Water tower in Seguin, Texas

Apr 05 2024

TAGITM 2024: Seguin’s Partnership with Extreme Networks Pays Off

The Texas city’s CIO credits his vendor with helping to boost cybersecurity and contain spending.

When Shane McDaniel became CIO of Seguin, Texas, in March 2018, he was surprised at the state of the city’s legacy network infrastructure. 

“It contained things that I truly did not know still existed,” McDaniel told a panel at the annual conference of the Texas Association of Government IT Managers on Thursday.

The city truly needed a modernized network, and about a year later, McDaniel settled on a partnership with Extreme Networks after consulting a Gartner Magic Quadrant, he said during TAGITM 2024 in San Antonio.

Today, the city operates about 40 municipal facilities, and all but two of them reside on a new fiber network. Seguin’s work with Extreme Networks has improved the city’s cybersecurity posture, reduced technical debt, improved budgeting, and helped to standardize platforms and frameworks, McDaniel said in a conversation with Brian O’Connor, Extreme Networks’ public sector director.

Click the banner below to explore IT modernization solutions for local government.


Network Modernization Enhances Cybersecurity for Seguin

About half of states currently have adopted StateRAMP, a nonprofit organization that sets cybersecurity standards for state governments, O’Connor noted. He predicted all states will adopt it by the end of 2025, leading them to comply with the “stringent requirements” of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Special Publication 800-53

Seguin’s work with Extreme Networks has positioned it to meet the cybersecurity requirements of the NIST framework, McDaniel agreed. 

In the past several months, Seguin also has begun to use AI cybersecurity tools with support from Extreme Networks, he added: “I know there is a lot more opportunity; we are in the early stages.”

Although McDaniel agreed that network modernization with Extreme Networks reduced his city’s technical debt, he credited an investment in his workforce for most of the success in that area. With a philosophy of promoting internally, McDaniel hires entry-level staff and invests in their careers to grow their expertise. 

“My goal is to hire at entry level and start building them up,” McDaniel said. “We don’t have a lot of turnover.”

Seguin’s 13-employee IT office receives regular training and conferencing opportunities. The city also has a reimbursement program for obtaining key IT certifications.

READ MORE: Seguin wards off ransomware with anti-phishing capabilities. 

Establishing Baselines and Standards Helps the City Control Costs

The stability in Seguin’s IT workforce has simplified baselining for the city’s enterprise, which in turn helps to address budgeting challenges, McDaniel said.

“The more baselined our environment is, the more we can do with less, which is how we operate in the city of Seguin,” he said.

Identifying go-to vendors for each of the city’s major requirements has empowered McDaniel to establish baselines and standardization. So, when Seguin has a requirement for any project ranging from security cameras to cabling, it turns to a regular partner to meet that requirement.

Speaking off the cuff, McDaniel said Seguin renews 100 different licenses annually, and those vendor partnerships help to maintain the established baseline that works to keep spending on budget.

Fruitful IT Environment Supports Innovative Solutions

Seguin’s networking posture has enabled it to innovate relatively quickly over the past few years. For example, its work in growing digital government earned it recognition as a finalist in IDC’s Smart City Awards for civic engagement.

“It takes a vision and communication,” O’Connor said in congratulating McDaniel on the achievement.

McDaniel said he has embedded an IT employee in the city’s planning office, and thanks to their cooperative work, Seguin has gone from having no online permitting processes to 101 electronic permitting processes within the past two years.

“It works like a champ,” McDaniel said.

Keep this page bookmarked for our coverage of the TAGITM 2024 Annual conference. Follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @StateTech and the official conference Twitter account, @TAGITM. Join the conversation using the hashtag #TAGITM.

Thomas Faull/Getty Images

Become an Insider

Unlock white papers, personalized recommendations and other premium content for an in-depth look at evolving IT