Montgomery County, MD shifts to cloud-based office communications

Montgomery County CIO Sonny Segal has spearheaded the move to reduce costs and increase productivity.

Montgomery County, MD shifts to cloud-based office communications media 1


  • The Montgomery County government in Maryland is transitioning to unified communication as a service (UCaaS).

  • Segal's initiative will replace 12,000 landline phones and myriad conference lines with mobile communications via Broadsoft and Skype.

  • The UCaaS initiative was first proposed in 2016 with full implementation projected by 2020.


Montgomery County's government has shifted from landline phones and conference lines to cloud-based communications since 2016. Chief Information Officer Sonny Segal first proposed the shift to unified communication as a service (UCaaS) for county departments in 2016. To achieve this goal, Montgomery County uses Skype for Business and Broadsoft to replace more than 12,000 office phones as the primary means of communications for county employees.

The move to UCaaS allows employees to use their mobile phones for calls and hold meetings on Skype for Business rather than landline calls on conference lines. Montgomery County's Technology Strategy Plan for 2016-2019 highlighted the importance of cloud-based communications and storage for employee productivity. Migrating office functions to the cloud was also cited as a necessity for county offices to remain agile with changes in day-to-day operations.

An April 2017 memo from the county Department of Technology Services laid out a plan to migrate all county communications to the cloud by 2020. This proposal concluded that no additional budget was required for the move because the savings would negate upfront costs. By June 30, 2018, a full pilot of UCaaS was underway in Montgomery County.

Segal and the Department of Technology Services reported in April 2018 that landline phones had been reduced from 11,536 to 9,300 from 2017 to 2018. This report also showed that 32 fax lines and five conferences lines were moved to Broadsoft. County officials also migrated three staff lines to Skype for Business.

Montgomery County's UCaaS initiative continues a trend of updating information technology structures to keep up with new challenges. The Department of Technology Services budget increased by 5.5% from the 2016 fiscal year to the 2018 fiscal year. This uptick in the IT budget is due in part to the county's investment in endpoint vulnerability remediation and substantial oversight of each device connected to county networks. Montgomery County was recognized for its cybersecurity measures with a first-place finish in the 2018 Digital Counties Survey.

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Montgomery County, MD

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