PMPA® brings many years of information systems experience to bear on various technology projects to provide services to its Member cities. Currently, a MPLS wide area network links the cities, thereby streamlining their communications and providing the infrastructure for Internet, e-mail, and related services. This system was built upon the existing communications backbone, originally established for a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. This infrastructure was the springboard for the services described below:
Internet Service. The first and most cost effective use of the WAN is in the provision of Internet Service. By using a single, large “pipe” into the MPLS, allows access to the Internet to all of our Members, reducing the costs for individual participants. Included in this service are firewall and other security protections.
Web Site Hosting. Web Site Hosting, which should not be confused with “Web Site Development” or “Web Site Maintenance,” is nothing more than a computer with sufficient hardware to support several web “pages” and that has a presence on the Internet. Contrary to what many may believe, web site hosting is a relatively inexpensive, easy to manage function. At PMPA, we were able to use existing equipment and a minimum amount of effort to begin web hosting. We are currently hosting multiple websites and have the capability of hosting many more for interested members. As part of this service, PMPA can also manage domains for the Member cities. This includes registering Domain Names, updating and maintaining registration, and Domain Name Server (DNS) hosting and maintenance.
E-Mail Services. Typically, e-mail services are part of a service package, usually with a preset number of “free” mailboxes and additional mailboxes for an additional charge. When selecting service providers, this is sometimes an important and potentially expensive consideration. PMPA provides mail services through a managed Exchange server, which also serves as a Scheduling and Collaboration tool. This is a particularly useful way of determining meeting availability time, sharing travel information, providing a legal issue repository, etc. We also support web-based e-mail at the Member’s request.
Instant Messaging. PMPA Utilizes a common Microsoft application known as Skype for Business which is an instant messaging and collaboration tool. This service can be used for presentation sharing and meeting collaboration events as well as day to day communications within your member city.
Voice over IP Services. PMPA utilizes an AVAYA CM solution allowing for multiple tenants to utilize advanced business and call center services at a more cost effective rate due to the centralized and redundant solution. Utilizing Local Survivable Processor (LSP) technology, as long as there is power and a connection to the outside PSTN network you will retain phone services for your business and customers.
Backup and Recovery. Information Technology has evolved into a critical aspect of all business functions. As such, the strategic deployment of infrastructure and equipment is critical. The world of IT is an ever-changing, ever-evolving one, requiring dedicated, focused attention, in order to provide the most effective and fiscally responsible solutions to business needs. PMPA offers that service with a staff of IT personnel whose sole concentration is the planning, development, and deployment of IT infrastructure and services.
Centralized Purchasing. PMPA is able to realize significant savings for the Members through bulk purchasing of computer and communications equipment through our vendor relationships. Many Members have standardized their hardware and office productivity purchases. Not only are maintenance costs reduced, but equipment costs are lower than if purchased independently.
As a member of the American Public Power Association and partnered with groups such as the ISACs and DHS, PMPA also participates in many coordinated events and services that are designed to benefit its members through teamwork and joint action services.