October 2009


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Creating a Safe, Sustainable Community in a Challenging Economy
5 Ways a Well-Planned Technology Implementation Adds Value

Joy Clarke-Holmes,
Director of Local Government Market
Jim Nannini,
Director of Network Integration Solution Sales
Johnson Controls, Inc.

White Paper

Everywhere we look, technology-powered public infrastructure is enabling government to execute jobs faster, better, and more efficiently than ever before. Government executives and elected officials are aligning rapid advances in technology to their public policy goals, and can now take advantage of economic stimulus dollars set aside for technology to achieve great things for their constituents:

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Technology advancements are allowing communities across the country to create the safe, sustainable environments a growing number of citizens demand. In a study commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Mayors¹, more than half of adults surveyed – 56% – believe their local government should “go green” and make environmentally friendly and energy efficient changes throughout their local community, even if they may have to significantly change their lifestyle.

While there appears to be support for the implementation of sustainability initiatives, local governments are under increasing pressure to reduce technology spend. Beginning in 2009, according to a recent survey released by Gartner Research², virtually all IT project investments within local governments will undergo a value-for-money reassessment.

  • IT operational spending will be reduced 10-15%, with an additional 10-15% undergoing closer scrutiny.

  • From 10-40% of ongoing IT projects will be affected, with an additional 20-30% undergoing stronger scrutiny and assessment.

Clearly, the mandate for local governments is to pursue technology initiatives where constituent expectations can be met and where value can be measured and communicated.

Fortunately, the technology has matured so that it is now possible to deliver meaningful Return on Investment data. And funding options are available like never before to local governments. Performance Contracting (a tool that enables communities to leverage future savings to pay for improvements) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also known as the “2009 stimulus bill,” make it possible for communities to stretch dwindling operational funds.

Opportunities do exist for local governments to create a safe, sustainable community – even in a challenging economy. And as this white paper describes, a well-planned implementation will deliver the strongest public value impact.

#1: A well-planned technology implementation adds value when it’s comprehensive.

City and county governments get the most from their budgets through a comprehensive approach to sustainable community practices. A well-planned strategy combines technology, implementation expertise and funding strategies to reduce waste, improve the environment, upgrade technology and reduce operating expenses.

A wireless infrastructure, for example, can be the foundation to support a variety of advanced applications for local government, leveraging capital investment and operating costs. Consider the possibilities:

Success Story Snapshot:
The city of Hollywood, Florida is streamlining many of its city functions through the use of wireless technology. The citywide Wi-Fi also enables the community to increase efficiencies across multiple departments.

The technology improvements allow Hollywood to reduce structural costs and streamline city functions. As a result, it is able to deliver services to its citizens more efficiently, saving the city $23 million over the 15-year performance contract.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] #2: A well-planned implementation adds value when it creates operational efficiencies and increases revenue.

As evidenced by the forecast for the city of Hollywood, the implementation of smart technology solutions creates measurable efficiencies and savings. But you might be surprised to learn how broadly those efficiencies reach. As an example, let’s take a closer look at the operational efficiencies delivered by an Automated Meter Reading/Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMR/AMI).

Most communities lose 10-20% of their water due to undetected leaks and aging meters. Today’s technology can improve a community’s water loss profile. With it, water, gas and electric utilities gather utility usage data from residential and commercial customers without manually reading meters. Instead, new meters contain a transmitter that remotely sends meter readings to the municipality. With a guaranteed level of read rate and read rate accuracy, this Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) delivers a host of benefits:

#3: A well-planned implementation adds value when it meets constituent expectations.

Today’s citizens expect local government to take advantage of technology. They want real-time access to information and the ability to conduct routine transactions online. They insist their communities use technology to enhance public safety. They demand local government utilize technology advancements to implement “green” initiatives. Community leaders who accept and embrace these expectations will be better positioned to attract new business, and recruit and retain bright minds.

Among college graduates, some studies show the commitment to “green” has become so important, even starting salaries take a back seat to “greenness” when students evaluate opportunities. While prevalent among members of Generation Y, the attitude toward social and environmental responsibility extends beyond the college campus. A U.S. Conference of Mayors’ survey shows the majority of adults think green technology will create new local jobs make their communities better places to live. Local government leaders must be prepared to meet this growing set of eco-expectations through a demonstrated commitment to sustainability.

In the years since 9/11, public safety has also been top-of-mind among the citizenry. Communities must address the heightened awareness of threat vulnerability. During an emergency or disaster situation, community leaders need the ability to communicate effectively to ensure the safety and security of all residents.

Video surveillance, for example, is becoming an increasingly important tool for enhancing public safety. Advancements in video surveillance technology combine the benefits of digital video recording with sophisticated software that improves the way images can be monitored, analyzed and archived. Cameras can provide detailed images of faces and license plates, can zoom-in on suspicious activities and are equipped with analytics technology where cameras are programmed to recognize certain menacing activities, such as someone pointing a gun at another person, and set off alarms when criminal activity is spotted.

Success Story Snapshot:
Cook County, Illinois is home to the nation’s largest broadband interoperable first responders’ communications system. Called Project Shield, its goal is to enhance the safety and security of residents by putting directly in the hands of first responders the tools to manage emergencies swiftly and efficiently.

Project shield includes:

The system serves as a model for communities around the world to gain a better understanding of how an integrated wireless communications system meets constituent expectations for a safer, more livable community, and simultaneously delivering value by creating efficiencies.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] #4: A well-planned implementation creates value by taking advantage of funding opportunities.

While the opportunity exists like never before to use technology to improve public safety, create connected communities and generate savings, a well-planned implementation creates value when it takes advantage of available sources of funding. Both Performance Contracting, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also known as the “2009 stimulus bill,” make it possible for communities to stretch dwindling operational funds; to improve public services and create energy efficiency – without budgetary pressure.

Performance Contracting is a procurement tool that enables communities to leverage future savings, guaranteed by a third party, to pay for improvements made today. Once the third party contract is fulfilled, ongoing savings can be used by local governments to implement additional infrastructure improvements.

Performance contracting allows communities to do more with less.

Stimulus dollars complement, and can be used to leverage, Performance Contracting dollars. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was passed into law in February of 2009 and is designed to create and save jobs, jumpstart the economy, and build the foundation for long-term economic growth. The Act directs federal agencies to quickly invest in improved energy efficiency and modernization projects, as well as to increase the use of renewable energy sources. The ARRA includes, for example, $4.7 Billion dollars to improve broadband access for public safety agencies.

Because states are encouraged to use ARRA funding to support long-term projects, Performance Contracting can be used to either fund ARRA projects outright, leading to savings sooner in the process, or the funds can be used to stretch the project to include more longterm efficiency measures, such as renewable energy, making both the short- and long-term energy impact greater ability to bundle short payback.

A well-planned technology implementation takes advantage of these funding opportunities to maximize impact and minimize drain on operational budgets.

#5: A well-planned implementation creates value when accomplished by experts.

To meet the challenges posed by creating a safe, sustainable community in today’s economy, local governments need experienced, highly capable partners with deep resources. Johnson Controls has a track record of successful performance on thousands of energy efficiency, facilities improvement and integrated technology projects.

Local Government Experience
Johnson Controls improves the physical and financial health of communities. The company partners with local governments to develop comprehensive programs that support the achievement of a sustainable community – from green buildings and renewable energy to water and infrastructure improvements. As a community partner, Johnson Controls provides the technology expertise and funding strategies to implement projects that reduce waste, improve the environment, upgrade technology and reduce operating expenses.

Performance Contracting Experience
Johnson Controls has an active portfolio of over $4.6 billion in performance contracting guarantees – the largest portfolio in the U.S. The critical component of the Performance Contracting program provides customers with annual performance data to share over the life of the contract. This measurement and verification ensures those projects are successfully managed.

Technology Contracting Experience
Johnson Controls® Technology Contracting™ is positioned to make your technology vision a reality. Designed for a world that needs information anytime, anywhere, Technology Contracting provides the network infrastructure required for wired or wireless connectivity throughout a community.

Johnson Controls’ dedicated team of experts deliver cost effective project execution through more than 150 branch offices. Our branch offices understand the local conditions, regulations, suppliers and small business alliances that make every project unique. In addition, Johnson Controls has a fully staffed ARRA Program Office, which leads our ARRA efforts. Staffed with a cross-functional team of analysts, engineers, attorneys and grant writers, our ARRA experts are charged with understanding and maintaining the standards required by ARRA.


A well-planned technology implementation adds value when it is comprehensive, creates operational efficiencies, meets constituent expectations, takes advantage of funding opportunities and is accomplished by experts. Johnson Controls delivers on all counts. Let us show you how to create a safe, sustainable community in this challenging economy.

¹ U.S. Conference of Mayors/Zogby Poll, 2008
² Government IT Spending, Gartner Research, Dec. 2008


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