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January/February 2018

IOT renegotiates Verizon contract, saving $50,000 per month

IN.gov releases updated Amazon Alexa skill

Use VM Server Cost Calculator to understand costs

Online Mapping Services

Jabber Chat Client


IOT renegotiates Verizon contract, saving $50,000 per month

After rates for FirstNet, a public safety broadband network, were posted, IOT approached the State’s mobile device provider Verizon to see if they would match competitor rates. After some verizonconversations, Verizon came back with reduced pricing, which either matched or surpassed the rates on FirstNet.

Overall, the State will pay approximately $50,000 less per month. Smartphone lines are being reduced from $42.99 to $37.99 each month, while feature phones are going from $22.99 to $19.99.

Additionally, Verizon offered a $50 credit to any line of service that has been active for the past 12 consecutive months. For the State, that means an approximate credit of $500,000. However, this credit is also extended to anyone, mainly schools and local government, which used the State’s Verizon contract to purchase lines. This results in approximately $1.1 million worth of credit to those entities. The credit will be appearing on an upcoming bill.

In total, the State is anticipating saving $1.1 million on mobile devices in the next 12 months.

IN.gov releases updated Amazon Alexa skill 

Earlier this month, IN.gov released an update to the State of Indiana’s Amazon Alexa skill allowing citizens to check on county-level travel statuses. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security compiles travel statuses through each county’s emergency management agency. The first weekend, the skill was used more than 4,000 times.

To search for travel advisories, say "Alexa, ask Indiana for travel advisories". Alexa will ask for which county users are echosearching for. Users can initially ask for the status of a specific county when making the request.

In order to use the skill, it must first be enabled on your Amazon account. To enable the skill on an Amazon Alexa device, simply say “Alexa, add the State of Indiana skill”, go to https://www.amazon.com/Indiana-Interactive-LLC-IN-GOV/dp/B072PSTW7S or search for the State of Indiana in the Amazon Alexa mobile app.

Travel statuses are, in order of least to most severe, normal, advisory, watch and warning. Most often advisories are updated when localities are experiencing winter weather conditions. The full travel status map and descriptions of the warnings can be found at http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory/.

“Access to information is a key component of preparedness,” said Bryan Langley, Executive Director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. “This important step will allow Hoosiers yet another way to rapidly access information and make informed decisions to keep themselves and their family safe.”

In addition to Travel Advisory, citizens can use Alexa to find contact information for state employees and information about state agencies all by saying, ‘Ask Indiana.’ 

Use VM Server Cost Calculator to understand costs

The next time you are beginning an IT project that requires a server, you can use the new VM Server Cost Calculator to estimate the costs of the hardware you need to support your system. 

As a way to make it easier to understand the costs of virtual servers, IOT created a VM Server Cost Calculator. This tool will collect various requirements of a virtual server, such as disk space, ram, number of CPUs and if it needs to be in the protected zone, then provide an estimated build cost.

The calculator breaks down the price of each of these and then computes how much a virtual server will cost. The user’s email address is automatically captured, so the estimate can be emailed to you with a click of the button.

Go to https://soi.formstack.com/forms/vmservercostcalculator to begin calculating.

Online Mapping Services 

IN.gov offers a wide range of mapping services to help fit the needs of any agency. Through its innovative mapping tools and custom development, IN.gov can build the mapping solution you need to improve the constituent experience online.

Using static or dynamic data points, IN.gov will build a mapping interface that can plot office locations, service areas, or inconnect_mapeven hot spots of activity for your agency.

In addition to automatically geolocating the street address, IN.gov has extensive experience in algorithms that have helped to increase the accuracy of the pin location on the map for critical state locations. This process is one of many valuable services that the IN.gov team can offer within its suite of products.

Project Examples:

  • BMV Branch Locations:

Request your project today at www.in.gov/inwp/2471.htm.

Jabber Chat Client

IOT provides a lot of different tools to help conduct business. One of these tools is Jabber, which is a chat client and a way to control your phone, for users on the new Voice as a Service (VaaS) system.

Jabber can be used to search for state employees and instantly call them (if on the VaaS system) or send them a chat message. One of the great features of Jabber is the ability to share your screen with someone you are chatting with. This is a convenient way to collaborate on a project, looking at the same screen, while speaking on the phone with a coworker.

To share your screen, while in the chat window, click the three dots to open the menu. Click on Share screen.


To learn more about Voice as a Service and how to install Jabber, go to http://www.in.gov/iot/2694.htm.



Register for self-service password management today and avoid calling the IOT Customer Service Team if you forget your password.

Go to https://password.IN.gov

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