Since Los Angeles decided in October to switch all its 30,000 city workers to Gmail and Google's productivity suite, dozens of governments in California have inquired about implementing similar plans.

Now those interested agencies can follow in L.A.'s wake. System integrator CSC announced on Tuesday that it's allowing all public agencies located in California to buy Google Apps and CSC Cloud Orchestration Services through a standard pricing model that's effectively a piggyback contract of L.A.'s agreement.

"The kind of services and capabilities we're providing right now [to L.A.] are the same as any municipality can get," said Mark Kneidinger, managing partner for CSC's Federal Consulting Practice, who is a former state government CIO of New York and Virginia.

He said the available services include e-mail capacity; e-mail migration; building the architecture and security; end-user services; training; and the system architecture, design and integration. The vendor can also migrate agencies' applications to the cloud, if they want to. CSC is an exclusive partner with Google on its Google Apps implementations.

CSC says public agencies that jump aboard will enjoy initial and recurring savings, much like L.A.'s projections. The city estimates $5.5 million of savings during its five-year deal after the city migrates from its existing e-mail system, Novell GroupWise. L.A. officials say the Google implementation will reduce the number of servers needed for e-mail from 90 to a few dozen, and cut nine positions from the Los Angeles Information Technology Agency.

In time, moving to cloud computing will create even more opportunities for cost savings, as well as better collaboration and increased accessibility, Kneidinger said. "With the platform in place ... the whole development cycle of moving applications onto the cloud is so much cheaper, and so much shorter in regard to time to development to market -- almost one-fifth the actual time and effort," Kneidinger claimed.

Kneidinger said smaller municipalities could potentially use the piggyback contract to form consortiums that would further cut the cost of implementations. "What's happening currently among cities -- if you have a lot of small towns -- and I know there are a number of areas in the country where this occurs, is that they're sharing common e-mail systems. Then basically [Gmail] is just the same overlay," he said.

 

Matt Williams  |  Associate Editor