Case Study: City of Urbana, Ill.
Name of Project: Intradyn’s all-in-one archiving solution helped the City of Urbana increase FOIA request efficiency.
Type of Project: New Archiver Implementation for Governmental Agency
Urbana is a city with a population of almost 40,000 in central Illinois that is the proud home of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The city’s IT Director, Sanford Hess, explains that he and his team handle “everything that has a power switch” — email, networks, copiers, phones, fax machines, scanning and so on. Since Urbana is a medium-sized city, the IT team deals with information that spans police and fire departments to public works and the mayor’s office.
The city is a centralized organization that uses one internally managed process and on-premise system for email and information sharing.
Like every other local government in the United States, Urbana must field Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and according to Illinois law, officials have five business days to respond in most cases.
In the past, whenever the Urbana team received a FOIA request for email, IT had to stop whatever they were doing to pull the appropriate emails — all of which could take hours and sometimes days. In other words, FOIA requests became high-priority IT tasks, and this only became exacerbated during COVID-19 when the city not only saw an influx of FOIA requests but also had to pivot to virtual operations.
In the fall of 2020, the Urbana IT team was determined to find a more efficient solution. They conducted a quick Internet search and found archiving solutions that could help eliminate tedious email endeavors. The city posted an official Request for Proposal (RFP) toward the end of 2020 and received several responses, one of which was submitted by Intradyn.
Hess and his team compared and contrasted features and received a demo from each business, but ultimately, he was impressed by Intradyn’s price and features, specifically the ability to create delegated access to the city’s legal team. Hess said he also appreciated the fact that Intradyn offered both cloud and on-premise solutions, which was not the case for many of the other competitors.
Intradyn’s on-premise email archiving solution has been the ultimate timesaving tool for Hess and his IT team.
“It’s completely removed us from being a necessary step in the response chain,” he explained. “It’s sped up the [FOIA] process and stopped the drain on our time that we’ve had in the past.” Plus, he added, there’s an additional benefit — the fact that the solution is an archive, which means employees can use it to easily search through their emails instead of sifting through Microsoft Exchange.
The city also requested a solution for social media archiving, for which Intradyn uses a third party. Although there were a few initial challenges, Hess credited Intradyn’s top-notch customer service and explained that they fought through the issues with the third party on Urbana’s behalf.
Hess also appreciates that Intradyn listens intently to customer feedback. He and his team have submitted a number of bug and enhancement requests, and Intradyn has been “very responsive” with efficient feedback; some of the recommendations have even shown up in future software releases.
If you have any questions or would like more information about Intadyn’s archiving solutions for government agencies, reach out to the team today.