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Wyoming to Move State Employees to Google Apps

Within a year, 10,000 Wyoming state government employees will be moved onto Google Apps for e-mail and productivity tools.

Google landed a jab Wednesday, Oct. 27, in its ongoing competition with Microsoft for supremacy in the state and local government market. Wyoming will migrate the state government’s 10,000 employees to the Google Apps for Government productivity suite within a year, officials said.

Wyoming will become the first state to adopt Google Apps enterprisewide, the company said. Google Apps for Government includes the tools available in the consumer version — e-mail, documents, sites, calendar and video — and also adds on Federal Information Security Management Act certification, disaster recovery, and the customer’s data is located in U.S.-based servers.

“This will be the first time all Wyoming state employees share a common communications platform, which will improve their ability to collaborate with each other in serving the citizens of Wyoming,” according to the Google blog post, which cites Wyoming CIO Bob von Wolffradt as the source of the information. Von Wolffradt didn’t return a phone call from Government Technology for comment on Wednesday.

After a two-year procurement selection process, Wyoming awarded the contract to Google integrator Tempus Nova, which according to the company is “the sole developer of the tools used to migrate mail and calendar data from Lotus Notes to Google, including free/busy calendar sync.”

In what could be perceived as one-upmanship, for the past few months Microsoft and Google have been announcing contracts with states, cities and counties for cloud-based e-mail provisioning and productivity tools.

Google struck its first high-profile agreement late last year with the city of Los Angeles. Orlando, Fla., and individual government departments in Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico also have signed on with Google. Last week Google announced it had added Multnomah County, Ore., to its services.

Microsoft has also been active, announcing last month that Minnesota’s Enterprise Unified Communications and Collaborations services will be delivered through Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite. The partnership will allow the state to combine basic business productivity applications in a unified package, which includes e-mail, instant messaging, Web-based collaboration and conferencing provided through Microsoft’s online hosting.

New York City also agreed with Microsoft on a wide-ranging contract for cloud computing services, city officials announced last week. The pact includes moving 30,000 employees to e-mail hosted in the cloud by Microsoft. New York City officials say the five-year contract will save $50 million.

Cost savings was one motivator for Wyoming’s move to a Google solution, the company said, as it’s projected to save the state $1 million.


Miriam Jones is a former chief copy editor of Government Technology, Governing, Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.