Google beat Microsoft and other suitors for the right to replace Novell's GroupWise platform in Los Angeles for 34,000 employees. L.A.'s municipal workers will use Gmail, Google Docs and other Google Apps for their messaging and collaboration needs. CSCI is supporting the three-year cloud computing contract, valued at $7.25 million. While more than 2 million businesses are using Google Apps, the company can't get too comfortable. Microsoft, Cisco, Zoho and a legion of others are offering comparable cloud-based collaboration services.
Los Angeles officially went Google, six weeks after Google beat
Microsoft and other suitors for the right to replace Novell's GroupWise
platform with Google Apps in a contract valued at $7.25 million.
Google officials trumpeted the news in two blog posts
Dec. 14, noting
that L.A.'s 34,000 city employees will
begin using Google Apps, including Gmail for e-mail and Google Docs and other applications
to help share files and work together.
Google has solicited CSC's help in supporting the city's
switch in the contract, which has a three-year base period and two one-year
options. Under the terms of the agreement, CSC will provide systems integration,
solution architecture and design, integration with the city's identity
management system, migration of live and archived e-mail data, and training.
Why L.A. chose Google Apps is simple. Randi Levin, CTO for
the city of Los Angeles, wanted to replace GroupWise and chose Google's cloud
approach from 15 different proposals believing it will save the city millions
of dollars on IT, allowing her staff to shift resources dedicated to e-mail to
"For example, moving to Google will free up nearly
100 servers that were used for our existing e-mail system, which will lower our
electricity bills by almost $750,000 over five years," Levin
wrote in a post
published on Google's Enterprise blog. In short, this decision
helps us to get the most out of the city's IT budget."
Levin said she expects L.A. employees to benefit from instant
messaging, video conferencing, and simultaneous review and editing of documents
by multiple people; the ability to access their e-mail and work data from any
computer thanks to the cloud approach; and 25 times more e-mail storage than
they had with GroupWise.
This will be a calling card Google will use early and
often in negotiations with other municipalities to get them to leave Microsoft
Office Outlook, IBM Lotus Notes, Novell GroupWise and other providers to
Google's cloud computing model, where apps are hosted by Google and piped over
Money is tight in this country-wide recession and
companies are looking to save corporate dollars by using collaboration software
that helps them cut down on server maintenance, as well as travel associated
with business meetings. Google Apps can help with that, Levin and Google argue.
That Los Angeles chose Google over Microsoft and others
for e-mail and collaboration apps could be a good template for other government
agencies weighing whether or not to embrace Google and its cloud.
Some 38,000 employees in government agencies in
Washington, D.C., also use Gmail and other Google Apps. Google is also building
a so-called Government Cloud, a dedicated cloud computing system for
the U.S. government, in 2010.
L.A.'s decision process was rigorous. The top four
proposals gave oral presentations, with CSC's proposal for Google Apps
receiving the highest marks. On Oct. 27, the Los Angeles City Council voted
12-0 in favor of using Gmail over Microsoft Outlook.
While more than 2 million businesses are using
Google Apps, the company can't get too comfortable. Microsoft, Cisco,
Zoho and a legion of others are offering comparable cloud-based