the government online,” he told us. “Over the years, we have developed a number of systems that are in use across the state — for example, state-hosted systems such as Artemus, an online financial-statement-disclosure filing system that the state of New Jersey hosts. Every county, municipality, fire district, etc. has access to these systems.”
Ruparel said that most Sunrise systems also include a compliance component, such as in records management or transparency laws (requiring that local officials supply their annual financial-disclosure statements). At the county and municipal level, "we focus mainly on workflow systems, not only to eliminate paper, but to streamline the whole flow of information within departments and agencies. This could be internal documents that are moving around or they could be documents such as invoice payment for vendors. Or it could be online appeals for property owners who want to file appeals for real estate assessments.
"Since last year's conference we have actually introduced two additional systems around enablement,” said Ruparel. He explained that one of them is a mobile application used by municipal and county assessors to help with property assessments. They contract with a third party that handles the appraisal, and everything is collected electronically, including photographs, sketches of the property, the actual data (e.g., if a house is a colonial, Cape Cod or a split level). “Everything is collected electronically and then transported into county and municipal systems electronically.”
The second new system enables the general public, property owners, potential property owners, engineering firms and architects to submit their documentation to county governments completely electronically. “It addresses all of the issues: records management, workflow and online service,” he said.
At the LTW (Pine Brook) booth, Peter J. Lutz, vice president of government and public safety, told us that he had previously worked as the IT director for the City of Newark Police Department, and knew a lot of the people at the GMIS show. “What LTW is really known for is putting in wireless networks for municipalities, private entities and schools, and then overlaying security applications and other applications over the network.” The company provides “very fast, secure networks,” he said.
Lutz added that the company was working on a project for Stevens Institute of Technology, to put smart sensors around the campus and within Hoboken. Sensors measure air quality, noise pollution and other factors that will be fed back into a database that Stevens students are creating. “We also do a lot of emergency-management work.”
According to Bob Strunk, human resources manager at Pivot Point Security (Hamilton), the company is working with some municipalities in New Jersey. “We’re here to make our presence known to everyone in the community,” he told us. “We’re also here to meet some of the people attending the event to see if they’d be interested in joining our team.”
The company, which has been in operation for 15 years, offers a number of solutions for security, including network vulnerability assessments, penetration tests and preparations for adherence to different security standards and guidelines. “We can get organizations ready for different certifications, such as the ISO certifications,” said Strunk. “We are starting to get a lot of requests for HIPAA compliance and third-party vendor risk management, and even forth-party vendor risk management for the suppliers’ suppliers.” By making sure that vendors are secure, “we can make sure that the company at the top is secure from attack coming from the back door of one of their third-party suppliers.”
Kevin Askew, senior director of sales and marketing at TechXtend (Shrewsbury), said that his company, which is a division of Wayside Technology Group (Shrewsbury), came to the show to support GMIS, which he called a great organization. This was TechXtend’s first time at the show. “Our company has been working with New Jersey public sector companies pretty strongly now for about 18 months, so anywhere we can be to come and talk to the customers about how we can bring some value to them in the technology space is a great thing for us.”
TechXtend exhibited at the show with one of its partners, Samsung. Askew said that TechXtend is doing a lot of work in security, including both physical and infrastructure plays, and has begun to go big into digital signage for some county organizations.