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The first one’s free

Nevada County’s Information Systems Department recently received almost $160,000 worth of free software, equipment and services from various vendors. Did CIO Steve Monaghan appear on “Let’s Make a Deal,” or was there another reason behind these consolation gifts?

These companies have probably been noticing how Nevada County has been grabbing these free samples, like Marlon Brando wielding his own spoon at a 31 Flavors. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the ulterior motives. Once a dependency is built on their product, they can charge anything they want for upgrades and consultants, all while getting free beta testing.

Prior projects which were “initially” free, like the VoIP phones, ended up costing thousands more in upgrades and labor to make them work, and they’re rumored to still be very problematic.

Unfortunately, Monaghan doesn’t see this way and continues to throw money at these hopeless projects, despite repeated warnings from other counties who have also been recipients of similar products. If this new equipment is anything like the prior “free” stuff, it’ll wind-up costing the county thousands. The damage is already done, but at least Monaghan will get his name in IT Salesman Weekly again.

Jad Funk

Nevada City