Development offices in nine counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania soon will be linked to the Southwestern Pennsylvania Corp., thanks to a donation by Microsoft Inc. of $450,000 worth of computer software and licenses.
The software is a key component of the proposed Smart Building-Smart Region initiative, whereby the Regional Enterprise Tower on Sixth Avenue will become a hub of economic development information for the region through advanced connectivity and networking capabilities that will reach out to the nine-county region.
Some of the software, 50 copies of Microsoft 2000 Professional, a suite of applications, will be distributed to economic development offices in Pittsburgh and Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Additionally, the software will be offered to Regional Enterprise Tower tenants as an incentive to accessing the state-of-the-art intranet and Internet systems.
Microsoft has provided the Regional Enterprise Tower, the headquarters of Southwestern Pennsylvania Corporation, with a network server application called Back Office. The server provides network users with access to files, printers, e-mail, e-commerce and other Web site applications.
The use of the software among Regional Enterprise Tower tenants and the city and counties development offices is the first step in expanding regional data sharing, particularly geographic information system data.
The value of having a single platform with which to share our data and the work that we do cannot be overestimated, says Jim Scahill, SPC chairman.
The network will be administered by 3 Rivers Connect, a nonprofit corporation that will transform the Regional Enterprise Tower into a smart building by installing new wiring, an intranet and high-speed Internet connections to tenant work stations and the Regional Showcase planned for the lobby.