MMCA receives Cisco cybergrant to update technology
Midcoast Maine Community Action has been working with IT consultant Hannah Weddle to improve technology across the agency. Hannah’s tireless work has helped MMCA adapt to cloud-based computing, and she has assessed networking equipment across MMCA’s sites in the midcoast.
MMCA’s technology is outdated, which causes slow internet speeds and network issues and causes security and privacy concerns. But thanks to a cybergrant from Cisco valued at nearly $71,000, MMCA will be able to upgrade the entire network to modern infrastructure.
When Covid-19 caused the State of Maine to shut down most businesses and organization in mid-March of 2021, MMCA was deemed an essential workplace by Governor Janet Mills because the agency is a lifeline to so many people in our community. MMCA’s programs pivoted quickly to providing information and services online, and the community counts on those resources during this challenging time.
MMCA has also been working with MTG, an IT service provider, to learn more about its network health and usage reports, which showed that network outages, lost internet connections due to aging or broken access points, and slow VPN connections were frustrating to staff, who needed newer and more reliable equipment to work seamlessly as a team, especially while remote.
A reliable and secure network will improve HIPAA compliance, allow users to sign paperwork without needing to come to the office in person, and make better use of video conferencing for appointments, coaching, and case management, online classes, and staff meetings. MMCA anticipates that better connectivity will allow the agency to reach and serve more people, especially those who struggle with a lack of reliable transportation.
The improvements are expected to save MMCA money, improve productivity, and make it possible to think more creatively about ways to serve the community online in safe, secure, and innovative ways.