WeConnect, the City of Westerville, OH community data center, was honored with the Innovation in Local Government award on February 27 at the Ohio City/County Management Association’s (OCMA) Winter conference.
The OCMA awards recognize projects throughout the state that promote excellence in local government as well as demonstrate leadership and best practices. OCMA also honors communities for their creative contributions to professional local government management. Programs were judged for their scope, importance and value, as well as effectiveness and quality of performance.
“The Awards Program recognizes the quality contribution and leadership that managers in Ohio make to their communities. OCMA is pleased to provide this acknowledgment of the individuals, communities and programs that have developed creative and successful programs promoting excellence in local government,” said Mark Schwieterman, Chair, OCMA Annual Awards.
The WeConnect project was nominated based on its distinction as the nation’s first municipally owned community data center. Paired with the City’s extensive fiber infrastructure, WeConnect was recognized as a first-of-its-kind open-platform supporting economic and social development in a public/private partnership.
In Westerville, WeConnect has expanded the City’s technology system to create a diverse, accessible, carrier-neutral network for telecommunications and managed/cloud services. The platform was designed to leverage the strengths of the public sector as infrastructure provider with those of the private sector in managed services, generating revenue from co-location (rack space), managed/cloud services and metro Ethernet/IRU.
The program is also a major contributor to Westerville’s economic development objectives. WeConnect provides full-scale technology solutions to businesses in and around Westerville and offers cost-savings models in consolidation and shared services, already in place for Westerville-based community organizations, including the City, Westerville City Schools, the Westerville Public Library and Otterbein University.
“We’re honored to be in a class with the most innovative and effective municipalities in the state,” said David Collinsworth, Westerville City Manager. “There was no model to duplicate when we started building the WeConnect program, but Westerville is committed to innovation and we believe this program will set a new standard in municipal information technology management through its impact on economic development.”
Collinsworth accepted the award in Columbus along with the City’s Chief Information Officer, Todd Jackson. For more information on WeConnect, please visit www.connectionsmadehere.com.