Boston has completed its migration to the cloud-based Google Apps after an announcement in May 2013 that Microsoft Exchange was not the best solution for the city.

Former Boston CIO Bill Oates, who is now CIO of Massachusetts, told reporters that Exchange required extensive upkeep, and after an RFP earlier in the year, Boston organizations unanimously opted for Google over Microsoft.

The entire city, including police and schools, are now using Google Apps.

“Our new unified, cloud-based communication system is pretty big change from our old set-up,” Oates said. “Our agencies worked together to manage their mail environments, with resources focused on mail administration and working across the group structures. Our largest department, the public school district, operated on a very separate environment that was in need of a major technical upgrade.”

The city, Oates said, gained greater reliability and security compared with their old solution. The cloud-based Google Apps offers scalability for the city’s police department, Oates said, along with a 99.9 percent uptime.

The migration that took place over the past seven months or so included moving more than 20 million emails to the new platform.

In addition to the aforementioned benefits offered by Google Apps, it’s possible the city saw the offering as being in line with Oates’ policy of encouraging innovation. Oates previously told Government Technology that being an effective CIO means being a “change manager,” and doing that means embracing new and innovative technology.