Google Apps Gets the OK from LA

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-08-05 Print this article Print

Roughly two weeks ago, media (and Microsoft, quietly) jeered when Google missed its implementation deadline with the city of Los Angeles for its Google Apps contract.

Google last year positioned this contract, which is supposed to provide the city's 34,000 workers with e-mail and other collaboration applications, as a shining example of how the Google Apps suite is besting Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite.

The contract was expected to be fulfilled June 30 and while some 10,000 employees were shuttled over to Google Apps from Novell GroupWise, security concerns among the Los Angeles Police Department slowed the full implementation.

The delay has lifted, Google said in a brief note August 4. LA's city council voted to complete the city's move to Google Apps.

Still, Google has to compensate LA for the hundreds of thousands of dollars it stands to lose as a result of the delay.

Google Director of Operations Jocelyn Ding said more than 10,000 City employees are already using Google Apps.

She expects all of the city's employees, including the 13,000 members of the LAPD and other public safety officials, will be using Google Apps. Ding added:

LA's move to the cloud is the first of its kind, and it's not surprising that it's taken a little longer than anticipated to identify and address all of the City's unique requirements.

Microsoft would tell you it's not surprising at all that Google was late, so little does it respect the Google Apps suite. See this derisive post from Andrew Kisslo, an Office senior product manager, where he likens the Gone Google ad campaign to New Coke.

We all know how New Coke worked out. Amish farmers wouldn't use it as paint thinner for barns in Pennsylvania.

Kisslo's analogy is even more telling when you consider that he obviously sees Microsoft as Coke Classic. With Office commanding 90 percent-plus of the world's productivity software market, it's hard to argue with this sentiment.

But I will anyway. Coke Classic has the perfect blend of citrus and spices. Office isn't quite everything to everyone, which is why Microsoft had to build BPOS. So maybe BPOS is New Coke? I digress.

Just as Google beat Microsoft to the cloud three years ago with Google Apps, Google has gotten the drop on the software giant in a key government security protocol.

Google secured FISMA last week.

Microsoft BPOS doesn't yet have the Federal Information Security Management Act, or FISMA certification, it covets to make it a secure cloud computing collaboration platform for local, state and federal government offices.

Accordingly, Google must be the current frontrunner to replace IBM Lotus Notes for the GSA's e-mail and office suite, which covers 15,000 employees.

The GSA is sort of the benchmark for how other governments procure technology. If it's good enough for the GSA, it's good enough for other public offices.

I'll be speaking with the GSA soon, and I hope with collaboration managers at Google, Microsoft and IBM, to find out what the agency is looking for. Expect a story on later this month. |

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