San Leandro’s IT manager, Tony Batalla, has been promoted to the new position of chief technology officer and innovation officer as the city lays the groundwork for some major IT initiatives in coming months.
“Tony has proven to be highly effective in leveraging technology to improve the efficiency of city operations,” City Manager Jeff Kay said in a press release announcing Batalla’s promotion. “Through his work in this new role, I’m confident that we can continue to improve the services we provide to the community and support ongoing innovation efforts throughout the community.”
Batalla told Techwire in a phone interview Thursday that he’s thrilled and excited about his new role, in which he’ll oversee both the city’s Innovation Office and its Information Technology Division.
The city is also actively recruiting for an innovation technology analyst, a role that would report to Batalla.
“The creation of the chief technology officer and innovation technology analyst positions represent the latest step in San Leandro’s drive to become a center for innovation,” said Kay, who made the appointment.
Batalla, a San Leandro resident who grew up in the East Bay, has been serving as the city’s IT manager since February 2014. The Alameda County city has a population of about 90,500. Its IT department has a budget of about $5 million, including salaries.
“The city adopted its Smart Cities strategy and Fiber Optics Master Plan in September,” Batalla said, “and this year’s emphasis will be on intelligent corridors and data analytics. We’re looking at cybersecurity, continuing to beef up our internal infrastructure. The ERP system is still a few years out.”
Vendors should keep an eye out for some planned opportunities:
- The city will be releasing RFPs for a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) system later this year.
- RFPs for a core network upgrade will also be coming.
- The city website will be upgraded.
- The city wants a Web-based mapping tool that can be used with GIS databases.
Batalla said the city is building a system of internal “triggers,” so that when a building permit application is filed, for example, all key departments are automatically alerted and looped in — IT, telecommunications, transportation and public works, among others.
“We can be really opportunistic and build connections to the various departments in our agency,” Batalla said, “so that when these opportunities arise, you’re able to capitalize.”
For vendors who want to capitalize on the city’s ongoing innovation, here’s how: “Email’s usually the best way. If they’ve done their homework, (read) the Fiber Optic Master Plan, and can add something of value, send me an email,” Batalla said. “I can read it, click the link, then follow up with them. Identify right up front that there’s a good reason to connect.”