IT Optimization


Since launching the IT Optimization program in fiscal year 2012, DAS OIT and agencies have successfully centralized IT infrastructure and established a common direction for our IT community. Through these IT Optimization efforts, we have documented savings of over $103 million dollars over the past 30+ months. As a result, DAS OIT and agencies refocused IT spending on things that make Ohio a better place to live and do business. In fact, the State “flipped” IT spending from being 80% infrastructure and 20% application focused to currently 50% infrastructure and 50% applications. We continue to achieve great things together – because it takes all of us, working together and in concert, to continue to make the difference that we are making for Ohio and our citizens.

We have come a long way… but there is more to do! The progress we have made over the last four years is tremendous and could not have been achieved without your hard work and support. We need to build on this momentum to continue to increase efficiencies, improve service, reduce complexity and realize savings.

Ohio’s IT Optimization has laid a foundation for success. DAS OIT and agencies will continue their work on the following three priorities:

  • Creating high-quality citizen and business experiences with State programs
  • Supporting State employees with common and efficient enterprise solutions
  • Providing secure and reliable information technology solutions

Additional details regarding Ohio’s three year IT strategy are outlined within the “Ohio IT Strategy: January 2016” document, which is available on this IT Optimization Website (Resources Tab/Strategic Resources).

Stu Davis
State CIO/
Assistant Director

Scheduled Office 365 Outage and Changes to Webmail Login Screen - 02.09.2017

The State of Ohio is implementing a new Single Sign-on system, which is scheduled to go live over the weekend of March 2nd. This implementation is a step in our long term strategy, moving from Active Directory as the master source of record to SAML 2.0 federation with the Ohio Digital Experience. This will enable the ability to use SAML and other authentication mechanisms to perform Single Sign-on to applications from 

A statewide outage is scheduled for Saturday, March 3rd at 2:00AM during cutover activities. The expected duration is 2-3 hours but could extend if there are issues. We will keep customers informed through the CSC. During this time, all Office 365 applications (e.g. Exchange, SharePoint) and ActiveSync will be unavailable. There may be additional outages required for unforeseen circumstances prior to or after go live.

With the new Single Sign-on system, the following changes will take place:

  1. When you log in to Webmail, you will only need to enter your SOUID in the ODX login screen, instead of
  2. The login page for Webmail is changing
  3. And if your workstation is on the ID domain, you will see true single sign-on to Office365 web applications

Current State:

Current login page for webmail









Future State:

Future login page for webmail

Please direct questions and inquiries to the ODX team at

Ohio Benefits County Shared Services Achieves Engagement Milestone - 02.02.2018

In an effort to streamline health and human services program delivery, standardize business processes, and improve client outcomes, the Office of Health Transformation (OHT) and the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) launched the County Shared Services (CSS) program in 2013. Since its inception, CSS has continued to steadily expand both its participating counties as well as the innovative services provided.

In January 2018, CSS achieved a significant engagement milestone when 15 additional counties expressed their interest in participating in CSS. These 15 counties bring the overall number of counties either live on the CSS platform or engaging in active discussions with the Ohio Benefits Project Team to 70. Several key benefits of the CSS platform include: a call center infrastructure with one phone number for clients to call, the ability to receive Medicaid, SNAP, and TANF phone applications, and tighter integration with the Enterprise Document Management and Workflow system (EDMS) and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solutions. 

The significance of this accomplishment was lauded by both state and county leadership. Greg Moody, the Director of the Office of Health Transformation, who served as the early driving force behind CSS stated, “OHT is excited by the on-going growth and progress of the County Shared Services program. County Shared Services has been a priority for OHT since Day 1 as it enables two of our key objectives – to streamline health and human services as well as to simplify and integrate eligibility determination. This is great news and I look forward to continued progress.”

Joel Potts, the Executive Director for the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association (OJFSDA), highlighted the counties excitement regarding this achievement when he said, “County Shared Services continues to be a testament to OHT and DAS’ commitment to transforming the way that Counties serve our clients. Shared Services has fundamentally enhanced our County operations, which ultimately allows for a better experience for our clients. We appreciate the State’s leadership and support on this critical initiative and look forward to continued County participation in Shared Services.”County Shared Services Map

CSS is the result of a close collaboration between DAS and county leadership. As the Ohio Benefits Program Director, Deven Mehta leads this collaborative effort. He and his team work on a weekly basis with counties to advance the CSS program agenda and drive efficiencies across the participating counties. Upon achieving this milestone, Deven stated “The recent addition of interested Counties marks a significant achievement with 70 counties actively being engaged with County Shared Services. The Ohio Benefits project has worked diligently to engage our County partners and promote the great benefits of Shared Services participation. This recent achievement is a recognition of all of the hard work and collaboration between the Ohio Benefits Project Team and our County partners. I look forward to continued collaboration and additional Counties joining Shared Services.”

The map shows the 39 counties that are active on the CSS platform as well as counties that are actively engaged in discussions. Counties work collaboratively within groups, across county lines, and within virtual service centers.

For any specific questions related to County Shared Services, please contact Deven Mehta (

DAS Enterprise SharePoint Service Successfully Implemented with the Department of Medicaid - 01.26.2018

DAS OIT is continuing to drive innovation through the expansion and enhancement of the SharePoint Service offering to support the business needs and increase productivity in Ohio’s agencies, boards and commissions.

DAS has been working collaboratively with the Department of Medicaid (ODM) to migrate their current SharePoint 2013 environment to the new SharePoint 2016 service. This new, best in class platform went live successfully in early January 2018.

Medicaid Director Barbara Sears recently shared the following thoughts regarding the successful go live: “The ODM SharePoint 2016 implementation highlights another great partnership with DAS to launch an exciting and transformative technology that helps our department streamline operations and drive efficiency. The project has been a great experience for the department and we are excited by the new capabilities SharePoint 2016 brings our team.”

The migration to SharePoint 2016 provides ODM, and other future agencies, access to a variety of new benefits.


  • Single Sign-on - Networked and VPN users logging in with their OAKS ID won’t have to separately log into the new SharePoint environment;
  • A Secure Portal for Collaboration - The upgraded SharePoint service provides agencies, boards, and commissions the ability to better control and lock down information they need to ensure data stays ‘within the walls’ of the agency;
  • Access to Latest and Greatest Technology - The new upgraded SharePoint service is architected and governed to ensure upgradeability to newer versions of SharePoint;
  • Improved Search Experience - Ever forget the site on which you stored a document? Users will be able to execute a search in Office 365 and see documents and sites in SharePoint Online, as well as sites and documents you have permission to across all the SharePoint sites within the SharePoint Service. This ability will be available in early Q2/2018;
  • Centralized Support and Management - DAS OIT’s vendor provides all administrative and maintenance functions to support SharePoint and are governed by defined SLA’s. With these in place, the users can focus on providing collaborative solutions to solving problems with SharePoint and related technologies without the worry of the mechanics of the solution;
  • Improved Reporting, Training and Governance - Access to custom reports that can include usage, deprecated sites, user permissions, governance issues, etc. There also will be an adoption and training site to keep users up-to-date on changes to the service, what other agencies are doing in SharePoint, site tips and tricks, etc.

DAS is currently engaging with additional agencies who are interested in migrating to SharePoint 2016. If your agency is interested in bringing this transformational and best in class SharePoint service to your teams, please contact Deven Mehta to learn more.

Infant Mortality Data Analytics Project Kickoff - 01.19.2018

On January 16, 2018, the first data analytics exploratory project, Infant Mortality, was kicked off by Director Lance Himes from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) as lead agency with the Ohio Departments of Medicaid (ODM), Job and Family Services (JFS), and Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS). As Director Himes reiterated, the goal of the Infant Mortality project is to expand and enhance predictive models and profiling models to determine those at-risk for infant mortality in Ohio and design targeted interventions. “As a state enterprise, we have a significant amount of data collected by multiple agencies that can help provide additional insight into infant mortality in Ohio. That is why we are pursuing this data analytics project,” said ODH Director Lance Himes. “Our goal is to use our collective data and information to help more Ohio babies reach their first birthdays and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes.” 

Sandra Oxley, Chief of Maternal, Child and Family Health from ODH followed Director Himes and provided a program overview, detailing Ohio’s drive for intervention and action regarding infant mortality, particularly among Ohio’s African American mothers and babies. The kickoff spotlighted that partnering agencies are now able to share data on a single platform due to the role the Ohio Data Analytics program within DAS is playing as “facilitators and enablers” of this important initiative. Derek Bridges of DAS discussed the state’s innovative analytics program, support structure, and cutting edge industry tools for secure data sharing and analytical workloads. “I hope you’re as energized as I am,” Bridges said,” to contribute to such an important effort and have the opportunity to use cutting edge approaches to improving outcomes for Ohioans.” 

After receiving more than a dozen vendor proposals, the state has access to the right mix of analytical experience and domain expertise. The joint project team is approaching the initiative with a Targeted Intervention Roadmap, designed to identify novel, actionable interventions to reduce and prevent Ohio’s infant mortality rate.

Over the next six months, the project will address four key questions:

• Which mothers and infants are most at risk of infant death?
• Which families are most likely to benefit from targeted interventions?
• Which families are most likely to participate in targeted interventions?
• Which intervention programs yield the best return on investment?

For the Infant Mortality Kickoff presentation deck, please click here

The Ohio Data Analytics program will unlock state data that drives meaningful social change to make a difference for Ohioans – fixing communities, restoring hope to those most in need, identifying inefficiencies, creating jobs and economic growth, adjusting policies, and predicting and preparing for otherwise unexpected events. For more information or to meet with the team for a program overview of Ohio Data Analytics please reach out to

MARCS to Host FirstNet Kickoff Conference - 01.12.2018

As mentioned in a previous newsletter, the State of Ohio recently decided to opt-in to FirstNet. The FirstNet public/private partnership venture is aimed at building, operating, and maintaining a nationwide wireless broadband data network designed to meet the distinct communications needs of public safety: interoperability, security, availability, and reliability at the speed and level of efficiency required by first responders. This new wireless network will be built at no cost to the state.

On January 17, 2018, Ohio officially begins its effort to implement FirstNet when MARCS hosts the State of Ohio FirstNet Kickoff Conference. Dusty Rhoads, Branch Chief for the Office of Emergency Communications Department of Homeland Security, will be a featured speaker at the event. Mr. Rhoads will address the importance of statewide land mobile radio (LMR) systems such as MARCS and the augmenting technologies provided by FirstNet that fulfill some of the recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission Report.

For additional information, visit FirstNet.

Enterprise ePayment Gateway Service - RFP Awarded - 01.05.2018 

DAS recently awarded a request for proposals (RFP), for an Enterprise ePayment Gateway Service. This award is the result of a re-bid opportunity for Ohio’s ePayment service and CBOSS, Inc., the current provider, was successful in winning the state’s business again. The new contract includes a rate card for professional services that will provide a means for agencies without ePayment expertise in-house to take advantage of the enterprise service. As with the prior contract, the gateway pricing is transaction based. However, the state was able to secure a slight decrease in the rate, which will deliver savings to agencies who utilize the service. 

CBOSS, Inc. will continue to provide a vendor hosted, operated and maintained ePayment gateway that can process Automated Clearing House (ACH), credit card, debit card, and other payment transactions as well as support online bill presentment in support of agency systems and processes. In addition, the ePayment service will be capable of processing payments on various platforms, including Web, mobile devices, and IVR (interactive voice response). 

Special thanks to Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel's Office; the Ohio Office of Budget and Management; the Ohio Departments of Education, Medicaid, and Public Safety; and our partners at DAS for their assistance in developing the requirements and evaluating the responses to this RFP.

Coming Soon - 12-character Passwords - 12.22.2017

Password requirements for enterprise (e.g., OAKS) and DAS managed systems will move from eight to 12 characters on January 19th. This change includes systems that sync with the DAS Active Directory ID environment (e.g., password that most of State of Ohio employees use to sign into their workstations and access Office 365 email and SharePoint).  Therefore, users changing passwords on their standard reset cycle on or after January 19th will need to select passwords which are 12 characters or longer.

The benefits of a longer password include strengthened security to protect the state’s workforce and systems from cyber attacks, alignment with password best practices, and compliance with DAS policies and standards.

Longer passwords are commonly referred to as “passphrases” and require creativity to both select and recall. Passphrase creation best practices include:

  • Using a combination of at least 12 alpha numeric (upper and lower case, and numbers), and special characters (e.g., $, &, %, #); and
  • Creatively combined and seemingly unrelated words that create a complex password that can withstand attack.

Please note that passwords found in a dictionary create risk for a “dictionary attack.” A dictionary attack is when a bad actor uses an automated tool to take control of a user account with words found in a dictionary as the password.

Twelve-character passwords can be adopted now before becoming required in January. In addition, eight-character passwords can be used until they expire, even after the change is implemented.

Additional password changes to look for in 2018 include:

  • Shortening password validity from 90 days to 60 days; and
  • Locking accounts after a set number of unsuccessful login attempts.

For questions or comments regarding password policy updates, please contact Carolyn Jordan of the DAS Office of Information Security and Privacy at

Technology Board

A newly created Technology Board will help to enhance enterprise IT alignment and ensure agency interests are represented within the IT governance process and duplicative activities are minimized. The board aligns agencies according to common purpose within five Lines of Business (LoB). Agency CIOs will be aligned by LoB to facilitate the discussion of opportunities, issues, and concerns within their partner agencies. We have selected five Line of Business Leads (LoB Leads) to drive long-term acceptance and sustainability of IT solutions that support the State’s objectives for IT Optimization. The LoB, their associated LoB Leads, and partner agencies are organized as follows:

Line of
Health and Human Services
Michelle Burk
Department of Developmental Disabilities
Developmental Disabilities
Job & Family Services
Mental Health & Addiction Services
Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (formerly Rehabilitation Services Commission)
Veterans Services
Business and Industry
Mark Walker
Department of Taxation
Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
Industrial Commission
Public Utilities Commission
Secretary of State*
Administration and Finance
Michael Carmack
Department of Education
Administrative Services
Budget and Management
House of Representatives*
Legislative Information Systems*
Treasurer of State*
Public Safety & Criminal Justice
Vinko Kucinic
Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
Adjutant General
Attorney General*
Public Defender*
Public Safety
Rehabilitation & Correction
Supreme Court*
Inspector General
Youth Services
Infrastructure and Environment
Rick Magni Environmental Protection Agency
Environmental Protection
Natural Resources
Ohio Turnpike & Infrastructure Commission*
* Voluntary participation
 Agency Engagement Dashboard 06.01.2016


IT Optimization Resource Documents

Strategic Resources


Agency Briefings

Business Partner Briefings

All Hands Presentations

Workforce Resources