Last week, I met with Palo Alto Chief Information Officer Jonathan Reichental to get a tour of the city’s new Civic Technology Center, an open space inside city hall that centralizes the 30-person information technology staff, call and data centers into one working area.
There are shared standing desks, meeting rooms with colorful, Google-esque furniture and large touch-screen monitors. A common area table serves as a co-working space for guests or city staff that need support or training. I worked there for about an hour, and the guest wifi is extremely fast.
Reichental also showed me around the data center, including the old and new, and ongoing plans to decrease real estate used to house servers. The Palo Alto staff has been working to migrate much of its operations to the cloud under Reichental’s watch.
The call center services approximately 10,000 calls from city employees.
Reichental, always congenial, was excited about the progress that has been in the works for more than a year. The new office maximizes much of the floor plan without feeling overly-cramped and gives the formerly-staid space a clean, modern feel much like you find at any technology startup.